Marcus, a friend of the Grace Garden, just started a month-long project to live on local food pantries and food stamp equivalents. Read about his impetus for starting this project and his “rules” for the month here.

I’m anxious to learn and live vicariously through Marcus over the next month. I think his experiences will help us better relate to and serve our neighbors in need. One thing, already, that surprised and saddened me is that no pantries in Hamilton County are open past 5pm. What in the world do people do that have regular jobs?! Here’s Marcus:

The grocery store that you and I regularly shop at is open during hours based on the customers; this is simply not the case for Food Pantries. I really didn’t want to start off on a negative thought, but this topic will be difficult not to begin with a negative experience. No Food Pantries are open past 5:00pm – not a single one. So if you work, good luck! I realized that this morning, so I had to leave work early to make the 5:00pm cutoff. As I left work at 4:35pm, I called to make sure I had everything I needed. After she told me about a picture ID that had my current address, or a utility bill with my current address, she proceeded to explain that the Food Pantry would close promptly at 5:00pm. I told her that wouldn’t be a problem since I was 5-10 minutes away. “Well if you don’t think you will make it here and get your food by 5:00pm, maybe you should come tomorrow.” Really? I have no food for tonight and I am sure there are people who are in the same boat. Waiting until tomorrow simply is not an option. I told her thanks and asked where to go when I got there.
What would be your biggest challenges to living off of food pantries for a month? Bookmark Marcus’ blog and be sure to follow along with his experiment!