I usually have anywhere from 5 on the low end, up to 25+ fully ready to heat and serve gluten free meals stashed in my deep freezer and my fridge freezer. I also have the entire first freezer drawer of my two drawer fridge freezer for all my gluten free stuff: frozen fruits for smoothies, GF chicken tenders, GF bread, GF sweets, etc.
At any given time, I can pack a lunch bag and be anywhere, meals in tow. I’ve arrived at events and people’s houses fully prepped to participate and eat my safe GF home foods. As long as I have access to a microwave, I’ll be good.
So imagine my dismay, as days went by and it was more evident than not, that we were not going to have electricity to our block of houses. Imagine still, as my Sister and Nephew, donned gloves and proceeded to empty out our fridge and deep freezer to the tune of 6 large garbage bags worth of House Food and my personal stash of GF goodness. We had to have thrown out at least $250+ of cooked and prepared food for me alone. Cleaning out our fridge/freezer because of this storm, rang the silent bell of food devastation for Us and for me specifically.
We’ve been eating Day-to-day since we had to throw away all of our food. On average, without being able to adequately meal prep, our little family of 3 spends about $20-$30/day to be fed. And this has been with skipping meals and just eating the bare basics.
Today we were able to begin our food ‘reset’ by buying our staples (meats, rice, beans, veggies, etc…) but we hadn’t done any meal prep. I knew how fortunate I was to just have to choose from one of my homemade frozen meals, popping it into the microwave and five minutes later, eating a nutritionally sound gluten free meal, without breaking the bank.
But it wasn’t until today that my forced lack of prep finally caught up with me, sending me on a mad dash this late Sunday evening, in search of safe food for me to eat.
I don’t know how ‘regular’ folks do it, having to cook food every time they need to eat. For the past few years, since I’ve been eyeball deep in meal prepping, I’ve nary been without a solid nutritionally sound meal. I used to think my food prepping was a tad bit excessive, but I grew to rely on that excessiveness when my pockets were lean and times weren’t good. But this storm and the aftermath of it, tested my resolve and grit.
Living on the margins, is just one catastrophe away from basic sustenance level disaster. These are the things no one talks about after these events. These are the silent emergencies that happen to some folks who are just like me.
After I came home from securing safe-for-me-food, my Sister prepared it and I ate to nearly bursting. She prepped three plates from that one meal and they currently sit in my nearly empty freezer drawer, waiting for when I need them. She has some chicken baking in the oven right now and some spinach rice cooking on the stove: her lunch and our food for tomorrow.
I feel safer and more relaxed knowing I may get one or two more extra plates of food from what’s cooking now. Even with all of the anguish and turmoil, I’m still one of the fortunate ones. I got to eat well through the storm and I got to eat today and for this week. And I am thankful 💗
Just one catastrophic event away from personal disaster…
Protect ya lives Fam 💗