01-03-2012 10:26 PM
I was diagnosed with type 2 in July. If I eat well enough, take my meds exercise and eat a high protein small bedtime snack my numbers are ok. It’s been a bit of an adjustment and sometimes I get frustrated, but I do ok enough. I also work in healthcare and often sit with low income patients who are diabetic who tell me that they can only afford to “shop” for food at the local food pantries. We have great dietitians, but I been in the room when they try to work with these patients and their training doesn’t seem to cover helping the poor. I heard one tell a patient with no money, no food stamps, and no car, “You can go to xxxx and get your meat they have good sales.” She honestly didn’t seem to comprehend that the patient just couldn’t jump in the car and run out for cheap meat. Patients with such limited means have increased in numbers as the economy has failed to improve.
Getting beans from the food pantry seem to be a no brainer from the food pantry, but patients tell me that they are limited to one bag a week.
Anyone here know of a good resource for helping folks maintain a diabetic diet if they are limited to getting food from a food pantry?
01-04-2012 02:31 AM
G'day and welcome.
I'm in the wrong country to offer advice; your compatriots will be along soon.
I just wanted to say hi and let you know your post was read.
01-04-2012 12:30 PM
Just a couple quick comments. First, where are you, as this can make a huge difference in availability, as respects both food and resources.
Secondly, do not these people hafve any kind of case management, or are they essentially falling through the cracks? Perhaps, someone on this board could come up with some meal ideas, based on the info. you gave. But really it seems to me that part of the solution would be for someone, perhaps a dietician, to come up with a meal plan(s) based on what is actually available. It would be a challange in my view.
01-04-2012 12:37 PM
You've hit on a real problem, with no simple answers.
Obviously, a food shelf needs some rules and guidelines to keep some clients from simply cherry-picking the "best" stuff and leaving others with the least popular stuff. Still it seems like, as a matter of fairness, and in accord with the aims of the Americans with Disabilities Act, people who really need special diets for medical reasons should be able to have modified rules that fit their situation. Maybe you don't feel like you want to take on a major campaign, but maybe somebody needs to do that.
I wonder if a small-town food shelf is more likely to be able to bend the rules than a major urban organization. I wonder who makes the rules in either place and what it might take to amend them to be more flexible for some people. I wonder if major health organizations, like the Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association have ever thought about getting involving in helping to set up guidelines to help people with special dietary needs get a more suitable diet from charitable organizations.
But let's get back to what can be done on a smaller scale. Can you picture a local food shelf hosting a tour of their facilities for local dieticians and educators, so they can see for themselves that their patients have to work with, and what restrictions there are? Could there be some kind of discussion about adaptations as a part of that visit?
Then we get down to the daily challenge of trying to find adaptations for the foods that are available, like draining the syrup from canned fruit, or cooking the oatmeal for only a minute instead of three, to make carbs available more slowly, or ... well, part of the problem is that I don't know what commodities are available. These are not easy answers, and each one may have only a small impact, but together, they can add up. I'd be curious to hear what kinds of ideas other members here may have.
01-04-2012 02:46 PM
Just wanted to throw this in as we've been in the situation to have to use a food pantry a few times way back when.
Alot of the ideas people have of food banks are : it's like a huge warehouse, you go through, pick what you want and go. *not at any we've used and we've used a few in 2 states when times were desperate*
People who use a food pantry/bank usually have no idea what they are receiving until after they receive the bag/box of items. We've always had the goods already packed, bagged or boxed for us when we got there and they would just load it in the car trunk and we went home to unload and see what it contained. As there were long lines most of the time, you can't sit there and go through it and see if you can exchange something. The packages were pre-packed, with each one getting the same items, so the facility can hand them over quickly and go on to the next person. Very rarely were we seeing anything we could pick and choose from unless they had fresh fruit or vegetables some store had discarded but were still in edible condition or someone had grown and brought in. Oh.. and the piles of bread, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. past the store dates they gave out! Carbs, carbs CARBS!! And the bags and bags of noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, and other pastas we found in the bags/boxes! I think the best foods we had got back then were when they gave out the old suplus government food. Then we got cheese, peanut butter, butter, dry milk sometimes, canned meat (beef or pork) some canned veges - green beans mostly, and at times canned orange juice. But they don't hand those out any more in the programs I don't believe. It's the hardest thing to eat low carb when your very poor. When the easiest thing to afford is a package of Ramen noodles for $0.20 for a meal. (BTDT, *thanks God for my job now*) But more and more people are being thrown into that catagory of income level.
01-05-2012 02:36 AM
I don't know if this will help anybody, but sometimes when I go to Fresh Market late at night, the deli will give you their leftover ham, salmon, chicken, pork loin, or whatever they are going to have to throw away right before closing. Other times, they will mark it down to sell at a discount. Sometimes, however, they don't. Probably depends on the clerk behind the counter. So, it's hit and miss. But, just ask, and ye *might* receive.
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
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