A Desert Within a Desert

Every single brand of yogurt and breakfast cereal we serve at the shelter, an assortment of donations, contains refined sugar.  Even the ones that seem or claim to be healthy like Kashi and Nature’s Path, and Quaker Instant Oatmeal.  The peanut butter, the jelly; most of the bread.  What do the diabetics have for breakfast?  I should ask them.  Not to mention the huge volume of sweets we serve.  The food we get is often secondhand, so its days are numbered.  The berries and bunches of greens are often going bad by the time we get them or, in turn, put them out for people. The packaged food (that almost always comes with sugar) is more consistent, easier to maintain.  Don’t we all in America eat more poorly for this reason, for what they are selling to us, what we can buy cheaply, and keep on our shelves?  I ask this and I recognize my privilege in having a pantry; making some selections.  A homeless friend wishes he could still be a vegetarian, but it’s impossible to maintain dietary restrictions like these, relying on food prepared by others, donated food.  Dreaming of a homeless community garden for the food desert of living on the streets.  Does this exist somewhere?

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