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Nov 24, 2010

The place that the project 2 Meals 2 Give will now be located is:

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Posted: Nov 24, 2010 8:10pm
Nov 23, 2010

November 23, 2010

I got up late for work today. Not only did that mean that I had 10 minutes fewer to suffer aggravating consumer demands and even more aggravating management demands (yay) but it also meant that I had less time for breakfast (boo). I was able to throw together a quick PB & J for lunch later on, and grab a candy bar on my way out the door. Evidently I was aiming for the specialized chocolate food group this morning, and neglecting the more basic,  less likable ones.
Work felt laborious, and by 1:30pm my internal system was shocked to find, at its metabolic peak, only 360 calories coming its way. A grand total of 640 calories for the day thus far, and that following an evening of fasting. If it were possible for one's own biological system to give her the middle finger, mine would have done it. For the next couple of hours I found myself breathing rapidly and heavily as I worked, in an attempt to keep from passing out. I'm sure I got some interesting looks from co-workers, though I was too busy trying to maintain consciousness to notice. At any rate, no one came to my assistance (thanks guys). Maybe if I had been able to somehow text my strained breathing to their cell phones they would have caught on. But that's another blog. And possibly an obscene phone call.
But as I labored, and labored to breathe, my thoughts kept turning to the Bolivian workers I had learned of recently, who effectively labor as slaves. Many of them endure the heat and cold through 16 hour days, on probably fewer than 1,000 calories, while they whack away at sugar cane with machetes, rushing to gather enough bundles to satisfy their labor masters. This is incredibly taxing work, and I'm certain that I would not last long in such conditions. 
These men have my utmost respect, and today they have my heart, for what it's worth.
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Posted: Nov 23, 2010 11:16pm
Nov 23, 2010

November 22, 2010

Day One, Meal One
I think I consumed not more than 1,000 calories today, and other than some weak muscles and lack of concentration, I feel alright. Hunger set in at about 8:00 tonight, but by then my metabolism had slowed sufficiently to dull it so that it was tolerable. I'm thinking about the children in various regions of Africa who get only one meal a day, yet are expected to excel in their studies, should they be so blessed to have families who can afford to send them to school. I know the negative effects of low blood sugar levels on my own body and brain, such as weakness and poor concentration, yet I realize these effects become magnified and totally encompassing in an academic setting. So I think about these children with great sympathy, and I wonder if my first monetary contribution might find its way to one of them.
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Posted: Nov 23, 2010 11:04pm
Nov 23, 2010
So, depriving myself of food is definitely not my thing. When I decided to count calories with Kellie, in order to be supportive of her weight loss goals, I was soon acutely reminded that denying myself that extra helping or a little dessert (ok, a lot desert) does not make for a happy Amanda. Still, when she approached me with her idea of dining third world style two nights out of the week for the next month, it was different. Oh, not at first, mind you. My immediate, almost knee-jerk reaction to the proposal was cold rejection, and serious questions as to Kellie's mental state, as well as secret suspicions that the madness might be attributed to some cult she must have recently joined, which would explain her shaved head. If I caught her running off to the airport to solicit money, I'd have my proof.
But then I thought about this crazy idea. I thought about this ridiculous invitation to deprive myself. I was already deprived! Already I was forfeiting cookies and candy bars in the name of calorie counting, and now I was being asked to suffer more! To lose an entire meal! The injustice! What would it profit? What would be the benefit? What would be the incentive? 
Kellie said, " It will be spiritual; a way of remembering those who are enduring it against their will." 
I thought, "What's wrong with lighting a candle?"
But the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize it was a phenomenal idea, a revolutionary idea, and the only reasonable option for two American broads. I promise, I am not bipolar. You see, I realized that I am in a position in which I have everything available and accessible to me, be it basic or beyond. I am too poor to afford higher education on my own, but I can obtain grants from my government to finance that education. I have spacious, comfortable shelter that is thoroughly furnished and decorated, technology driven information and entertainment at my fingertips, rights and human dignities at my workplace, plenty of leisure time, and freedom to exercise myself as I wish during those leisure periods. 
And I have an abundance of food--this is the fast-food nation--at my disposal. Literally any time I begin to feel the slightest indication of hunger, I can stride over to the fridge and select from a range of foods: raw, prepared, healthful, not-so-healthful; foods encompassing all the basic food groups, and also the lesser-known but more likable food groups, such as the chocolate group and the pimento cheese group.
I have plenty, I live in a nation of plenty, and I still have no real concept of what that means. I go to the grocery store, stroll down the cookie aisle, and I am bombarded by dozens of brands and off-brands of what really amounts to the same thing. I'm not saying there isn't room for taste discrimination, but let's face it, we are not exactly dealing with cake artisans when trying to select between ding-dongs and ho-hos. by the way, I'm a fan of both. But what would it be like to have less? To embrace simplicity, to know how to build and live a life with only the basics at my disposal? And as millions around the world are doing just that, these amazing testaments to human ingenuity and spirit are starving all the while.
So I decided that for two days a week, during what would typically be supper time, I would feel hunger with them. I would experience hunger with the sharp awareness that it would all be contrived, all a demonstrative show; that at any given moment of weakness I would have the privilege of eating while others remained starving. 
But how could eating be a privilege? It seems to me that such a basic, life-sustaining action ought to be a fundamental human right. But the world works in a complicated way. One economic system allows for my privileged over-consumption in America while it chips away at many basic human rights of someone else in Kenya. I hope this  endeavor proves to be enlightening. I hope especially that it proves to allow for as much good as possible to as many as possible, in the simplest of ways. I think my hunger might be satisfied by the vision of giving what i don't eat to those who are truly hungry. Surely this will spur me on to skip breakfast and lunch, too...but maybe we'll start off paced.
In all this, I am blessed by the prospect of preserving humanity. Of standing with those who may feel lonely, marginalized, forgotten. And of giving to them from that experience. A sort of double-fold connection. That prospect touches something deep in me, enlivens me. I anticipate this project bringing me closer to my own humanity, closer to wholeness. 
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Posted: Nov 23, 2010 9:25pm
Nov 23, 2010
Link to "Humans Live to Eat" from the animated film Over the Hedge:
http://www.clevver.com/movies/video/18579/over-the-hedge-film-clip-humans-live-to-eat.html
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Posted: Nov 23, 2010 8:35pm
Nov 23, 2010

Day 1

Monday, 11-22-10

 

I started the day out with a Greek omelet and hash-browns. I only could eat half of the omelet, ¾ of the hash-browns, 2 cups of coffee and a slice of toast. I thought that maybe I should put more effort into finishing breakfast knowing that at 4 I couldn't eat anymore but I felt like eating more would make me sick so I didn't. Me and mom were going to Aunt Sandy’s to help decorate for the holidays & I figured it'd be no different (in an abstract way) then those who live in poverty who would maybe get a breakfast before work but would be forced to go hungry at dinner time except that I was just decorating and they would be doing hard manual labor. I think I’m explaining this project wrong or something. Amanda gets the concept and I get it but I got looks like I was crazy when trying to explain it to Aunt Sandy. I think I somehow insulted mom too. Let me explain; we go to a store that has a basket for food donations to the Crisis Ministry and each time we go (which is often) we always buy something to put in the basket. So we do regularly donate. Tonight it was 2 pounds of rice and 4 pounds of beans. Mom keeps pointing out that we do donate and try to help as much as possible but that’s just one aspect of our project.

Like I said before aunt sandy just has further proof that I don't play with a full deck. Anyway. About 3 pm knowing what was coming I ate an apple and finished my cup of coffee so I wasn't caught off guard when 4 rolled around with out me knowing and accidentally snack on something when I wasn't supposed to.

We got home around 4:30 pm from Aunt Sandy’s and took care of some stuff before walking to the store to get cat food and stuff. We came home to find Amanda home from work. I'm now waiting on her to walk to another store to finally get the cat food. It's currently 6:51 pm . I'm not hungry but a little light headed and my stomach is cramped up. I'm blaming the coffee.

