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A Shopping Challenge To Spread Awareness

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Monday marked the beginning of Hunger and Homeless Awareness week in South Dakota.
According to the American Farm Bureau, the average thanksgiving dinner will cost about $50 in 2012.

And while many families in the Sioux Empire struggle to put food daily their table, to show that struggle, some Sioux Falls residents put their grocery shopping skills to the test by using a limited budget.

It was a The 2012 Shopping Challenge, and its goal was to spread awareness and spread a message.

"We're trying to raise awareness of the struggle of the people in our community have to put food on the table,” said Cathy Brechtelsbauer, from Bread for the World.

When many of us go to the grocery store, we may not have to choose between what foods we can afford.

But on Monday, that changed for a few people, as they grocery shopped at Sunshine Grocery in someone else’s shoes.

“They are going to shop for the dinner tonight for these actual families,” said Brechtelsbauer.

Pastor Bill Tesch was one of those people Monday.      

"I have $7.00 to prepare a meal for a family of four,” said Pastor Bill Tesch, Director of Evangelical Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

And his meal of choice: stir fried rice.        

"With this meal is it’s going to be good and nutritious but they aren’t going to be a lot of other meals that are good and nutritious,” said Tesch.

Tesch’s first item on the list is meat, and if he purchases the entire amount in the package, it will cost nearly half of his money.

So he tries to bargain.  
“Can you cut that in half,” asked Tesch.  
And the butcher did just that, making the next item on the list to get a half carton of eggs.

Then it is off to aisle five for some rice. And that is where Tesch realizes shopping on such a tight budget takes a lot more than expected.
“If I was a busy mom I wouldn’t have time to be looking around for stuff,” said Tesch.

Vegetables are the next item on the list, followed by a ‘splurge’ purchase to make sure the meal has a little bit of flavor.

 “…$1.19 seems to be the cheapest soy sauce,” said Tesch.

 “...$5.50..$6, yeah we are done,” counts Tesch.

When all the items are scanned, the grand total is $6.68.

After the groceries are bagged and the cart is loaded, Tesch is reminded of when he didn’t have a lot of money to shop either. And it leaves him humbled and with a message for the family he has helped.
“I hope you enjoy the stir fry, and God bless,” said Tesch.

Participant said they struggled to fit healthy food into their budget, specifically fruit and milk.

Shoppers figured out one banana costs over 60 cents.
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