Farmington chefs attempt to cook meals for families on food stamp budget

Updated: 09/04/2014 5:25 PM | Created: 09/04/2014 4:25 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

FARMINGTON, NM — September is Hunger Action Month, and to commemorate the occasion, the ECHO Food Bank in Farmington made six local restaurant chefs work to feed three people on a budget of $5.66.

"Well, [it was] a little bit of a challenge," said Susan Wilhite, one of the local chefs.

Wilhite came in under budget. "It was 5.55 for three pretty good sized burritos," he said.

The specific amount, $5.66, is designed to reflect the budget, per meal, to feed a family of three on food stamps.

"If you already live on the margin, it doesn't take much to throw your budget out of whack, and you still have kids to feed," said Vicki Metheny, Director of Food Programs for ECHO.

She says ECHO sees more than 3,000 people needing food every month.

"It isn't that they aren't trying, it's that they just can't make ends meet," Metheny said.

The challenge was a tall order for some restaurants.

"Several said 'oh I can't do that,'" Metheny said.

The judges of the cooking competition didn't think they'd be able to do it themselves.

"I doubt it; it would certainly require a change in my habits," said Mayor Tommy Roberts.

In the end, Wilhite, representing Clancy's Cantina, won this hunger game.

"This just takes a little bit of skill and [knowing] how to spend your money wisely," she said.

"Hunger happens all the time; people are hungry all the time," Metheny said. "If we can keep them aware, we believe that people want to help."

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