You get 3 meals a day at the shelter. Breakfast is served at 7am. lunch is at noon and dinner is at 5pm. Even though your being served food, your always left feeling hungry. Breakfast usually consistes of boiled eggs every morning, that when there are left overs the kitchen staff leaves them in bowl on the little table by the serving counter, so when the kitchen re opens up at 10am you can snack on some boiled eggs, while watching tv. Theres usually French toast, pancakes, waffles, turkey bacon or sausage, grits, ferena, and or oatmeal. The condiments are on a table by the seating area.
Lunch is the least biggest portion of food your going to get during the day. Only after every body has eaten, can you get seconds, and it depends on what the have served. You can get seconds of the fish sticks, or Jamaican beef patties. Not hamburgers and french fries. They also serve chicken franks, tuna, and grilled cheese. Theres crystal light juice in gallon jugs and cups on the table by the seating area at lunch and dinner.
Dinner usually consists of chicken and rice as a second option, the mane course is usually liver and onions, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, or rice an baked chicken. Sometimes there’s pasta and meat balls, turkey wings and rice, rice and beans and baked chicken, or hamburger helper. It one scoop of hamburger helper and vegetables if you so choose to have the soggy vegetables.
Most of the time the tables are already picked out, you just leave your belongings on the seat and join the line for dinner. Lunch is different. Theres not alot of woman at lunch time because a quarter of the woman are at work.
Everyone complains that they are still hungry after lunch or dinner. That usually around 1 or 2 pm woman have resorted to gettin food at the local restaurants, and spending money on a meal can run you about $15 dollars. We have a jimbos which serves breakfast all day, when I had gotten my first SSI check in the mail and cashed it at the local checking place, I had taken Yvonne out to eat. Im used to going out for brunch with my daughter, I was feeling stir crazy, that I spent $55 plus a $5 dollar tip at jimbos. I had banana pancakes and bacon. It was so expensive because they charge per order, so if you want just pancakes you get just pancakes bacon is extra. We had milk shakes, and Yvonne had ordered a side order of fried chicken which she took out in a doggy bag.
Alot of the woman get Spanish food from a very good restaurant on burnside. Pulled pork, rice and red beans costs about $15 dollars. Alot of the woman resort to spending money on outside food because your left feeling hungry after lunch. The cafeteria closes at 8pm. Some of the woman will go to the deli on the hill and a burger and fries on their EBT card and eat a second dinner.
Im always hungry after dinner. Its not enough food. The fact that you can’t get seconds is annoying as hell because its little pieces of chicken and massive amounts of rice. There are are a few woman who get SSD and SSI and support their food, and eat out everyday, like Dawn did, she was a woman in my dorm who recently moved out into her own studio apartment in the bronx. She was a grandmother at 55 years old and was recieveing SSD and SSI. She would would use her SSD to buy breakfast lunch and dinner. She had a bedpass so she wasn’t out of the dorm before 11am. She would get a buttered roll and a cup of coffee every morning, and for dinner she would go to a local restaurant with Anna her dorm mate who also moved out into her own apartment.
Its the same dinner every night basically though. Theres always two choices on the menu, one being chicken and rice. Sometimes there’s barbecued chicken which I enjoy.
But Im thankful to have 3 meals a day, because when I was living on the street, I didn’t know when I was going to eat again. I had resorted to stealing tuna packets and candy bars from rite aid and Duane Reade that when I couldn’t steal food strangers where donating a meal to me. Someone had given me macaroni and cheese, and chicken Parmesan. I had made a friend who would buy me a cup of coffee and a butter roll, when I would sit in the time equities building. I was able to get one of the vendors to give me coffee and a butter roll when ever I saw him. But food was scares. A woman I met named Kat who worked the local salon in trump hotel had once given me $10 and some new port cigarettes. I was sitting in star bucks, before they had asked me to leave because I was loitering.
