Eleanor Wilde

Hungry For Justice

Shop 5- The shop that never happened

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Hi there,

It’s been a while! I’ve been working and studying very hard, so I haven’t had time for the blog, sorry! I hope you enjoyed my other half’s guest post; I think it’s important to talk about the wider issues around what we’re doing and Ruth reminded of those in the last post. The whole aim of this blog and this foodbank challenge is to help End Hunger Fast but I hope that our observations of extreme-budget eating might help those who do live on this kind of money every day. As Ruth said in the last post, we feel a bit (or a lot) shocked and guilty about how much of a storecupboard we are building up, and how little we have had to worry about food, despite drastically reducing our budget. So, as I was coming back from a late shift the other night, Ruth suggested on the phone that we give our next shop (or the £15 it would cost) to someone who works on a nearby housing estate, to give food to someone in need. There was someone specific in Ruth’s mind who had used up his food bank allocations and was pretty desperate.

That is why shop 5 ‘never happened’, and to be honest, we didn’t miss it. We got creative with leftovers and had everything from Thai curry to minestrone soup on just the food we had left. We haven’t yet done another shop. Ruth has succeeded in making soda bread, and we’ve discovered that vermicelli from the world food section (though cheap) is not a suitable replacement for normal noodles when put with a Thai curry! They do, however, go very well in minestrone. The minestrone that we had last night was the most delicious meal so far.

So…what next? I am currently sitting in a friend’s kitchen, because we are dog-sitting until Tuesday. I’ve got 3 bags of leftover food on the table next to me, believe it or not, but I am out of coffee! We’ll be trying out a Netto shop later, as that’s now our nearest shop, and there’s also something called a Nisa Local and a frightfully expensive Co-op Food as well. It’ll be an interesting scavenger hunt! Until then, however, we have been ordered to eat whatever food is going off while our friends are away, so another shop might not be needed yet.

This is what we have left, after almost a week (and in all honesty, a couple of meals with family and friends):

1/3 box frosted flakes cereal

About 20 teabags

2 garlic bulbs

1 carton chopped tomatoes

1/4 bag oats

1kg plain flour

1/2 bottle sunflower oil

500ml malt vinegar

About 600g salt

3/4 pot curry powder

About 100g baking soda400g allspice

About 300g penne pasta

10 small potatoes

7/8 onions

1/2 jar peanut butter

Almost full jar of honey

3/4 pot mixed herbs

6 1/2 veg stock cubes

1/4 bag rice

1 tub vegetable spread

1/2 carton sweetened soya milk

As you can see, basic things like oats, flour, onions and potatoes last a very long time. One thing I would like to do, and will do on one of our shops, is to try and go without fresh fruit and vegetables- in other words, we’ll try to eat in a similar way to a food bank parcel recipient! We’ve been eating very healthily due to all the fruit and veg, but with just storecupboard food, would we still be able to eat a balanced diet? We’ll see.

So…the next update will be on our next full £15 shop, when we eventually do it. For the moment, we will enjoy the rest of our provisions and see what else we can scavenge from this house-sitting gig.

See you later,

Eleanor 🙂


Author: eleanormary90

I write poetry and articles on anything and everything. I am a gatherer of ideas and inspiration and I love my work for what it is; detailing little parts of the world I live in.

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