Growing up on the West Side of Chicago it wasn’t until college that I learned I lived in one of the lowest income neighborhoods. Regardless of this fact, I was raised to believe having a roof over my head, food in my stomach as well as clothing on my back meant wealth. Another ah-ha moment in adulthood was after getting married; I realized a few months into my marriage that my husband and I thought differently about leftover food. Leftovers for me are pivotal in planning meals. Raised in a three person household meals were planned to stretch over two nights and one lunch portion for either my mom or dad.
When I moved out on my own I took the two meals and one lunch portion concept with me. However after I got married and expanded the amounts cooked, I noticed a significant increase in leftovers. Discussion with my husband determined that he was not a fan of leftovers. He grew up in a home with a working single mom who could stretch a dollar, she was creative at disguising leftovers. I tried this tactic but realized leftovers gave me comfort. For me leftovers didn’t equate to being poor it was a different form of abundance.
Like my late father I enjoy cooking and make meals I like to eat. I find it a treat to eat a delicious meal two days in a row. Yet above this I find it a blessing to have food to eat. As a child, I never went hungry. I hardly received punishments but when I did going to bed hungry wasn’t one of them. I later learned that as a child my dad sometimes did go to bed hungry but not as punishment. Also I learned that my mother had sacrificed for me going to bed sometimes only having eaten a can of peaches. It still breaks my heart when I think of my mom’s sacrifice but I also feel grateful for her abundant love.
Today, I went grocery shopping. My list was made with the two meals and a lunch portion idea in mind. My husband still is not a fan of left overs but he is better about eating them. He has realized that there are many people in the world who are hungry and would gladly eat leftovers to feed their hunger. I alone can’t feed the world but I can feed your mind with the message that leftovers aren’t so bad when you think of the alternative. Finally if you are able, make a donation to a food bank near you or one of these three organizations, click on the logos to be taken to their websites: