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No Electricity Dinner

June 28th, 2007


UPDATE:Click here for Emergency Grocery Lists & Menus

Living in Florida for as long as I did, I have probably spent years of my life standing in line at the grocery store during hurricane season. There would always be a run on bread, a shortage of milk, a collective panic of people wondering what foods could be made without electricity, and lines that ran clear back to the end of the store. It was a madhouse and as I often walked away with bags full of water, juice, granola bars, trail mix, protein bars, and fruit I would wonder, other then junk food, what else you could eat?

In planning meals for The Food Stamp Challenge, I could not help but think of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the many other natural disasters that our country has faced in recent years. Sadly it always seems to be those who have the least that seem to lose the most in these situations. A hurricane or flood can drive a family or even a community right from their homes and sometimes it does not even take that much.

Poverty is ugly and the life that it often doles out is harsh. It takes an enormous amount of focus, will, and determination to break free of it, but even then it is next to impossible to escape with out scars. There are those who will manage to prevail, their success trailing behind them like a huge beacon of hope, others who will hold on and follow in their wake, and those who hardly recognize the light let alone know how to respond to it. For that reason alone, I always try to assume nothing, look for the paradigm shift, and choose not to judge.

The meal that I created for tonight is focused on those thoughts and it has been created to fit the most critical of needs. After all what do you feed a family for only a $1 per person with no home, let alone electricity, or access to a kitchen? What can they eat other then peanut butter and jelly until they get help, find a way back on their feet, and attempt to pull the pieces back together again? What is the healthiest mealtime solution could you find if it were you?


Recipe for an Emergency Salad

(Serves 4)

This is so simple, it is hardly a recipe. Just dump all of the ingredients in a large Ziploc type baggie, seal, shake, and serve.

1 Can of Tuna in Water

1 Can of Green Beans

1 Can of Sliced Potatoes

1 Can of White Northern Beans

Italian Dressing (To taste)

Total Cost for this meal = $3.26 (Roughly $.82 for per serving)

Resources for seeking help and assistance:

Food Stamp Program


Food Share

Second Harvest

Artists Helping Children

Child and Adult Food Care Program

Women’s Rural Advocacy Programs

Meals on Wheels Association of America

The Salvation Army (USA)

The Salvation Army (International)

American Red Cross


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