Manna Minute View All Posts

About Manna Minute

Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service, Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 700,000 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when... Read more

Discover Other Local Blogs

We have a great number of amazing blog posts contributed by our local bloggers. Discover what is happening in your neighborhood by reading their latest posts.

photo of Jenna Umbriac

Jenna: Barriers to Healthy Eating Include Time

Jenna Umbriac, Manna’s dietitian, will be blogging about Councilwoman Valerie Ervin’s SNAP the Silence Challenge. The challenge begins on Monday, but Jenna is already preparing:

Photo of Jenna Umbriac

Manna’s Jenna Umbriac

Yesterday I began my preparation for the upcoming SNAP the Silence challenge. This activity is designed to increase awareness about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps, and is being carried out in Montgomery County February 4th– February 8th. Challenge takers are asked to feed themselves on $5.00 per day or $1.67 per meal. While this one bill may get you a sizable amount of calories off the convenience store or fast food dollar menu, can it support a nutritious weekly meal plan? I’m determined to find out.

Challenged to spend my money on only the healthiest of foods, I began by uploading the most recent promotional flyer from my local grocery store and scanned the pages for the best (and healthiest) deals. I then created a weekly meal plan that outlined proposed breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the next 5 days. From these meals and their recipes, I began to devise a shopping list. To be sure these items were not outside of my new budget, I checked for average prices of items by looking at the online shopping directory of this same food supplier. I compared the cost-benefit of buying individual apples versus a 3 pound bag of fruit, and analyzed the cost of frozen, canned and fresh vegetables to determine the best nutritional bang for my buck.

Satisfied with my detective work, I looked up from my computer and noticed that nearly three hours had passed. Three hours and I hadn’t even been to store let alone cooked any of these meals I’d been plotting and planning for over the better part of an afternoon. Add in the hours needed to purchase and prep this weekly food and you can begin to see how maybe more than money the obstacle to healthy eating for folks on the tightest of food budgets is time.

Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.
Jenna Umbriac

About Jenna Umbriac

Jenna Umbriac is Manna’s dietitian.

Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 668,527 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when they find themselves in need of food assistance. Manna delivers emergency food assistance through its three main programs: Food for Families, Smart Sacks, and Agency Food Distribution.

Comments

One Response to “Jenna: Barriers to Healthy Eating Include Time”

  1. On February 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm responded with... #

    You are so right. I am a single mom of 3 teenagers who works full time and has a very tight budget. I am learning that I must do my planning, shopping and cooking on weekends because there just is not time to do the cooking during the week. In order to cook healthy meals from scratch, it takes a lot longer than opening a box or a can. I am not able to successfully pull this off, but I keep trying. It is all consuming. No leisure time. Lest you think the teenagers can help, they do some cooking, but overall they are too busy with heavy homework demands and one outside of school activity per child (sports, for example) and the required community service hours. I do not make enough money to hire help of any sort, so I do all my home repairs myself and make everything myself. I even try to fit in a home vegetable garden to supplement our family’s food supply. It is indeed time consuming, life consuming. My entire life is taken up with my job and the time spent on the road, and feeding and raising my family and taking care of basics and chores, then trying to get a healthy amount of sleep.

    I appreciate your shining light on this issue of time for families. Many of us struggling folks already know which foods are healthy, how to prepare them, how to budget, how to manage our time wisely, but there are not enough hours in the day to do it all well, all the time. So, it is not necessarily education on how to choose wisely, how to eat well, how to prepare the food that we need help with. I’m not sure the answer, though. How do you give a person more time?




Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter