Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 15- $1 a day

There’s a food pantry two blocks from my home and I’ve noticed that as the months go by the line gets longer. I wouldn’t have even thought that people in my San Francisco neighborhood are very poor, but according to the San Francisco Food Bank website 13,107 people in the Sunset district are hungry.

One of the aims of my experiment is to give away the money I would have spent if I wasn’t living on $1 a day. My regular budget for groceries, eating out, and spending for entertainment comes to about $375 for one month plus 10 days (40 days). So at the end of my experiment I will give all that money to the San Francisco Food Bank. The SFFB says that for every $1 you give, $9 worth of food is distributed, so my meager contribution becomes $3,375 worth of food for people who need it.

Why the San Francisco Food Bank? Because…
• I’d like my experiment to benefit the people who are hungry in my own city.
• The SFFB has a 4 star rating on Charity Navigator, which means that they outperform other charities in making sure donations go to actual food and services rather than administrative costs.
• I occasionally help at a food pantry in San Francisco so I’ve been face to face with people who have been benefited, and I’ve seen the stellar food they give out.
• 150,000 San Franciscans struggle to feed their families— every day they live how I am living for 40 days.

For my own personal knowledge for the future, I'd like to know what other hunger-fighting organizations some of you regularly give to, whether local or international? And why do you give to that particular organization?


  1. Hi Mel:

    Your sister (Jennifer) gave me the link to your blog. I have always enjoyed your writing so I'm excited to follow your experiment. I also shared the link with a few friends and posted a link on my Facebook page.


  2. Hey Tricia- great to hear from you, and I'm glad you are reading. Hope you get lots of food for thought...

  3. Well, I give to and to heifer---both international orgs about poverty reduction. So I choose those because in both of them my donation keeps getting reused. Kiva gets microloans and when I'm paid back, I can put the money back out. And with heifer, once the animal has babies, they have to give the babies to neighbors and teach them how to raise the animals.

    When I was in Rwanda this summer I saw the difference that Heifer and the microloan system there was making for ppl, so that makes it even easier to give there.