I'm sure you've figured out that's what I'm doing these days. These people have a lot to teach me, and I need to make space and time to pay attention to that.
But first can I rant about the food?
I promise that the people in our care are not calorically deprived. Donations come in fast and furious. And the deal with the program that I'm involved with is that clients use ALL of their food stamps to buy food for the house. We help plan menus, and they take turns cooking.
This ought to work.
We also know that malnutrition is a disease of poverty, and that one can be both obese and malnourished. We also know that eating the wrong things consistently informs one's palate, so that soon enough the wrong things taste better than the right things.
So here's the thing. Dinner, apparently, must involve big hunks of meat. And heaven forbid that it involve a vegetable or a piece of fruit. I suggested a vegetarian night, and you would have thought I was suggesting that we feed the children arsenic. Like macaroni and cheese will kill you. But no, macaroni and cheese has to have hot dogs in it. WTF???? We had fish tonight. Salmon -and I am not making this up- is apparently cow tongue, so no one would eat it. I know you thought it was fish, but what can I say? You were misinformed.
I am no nutritional zealot. I watched myself reach for chips rather than an apple, when they were right next to each other. So I can't exactly claim the moral high ground here. But tonight I started bringing my own dinner -yogurt, grapes, and a bottle of water. I didn't need a huge dinner because the kids and I went out for lunch. People thought I must have joined the Pritikin Order of Ascetic Eaters ;)
And darn it, now I know people are watching what I eat. So I have to be good. But I'm actually tired of eating crap. Who would have thought this day would come? I've planned my menus for the week, and I'm bringing healthy, vegetarian stuff for my at-work meals. I won't need to make a comment; I'll just eat. We'll see where this takes us.
And please, for the love of all things holy, if you donate food to the homeless shelter, have it be healthy food. We have enough white bread, stale Entenmann's muffins, and tortilla chips to last until the second coming.