Amanda and I tried watching the documentary mentioned before but she found it hard to concentrate and not wanting to watch it by myself I just turned it off and she went to (or so I thought) and I tried doing more research. Around about 11 I figured it was time to go to bed and found that Amanda was still up. She said that when she got to bed and relaxed a bit instead of trying to focus she started to feel better and got the itch to start writing and stuff. We started discussing the project and how we would carry it out. She started to tell me just how much she already was starting to feel like the project was effecting her spiritually and mentally with making her think about just how much we take for granted in our society. After talking till 1 am we had decided that the 2 nights would not fall on the same nights as the previous week nor would we always decide which days they were. We would take the 2 nights (this week is Monday and Wednesday) from the previous week and then put the other days in a hat and would draw from the hat. If the first night was soon we would wait until that night to draw the second night from what was left so we couldn't mentally or physically prepare too much for it since in real life people don't have that option.

When we were talking I tried to describe to Amanda a part of the movie “Over the Hedge” in which a raccoon tells the other animals in the movie just how the humans live to eat. I don't think I described it very well but I told her I've been thinking about it since I first started to get the idea for our project. If I can find it posted some where I’ll put it up. I think it aptly describes the relationship Americans and I'm sure other society’s have with something that was once considered sacred.  

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Posted: Nov 23, 2010 4:32pm
Nov 21, 2010

Sunday 11-21-10

 

I'm frustrated over not being able to find information about the daily lives of those who live in LDCs. I have a list of documentaries that I'll watch with Amanda and some on my own when shes at work. All of the searches I’ve tried on Google haven't come up with anything except some stats and places to donate money to help those in need. Mom suggested breaking the search down by country like “Daily life in Angola” which I think will yield better results. So far though it looks like we'll just not be eating on most nights.

Amanda and I have decided to start off by going without eating the first night. After 4 pm. We are only allowed water until the next morning. This does not mean we will stuff ourselves with every thing we can until 4. we will be watching the documentary “The End of Poverty?” during our “fasting”. We still haven't decided a system yet for which 2 nights of the week we will be doing this we just know we are definitely starting Monday night with an after 4 pm fasting. So far we've only gotten criticized for trying this but hopefully it will catch on with at least one other human being.

 

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Posted: Nov 21, 2010 8:30pm
Nov 20, 2010

1. Week by week goals only.

2. 2 nights a week.
3. Research ingredients, seasonings & proportions.
4. Ultimate goal of 30+/- days.
5. What would have been used for our usual meals goes to help local food banks and those in need in other countries.
6. Keep up a journal/blog on the web to keep track of goals and encourage others to try this as well.
7. At the end of the determined time we will calculate the total cost (food, energy, transport of food, etc) of what we did not consume/use in order to gain perspective and give to those in need.
These guidelines may be added to or edited as we go along and learn new things.
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Posted: Nov 20, 2010 6:20pm
Nov 20, 2010

As the holidays approach I am once again struck with awe by how lucky and blessed I am to be living in a country where it is considered barbaric for someone to not only not have cable or a cell phone but to not use a car for transportation. Lucky, blessed and highly disturbed that it is this way when so many in our country and other countries not only are living without these items but needed things like food, medical treatment, housing and running water.

Amanda and I have come to the conclusion that the excess in which we live has conditioned us to fail in the future should a disaster (natural or not) befall our community or country and made us highly spoiled. We do not know enough of our neighbors and Lord protect the store clerk that says "Sorry Ma'am but we are out of stock on the Hersheys Bars." (that's for Amanda).

To help our awareness and help our community we will be substituting 2 of our dinners per week for a meal that would be from a "Third World Country" including portion size. We would like to do it starting the 22nd until December 22nd but for the time being will only give ourselves weekly goals as to not set ourselves up for disappointment. On December 22nd we will take half of the food we WOULD NORMALLY HAVE USED on those nights and donate it to the Crisis Ministry Food Bank here in Kings Mountain and the other half will be turned into a monetary value and used to purchase something from the Oxfam website such as soap or goats for a community in need in another country.

Anyone interested in following along and trying this out with us can get in contact through the blog we will be using on Care2 to keep track. I hope for those who can not do 2 meals a week will at least give 1 meal a month a try with there family and maybe by doing so show there family just how blessed and lucky they really are. 

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Posted: Nov 20, 2010 6:03pm
Apr 10, 2007
 
Album: tats


by 1017 totalKellie N. (51)
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Posted: Apr 10, 2007 6:03pm

 

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Kellie N.
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Kings Mountain, NC, USA
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