I can’t help but think about what happens to having 3 meals a day if and when I do leave the shelter. Im going to have to open and keep open a snap case so I can eat. I don’t complain about feeling hungry to anyone, most of the time I just lay in my bed after dinner time before I had my phone and my tablet. I would listen to the music playing and the conversations going on in the dorm until bed check. My dorm is pretty quiet to be honest. Most of the woman have streaming programs on their phones.
The food is cooked well, but they don’t use salt when preparing the food. Just natural spices. But you always want seconds and can’t get any. There are 4 chefs in the kitchen. Jacky, ,Mr. Henry are the main servers. Noel and Fatu are on rotation with Jacky and Mr. Henry through the week.
On the weekends for breakfast there’s bagels and cream cheese. Raisin and poppy seed bagels. Sometimes the cream cheese runs out, and you have to eat it plain. Theres always coffee in the morning but you have to get up and get into the cafetria early to be able to get a cup of coffee. Ruby is always on time for breakfast. She gets up at 4am, she is outside smoking a cigarette by 6am when we are allowed to leave the building. She always eats breakfast, then has breakfast at sea mark pros as well.
The day is clouded with the cafetria and something to eat. The day is surrounded by breakfast lunch and dinner. Most of the time spent is in the cafetria, and getting a table to sit down at.
Im always able to get a table, and “T” comes to join me. We talk about her new iPhone and what she’s going to do with her money once she get paid from SSI. She get $781 a month and blows though her money. I don’t know who her case manager is, but she doesnt have a savings, and she spends money eating out,buying liquor, and gettin he hair braided. I took her to Metro PCS to get a phone, but in two months she switched from a Samsung phone to an iPhone. She used to be in my dorm until she got into a fight with Norma who is afraid of her now, over “T” playing music too loud. She gave Norma a black eye when she slapped her in the face. “T” was moved out of the dorm.
I miss a home cooked meal though. I miss my mothers curry chicken, or salmon cakes and speghetti. I miss having a kitchen to cook in. You can’t use the kitchen in the shelter. Im thankful but sick of eating off plastic trays and having little tiny cups of juice with my meal. I want some normalcy but I lost that. I live in a DHS mica shelter. You get what you get. There are are no seconds, there’s no dessert like cake or pie. Theres no ice cream after dinner. If you buy ice cream your eating the whole pint at the table. Theres a table for you to save your food if its too much so you can eat it later by the door of the cafeteria. Its not home. Everything is temporary. You could be transferred to another shelter or dorm room for no reason.
Im always hungry during the day but Im afraid to run out of food stamps so I conserve it even with buying cigarettes on EBT. Theres always a problem with my case, which Im having a problem now. I never got an appointment in the mail to go to We care, and I am still getting my snap benefits. I got a letter in the mail stating I would be cut off by July. When I reopend my case the case manager said We care was backed up in appointments, that I would get an appointment in the mail. This was during the 3 month hiatus form SSA. Now Im receiving my benefits from SSA, and we are in quarantine. All the government offices are closed, and I don’t know how they are going to reconfigure my case with me receiving SSI. HRA is for full benefits. I just have to let the system work itself out, there nothing I can do being in quarintine.
I hate going to bed on an empty stomach, but my home cooked meals are now that of Susans place. Abdul offered for me to use his kitchen so I could cook a home cooked meal. But I have yet to make it to his apartment. I don’t want to get lost. He offered to pay for the cab from the shelter to his apartment building anytime I wanted to make a visit to go see him.
Im not missing my 3 meals a day for anybody. I usually have 2 meals a day, when I don’t miss breakfast I have started liking grits which I never used to eat before. I put sugar in them. During the day there used to be packets of snake coffee and sugar out in the kitchen but DHS made the kitchen staff stop. We can now only have water and sometimes juice.
Sometimes I buy a BLT and a peach Snapple ice tea from the deli on the hill for lunch and still eat lunch too. What am I going to do once I leave the shelter. Im going to have to wait 45 days for my snap benefits to kick in. Its not anything I have to worry about right now. Im a client of Susans place.