When I started my bike trip down the states from Detroit, MI, I didn’t really have too many plans. As usual for events in my life, I just had the plan to do something and left the details to sort out along the way. I had $100 that kept me eating healthy through Michigan and part of Ohio then I was on my own. This is where nutrition comes into play. Are you able to stay healthy while being technically homeless? Well the answer I’m finding out is yes and no.
I stayed at a women’s shelter for two nights in Mansfield, Ohio. The first day I got there, I was so excited to find fresh fruits and veggies on the table, ready to be eaten up. Lentils in the dry storage and a few organic beans as well. The veggies were gobbled up by the second day, so it was pb&j’s and a few tomatoes for me. Luckily, I had met an amazing friend there who shared some fresh salad, fruit, and nuts with me; but was slim pickins otherwise.
After leaving the shelter, I was on my own to find food once again along the way. I stopped by a quaint little city, Delaware, Ohio- another I had never heard of until I started my trip. There, I searched for food banks and found an amazing place, called People in Need, that loaded me up with tons of fresh fruits, veggies, fruit and nut bars and they even had organic bread! This kept me going for two days until I got to another town with another food bank. In Springfield, Ohio, they loaded me up with more fruits, granola, dried fruits, and even a kambucha- wow. They even hooked me up with a fresh shower. Seriously nice people.
As I was still making my way through these pickings a few days later, I passed a sign in a small town just across the boarder in Kentucky that said FREE LUNCH. whaaa? I went inside, and sure enough they were serving free food; pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, potatoes, local tomatoes, and even cake. Now, I don’t eat meat, but they substituted peanut butter and I was a happy girl.
So far, I haven’t been hungry on my trip, thanks to the wonderful services set up across the states that are feeding people in need. If you are in a tough spot, and need access to fresh food, hit up your local food bank or see what food services they are offering in your town. People out there are amazing and doing amazing things to help one another.
If you are in a position to give, don’t forget about your local food banks – when I am able, I will be sure to donate fresh fruits and veggies and things that will create healthy bodies and minds for those in a bind.
Pros and Cons on the food I’ve been eating
- I’ve been getting a lot of fresh fruit
- I have had plenty of calories and natural sugars to keep me fueled
- The food banks have been relatively easy to find with my phone and have been eager to help
- some things such as the fruit and nut bars and peanut butter come in plastic. I have been trying to keep these items to a minimum and only taking when necessary
- a lot of the dried fruit has preservatives and added sugar and sunflower oil (why can’t we just dry the fruit??) it’s naturally sweet lol
- the granola has added sugar- they seriously slip that white stuff into everything
So, the moral of the story is, you can be relatively healthy while getting assistance. I haven’t been able to be 100% waste free yet, but have been able to recycle everything instead of throwing it in the trash. Also, the food isn’t 100% fresh and organic all of the time, as I would buy when I have the means, but it is a good start and I think we are on the right track with the establishments set in place to help people. Improvements little by little.
Give a lending hand when you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when you need it. We are all here to help each other and what goes around comes around. Lots of love to all those who have helped me along my way and pay it forward I shall.