There were times during my last months in my house when I had no money and went without meals for a day or part of a day, or skipped a meal to conserve supplies. More often than not I at least had snacks like rice cakes and almond butter on hand, and I made a meal of that.
Then and now, I often have money in my credit union account in the city but can not get a cash withdrawal to buy food at the local food store, which takes only checks and cash. My credit is so bad I no longer qualify for a checking account. I have a Paypal debit-credit card from prior to the credit problems that sometimes draws on the credit union balance and sometimes does not (it is unpredictable), but it does not work at the local ATMs. None of the local stores give cash back on purchases any more.
It is frustrating when I have money but can not use it. The convenience stores take credit cards, but their food options are limited and I can not eat the processed food they sell due to extensive food sensitivities. I have to wonder how much business the food store loses by not taking credit cards. I for one would divert a lot of what I spend in restaurants to that store.
I am hungry more often now that I live in my car. The problem is not just a lack of food and money, but an inability to properly store, cook and cool food. It’s a lot more complicated. If I lived in the city and my body tolerated junk food, I would have wider options.
In the past, I was aware of hunger as a problem for many people. It was a political issue of the mal-distribution of wealth, the nation’s food distribution system, and the impacts of the problems that cause people to sink into poverty. It wasn’t personal, although as a progressive and activist I was empathic.
Now it’s personal. I’m hungry. A lot. Hunger is a very real part of this new grand adventure I’m on.