On Potlucks, Tunnel Vision and Scarcity, and Eating in Society

Conclusion of A Social Experiment of One

Today is April 1st and my social experiment of one is over. I skipped blogging last week because I had so many different ideas rolling around in my head I couldn’t settle on one. Still couldn’t decide, so you get a bit of a mish mash today.

My Goal

My goal of doing this experiment was not to prove a person can live on $126 a month on groceries. I knew that going in it could be done. I’ve done it in the past when I was on SNAP and many, many people and families who receive SNAP benefits do it every month. Some more successfully than others.

Nor was my goal to provide tips and tricks and recipes for living on a budget as there are already blogs and websites that address this topic.

My goal was to help give some insight to those who have never had to experience poverty in any form as to what people living in poverty go through to make ends meet. People are in poverty for many reasons. Yes, some of them have made poor life choices. But, most are there due to circumstances that are not in their control. People lose jobs, people get sick, people get abused, people face one tragedy after another and get stuck in a hole they can’t get out of on their own. Most people who receive SNAP benefits only need them temporarily. When we have insight we can move from derision, move from pity and sympathy, and move to empathy and caring.

What saddens me is how often those of us who have are cruel and mean to those who have not. Most of this comes from a lack of understanding – we haven’t been there so we just don’t get it. It’s hard to feel empathetic when we have not experienced the same pain. Some of it comes from fear. In a time when wages have not kept pace with inflation inside we know we are just a couple of paychecks away from poverty ourselves. It’s easy to lash out with pithy sayings, soundbites, and memes on social media. We try and reduce those in poverty to less than human by requiring them to prove how poor they really are by giving up what we consider luxuries. We expect them to give up any signs of affluence; cell phones, tattoos, nice clothing, a car to name a few. All of which could have been bought and paid for before needing assistance. All of which could be gifts from friends and family. But somehow we expect when someone finds themselves in reduced circumstances they should instantly give up these items. We assume if they have these items they can afford to put food on their tables and a roof over their heads with proper budgeting. In reality those living in poverty are probably better at budgeting than financial planners. They have to be good at budgeting because every cent that comes into their lives counts. And some do it better than others. Just like there are those do well at budgeting and those that are poor at budgeting in the haves. The bottom line is we are all people and there are less differences than similarities.


One of the requirements of receiving SNAP benefits is that you, and only you consume the food. No sharing. When I received SNAP benefits my living situation had a communal kitchen. I had to have a plan to keep my food purchased with SNAP benefits separate from the food of the others. I labeled a milk crate with my name.

The Vulcan side of me understands the necessity of this rule. The SNAP benefits are there to assist that person through a difficult time. If those dollars are spent on others there are less dollars to make it through the end of the month.

My human side, the side that lives in community knows that community is most often built in the sharing of food. The People of the Book (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) have a history of sharing food as a way of strengthening community. If someone was a guest at your table they were under your protection. If you travel to the middle east this is still practiced today. It is not uncommon for a stranger to be invited home to share a meal with your family. Other religions and other cultures also use shared meals and food as community builders. What is a harvest festival, a wedding, a celebration, or a holiday without food?

I confess, sometimes I used my food purchased with SNAP benefits as part of a communal meal. Its the whole stone soup story – everybody contributes a little and every one has a fuller meal. Therefore I had no problem in my experiment by spending some of my money on ingredients for carrot cake and attending a potluck to celebrate a friends birthday.

Food as a Part of a Group

The biggest challenge I knew I’d face during this experiment was meeting up with several groups socially. At restaurants.

When I was on SNAP benefits I had a couple ways to cope with these social situations that demanded cash. The first was I’d save up money by forgoing things. Maybe only put $10.00 or $15.00 in my gas tank to get by rather then filling up. Or, pass on buying a coffee or a treat. I was earning $50 a week plus room and partial board for full time work. So, I had some cash coming in. The other way was buying only a coffee or a drink, “Oh, I had a late lunch today,” is a great way to explain why you are only sipping a lemonade and not enjoying a burger and fries.

I admit, during this experiment I caved a couple weeks ago at at knitting night at a local microbrewery. And then caved several more times, because the first cave made the subsequent caves easier. I can give you excuses (I was uncomfortable not spending money at these establishments while meeting there, I have a super long commute and was ravenous – I didn’t want to cook when I got home, I wasn’t feeling well between a cold and an asthma flare up and it was easier to get take out, and so on). But, the bottom line is I caved. No matter how legit my excuse sounded. I could cave because as someone with a decent job I could afford to cave. I didn’t have to worry if that $7 would prevent me from buying shoes for a child, medicine for myself, or enough food for my family. If I was one of the $2.00 a day poor I would not have the option to spend that $7.00 on a burger, fries, and pop without risking a budget upset.

The following night after my first cave I was at a local tap house and coffee shop with another knitting group. One of the women who comes is without a full time job right now. She has a part time job which pays okay as a second job to supplement a full time income. I don’t know if she is on SNAP. What I do know is when she arrived she opened her wallet and had $4.00.  I recognized the challenge. Especially since with my caving the night before the topic was at the forefront of my mind. She was out with friends socially, at a business that depends on the income our group brings in. It’s an unwritten rule of these social groups that meet at eateries and pubs – we’re taking up space therefore it is expected you buy something. There are some who would say she shouldn’t have come if she couldn’t afford it, but community is vital to mental well-being and a lot of community is built over food and drink. I knew that $4.00 would not buy her a tasty beverage, she would need at least $5.00.  I also knew the coffee and tea drinks are suggested donations as this establishment is a non-profit. She could offer to pay less and she would still be served. But, I knew she wouldn’t take this option. I said, “Hey, let me buy you a tea.” The friend next to me who routinely buys for folks in the group said, “My tab is still open. Just give them my name.” She came back with a bottled fruit juice. It’s what she could afford with $4.00 and not feel obligated to myself, our mutual friend, or whoever rang up her purchase. Did she get the hot tasty beverage she wanted? No. Did she maintain her dignity. Yes. And when you are going through a tough time dignity and saving face is so important.

Which brings me to another resource for you.  A resource than can help you understand more what it means to be in poverty, in America. The book $2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. This was the Reads book for my local library. The authors follow real people in poverty and the very real struggles they face and how they manage. The first chapter is an introduction covering the history of food stamps, cash welfare, and what is now SNAP. It also begins introducing you to the people interviewed. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 address issues in different metropolitan areas of the country. Chapter 5 was the hardest chapter for me to read. Chapter 5 covered the rural poor in the Mississippi delta. Following chapter five is the afterword pulling everything together. It’s not a large book. Buy it, check it out of the library, borrow it from a friend. It’s a book worth reading.

Tunnel Vision and Scarcity

I’m a podcast addict. One of my favorite podcasts is Hidden Brain hosted by Shankar Vedantam. The March 20 episode 65 was Tunnel Vision:

“When you’re hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you’re desperately poor, you may constantly worry about making ends meet. When you’re lonely, you might obsess about making friends. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore the psychological phenomenon of scarcity and how it can affect our ability to see the big picture and cope with problems in our lives.”

It’s just under 37 minutes and worth the listen.

Final Thoughts

Yes, you can eat on $126.00 a month. What it takes is:

  • Planning, the ability to look ahead
    • listen to the Hidden Brain podcast above to understand why this can be difficult, even for the best planners
  • Cooking skills
    • I’m not taking about chef level cooking, I’m talking about basic skills that not everybody has nowadays
    • If I had had to rely on boxed food sources I would not have stayed in budget
    • Shopping the perimeter of the store and cooking from scratch is less expensive in the long run
      • The couple bunches of spinach I bought, for example. The leaves I used in salads and sandwiches. But, by planning ahead the stems and wilty leaves are currently residing in a gallon plastic freezer bag with other peelings and raw veggie scraps in my freezer – they’ll be used to make a rich vegetable broth
      • The corned beef and cabbage I splurged on? I got a bazzillion meals out of it and the recipe I used creates a rich broth. It’s in my freezer for the next time I make a recipe that calls for beef broth. Corned beef and cabbage recipe can be found here – recipe. I made it in my Instant Pot and it was amazing
  • Eating Simply
    • It becomes harder to stay on budget if you have to cater to allergies or special dietary needs. Gluten free or dairy free for example
    • It becomes harder to stay on budget if you are catering to any number of healthy eating and diet plans aside from eat less and exercise more
    • It can be done on a vegetarian diet. You may have to limit tempeh and spendier protein options, but there is an amazing variety of recipes involving lentils, beans and eggs. Most of my meals were vegetarian, I don’t know if I could have done vegan and stayed on budget as I have never been a vegan and don’t know what it would take meal-wise to avoid all animal products
  • Having a nearby grocery store
    • Living in what has been termed a food desert is hard.
      • You have to travel a distance for fresh food
        • this is easier if you have a car
        • this is not so easy if you depend on public transportation
  • Having a car
    • You can drive to where fresh food can be found
    • You can visit several stores to get the best price on different food items

Did I stay in budget? Yes, with over $16.00 to spare. Part of the reason I still have $16.00 is because I didn’t go grocery shopping this week so I made due with what I had. I hate grocery shopping and usually put it off too long.

Food Budget Food Diary – SEO

What am I doing with that $16.00? Buying food for a local food bank. They collect food year around, not just during the holidays.


Dollars and Cents

A Social Experiment for One Continued

As you look at my food budget so far, it doesn’t look so bad. In the first 11 days I have spent only $32.62 and have $93.38 remaining. But, click on my food budget to take a closer look.

Food Budget

What don’t you see? You don’t see any meat. Meat can be expensive, and because I’ve been living out of my pantry and fridge for now I haven’t had to buy any. I’ll be going to the store tonight and I have a decision to make. This week is St. Patrick’s Day, which means I really want to make a corned beef brisket with cabbage. I’ve been pricing them at Krogers – currently they are $4.49 a pound which prices a brisket at between $17.00 and $27.00. Granted, I can get a lot of meals out of a brisket for one person. But, will it crunch my budget too much before the end of the month? Will I get sick of corned beef before it’s gone? Do I have freezer space for the extras? If I buy meat should I maybe buy lunch meat or hamburger instead? What will I have to give up – fresh fruits and vegetables? Basic pantry items? Will I have to give up anything?

Something else I need to consider. The recipe I want to use calls for allspice berries. I know I don’t have any. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen them at Krogers. If Krogers has them, how much will they cost? Not a lot of recipes call for this spice – at least not in it’s berry form. Will I only use them this time? A quick google search prices them from $5.00-$10.00. Is it worth spending 3% – 7% of my budget on a spice I may only use once a year?Another search reveals one of my favorite places to find hard to find spices has them at $3.99.

And this brings to light, again, why I truly have an advantage over those in extreme poverty. I have a car with a full gas tank. I have the luxury of driving miles out of my way to buy one jar of spice. I have the privilege of going to several stores if necessary and searching out the best prices. If I had to walk or bus it this would not really be an option and I would have to do without.

With all the ingredients I would need and assuming I find a brisket closer to $17.00 than $27.00 the cost for this dish will be between $26.00 and $30.00, not including the allspice berries.If you were me, what would you do? Bite the budget bullet mid-month and risk running short by the end of the month?  Play it safe and pick up lunch meat or hamburger instead? Play it safer and skip buying meat all together?

Door Knocker Dinners

A Social Experiment for One Continued

Years ago on the Food Network was a show called Door Knocker Dinners. The gist was Gordon Elliot would show up at your door unannounced with a chef in tow. The chef’s challenge was to make a multi-course dinner for you and your family using only what could be found in your fridge and pantry. Every so often I have to resort to this technique. Maybe I forgot to defrost something, maybe I didn’t have a chance to go to the store, maybe because I had been eating Pasta E Fagioli leftovers for so long I didn’t realize I had eaten all of it. So, I had a couple interesting meals this week. The disappointing one was the wilted spinach salad with leftover turkey. Nutritious? Yes. Delicious? No. The turkey had been in the freezer so long it was dry. And, I’m not a big fan of turkey in the first place. Which is why it had been in the freezer so long. But, when you’re watching your food budget you don’t have the luxury of feeding failed cooking experiments to the dog.

Speaking of cooking and eating.

I’ve been working out the best way to post my food diary. I don’t want to distract from the goal of this series – to document what it takes for a person to eat healthy on only $126 a month. But, you my readers need to know what I am actually eating and spending. Also, healthy can mean different things to different people. Vegetarian? Omnivorian? Gluten free? Organic? Farm to table? GMO free? Only $126 a month rules out some of these options. Living in a food desert will rule out most of these options. For the sake of this experiment I am going to define healthy as food that is processed as little as possible and includes food from all of the food groups: grain, dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables. Meals should have variety and be pleasurable to eat even if they are not extravagant.  Whenever I post my food diary I will be keeping it as minimalist as possible; no name brands, for the most part ingredient lists rather than recipes. There are a lot of great sources for money saving recipes other than this blog. If I have a recipe I really like and have a link to it (such as Pasta e Fagioli) I will post it. My grocery receipts I am editing out personal items and other items that would not be covered by SNAP benefits (toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc.). I will not be editing out any food stuffs. I want to be transparent as possible in regards to food purchases and consumption.

We’re almost two weeks into this experiment (11 days to be exact). The biggest challenge I have had so far is with my long commute in the evening it is tempting to stop and get drive through – especially on late nights with errands to run. Some evenings I haven’t been able to begin meal prep until 7:30 at night. Being tempted and giving into temptation are two separate things. So far, so good. Click on the link for my food diary.

Food Diary – SEO



How to Eat an Apple

A Social Experiment of One Continued

I took my first grocery shopping trip this past Thursday. I was low on milk so I decided to stop at Krogers on the way home from work. As the best budget shoppers know you should shop with a list and here’s the key – stick to it. My list was: milk, salad greens, coffee, and easy to pack produce for lunches and snacks. Before entering the store I took a minute and mentally walked through what I already had at home making sure I had not forgotten anything. Nope. List complete.

First stop was milk. I prefer whole milk because it tastes better. I prefer Calder’s milk because it’s right from the farm and always tastes great. You can even get it it non-homogenized. Which means I can skim the cream off the top for my coffee. It’s also more expensive than the ultra-pasteurized mass-produced store brand. It was a no-brainer, I bought the Kroger brand. It is milk and provides nutrition at a much lower price – and it was on sale for 20 cents off the half gallon.

On to produce. The first stop for me in produce is the rack with sale produce. This is produce that is starting to age, the appearance isn’t perfect, or is bruised. At Krogers bags of this produce are 99 cents, and bananas on this rack are only 45 cents a pound. Whether or not I’m on a budget this is always my first stop. You can get some great deals here. I scored! I picked up a bag of 4 plums and a bag of 4 red apples at 99 cents each

My favorite leafy green for salad is spinach. I’m especially partial to the baby spinach. Bagged greens are convenient, but priced more than just buying fresh. The bagged greens were on sale, but still more than buying a bunch of grown up spinach (as opposed to the small tender leaves of baby spinach) at $1.99 a pound. I opted for the bunch of spinach. I can get 2-3 salads out of it and even use some leaves on sandwiches.

The last stop was coffee. This is the only foray down an aisle this trip. My favorite brand is Peet’s. So, I bought Peet’s. It’s usually $8.99 a bag, today it was on sale for $7.69. As you gasp at this extravagance I’m saving a fortune by not swinging by the the local coffee stand on the way to work. $9 will only get me two specialty coffees at he stand. $9 (actually $7.69) for Peet’s will get me lots and lots of specialty coffees made to perfection before I even leave the house.

Which circle back to whole milk – it makes the best foamed milk for cafe a lait, flat whites, or cappuccinos.

Total spent: $12.57

How to Eat an Apple

On the way home I ate an apple. Here’s how i ate it. I pulled the stem off and began eating at the bottom of the apple. I ate it core, seeds, and all. It was delicious and no waste. I have always eaten apples this way according to my mom.

Do you want fries with that?

A Social Experiment of One continued

Yesterday was day one of my $126 a month grocery budget. As anticipated for the most part it was easy. I spent $0.00 on food. I ate three healthy meals out of my pantry and resisted the urge to swing through a coffee stand on my way to work.

On the way home from work I was given a couple topics to mull over. I’m asthmatic and between a small cold from a couple weeks ago and the wild swings in weather (60 degrees yesterday and negative 15 degrees windchill today, for example) my asthma, normally under control, had been flaring up. Not too bad for the most part, but yesterday I was miserable. Go to Urgent Care miserable.

The first topic it brought to mind was unrelated to a grocery budget, but related to living in poverty. It was irritating, but not financially devastating, to pay $110 to see the nurse practitioner and receive a nebulizer treatment. The $12 for a prescription was no big either. This was a reminder, though, I have advantages over a SNAP recipient. I have discretionary income. One of the people featured in the book $2.00 a Day:Living on Almost Nothing in America is an asthmatic. She was getting back on her feet through a temporary housing subsidy and having found a job at a cleaning service in Chicago. Everything was looking up for her and her children until the cleaning company switched from cleaning offices after hours to cleaning foreclosed homes that had been abandoned. These homes often had been damaged by vandals, had no water source, and no electricity. She was cleaning these homes in the dead of a Chicago winter. Chicago winters are brutally cold. Like me, her asthma was triggered by her conditions. Unlike me she was unable to seek help. She began missing days of work with no sick leave, and when she returned to work her hours were cut as punishment. Eventually she had moved from a 30+ hour a week job to a 5 hour a week job. She couldn’t casually swing by a local Urgent Care on her way home from work. Her minimum wage job barely covered her and her family’s expenses.

The second topic brought to mind was something I had mentioned in yesterday’s post. I don’t have the stress of knowing when my SNAP money for the month is spent that’s it. I have the ability to supplement with my income. Stopping by Urgent Care made it a late evening for me. I have a long commute in the evening and did not complete my Urgent Care Visit and prescription pickup until after 7:30. I normally would swing through a drive through or Kroger’s Deli to grab a quick meal. Neither of which is covered by SNAP. And, if it was that would be $6-$8 out of my $126 for the month. My dog, of course, prefers the drive through as I share my french fries with him. But, I resisted temptation. And though I have no way to communicate this with him he will not be getting fries with that, at least not through this month.

A Social Experiment of One

Technically this is not truly an experiment. A social scientific experiment starts with a hypothesis, has a large sampling, includes a control group, and can be replicated by other social scientists with similar results.

Those of you who know me in person know that I have a heart for those outside of mainstream society. Who for whatever reason are living on the outskirts and impoverished. I am less concerned with what brought them to the situation they are in now, but what can be done to help them.

My local library system is promoting the book $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. It’s this year’s Ypsilanti Reads pick. This book has struck a cord with me. I have at a couple points in my life been in poverty, though never in the extreme poverty this book highlights.

One of the points discussed in chapter one is SNAP benefits (what we think of as food stamps). SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The average SNAP recipient receives $126 a month in benefits. Keep in mind this is an average – that means there are folks who receive more than this and some who receive less. Your income plays a role in exactly how much you qualify for. My social experiment of one investigates how a person can feed themselves three healthy meals a day on this amount.

SNAP benefits can only be used for the purchase of groceries. No alcohol,no tobacco products, no prepared food, no non-food products. Some of the things that cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits: diapers, rotisserie chicken, fast food, a sandwich from the deli section of the grocery, feminine products, cigarettes, beer, etc. You receive a debit card that is reloaded by the state each month. It is your responsibility to report any income change. A higher income means lower SNAP benefits, a lower income means higher SNAP benefits. Failure to report an income change can result in an accusation of fraud and loss of benefits.Some farmer’s markets now accept SNAP benefits in an effort to make healthy, fresh food available to recipients.There is a movement to exclude sugary foods in an effort to promote healthy eating – things like pop and candy.

A couple weeks ago I posted a series of questions on this topic on Facebook in an effort to bring awareness to my circle of friends. My initial question, “If you had $126 a month for groceries, what would you buy?” received answers ranging from one’s favorite food or beverage (coffee and cotton candy were a couple of the items mentioned) to advice on how to shop (shop the perimeter of the store where the raw ingredients are found) to books on how to live frugally. My second question, “How do you think I arrived at the $126 for my question,” generated answers ranging from it was my grocery budget to the correct answer of $126 is the average SNAP benefit. One friend posed the question, “What do you spend on average for groceries shopping the perimeter of the store?” I didn’t have an answer for her, though I had already been asking myself the same question. As I am not currently living in poverty I don’t keep close tabs on my food spending habits. I know I spend between $20 and $40 whenever I stop at the local Krogers. My experiment was born.Starting today, March 1st I will be sticking to a $126 monthly grocery budget. Originally I planned on doing the experiment for only a month. I may extend it to two months. We’ll see what happens.

A couple advantages I have over the typical SNAP recipient. I have a job that is not entry level and even though I’m giving myself a $126 budget, I don’t have the emotional stress of knowing that’s all I have. I can “cheat” at any time. That is one of the reasons I have decided to blog – knowing others are following what I am doing will keep me accountable. Secondly, I’ve been on SNAP before and know from experience what it takes to make those dollars last the month. Related, I have always been good at budgeting. This is a skill that has to be learned. I had a good example from my parents and being an avid reader I researched how to manage my money. This is a privilege that comes from having a good education and a solid background. Many SNAP recipients do not have this advantage. I can cook from scratch; everything from the most basic food to gourmet recipes. As such I keep a pantry stocked in the basics. This, too, is an advantage over someone who may struggle with housing on top of feeding ones self. If you are couch surfing or moving often you cannot stock up for a rainy day. I also do not live in a food desert. Krogers is a mile and a half from my home. I could walk there if I didn’t have a car. Which leads me to my last advantage. I have a car and the means to get to where I can buy food.

I thought about not allowing myself to pull from my larder, but decided against it. One reason is space – I do not need to double up on what I already have. My tiny kitchen could not take the added inventory. The second reason is I don’t believe in wasting food – if I buy a second of something – like  a jar of spice – I will need to toss at some point what I wasn’t able to consume. Yes, spices have shelf lives. What I did do is not go shopping for the last week. My perishables are consumed, mostly consumed, or expiring.

Starting today, the day after Fat Tuesday, I am living on $126 a month. This first week will be easy peasy as I have the above mentioned pantry and leftovers.I won’t be blogging every day as that will get boring to you, my readers. But, I will be blogging at least once a week.

My Next Grand Adventure

I have found the best way to look at life’s obstacles is to view them as adventures. I have also found my faith in God a reassurance beyond all measure that things will always work out for the best.

A few of you know this, and now the rest of you will, that I lost a job I absolutely loved right before Christmas. I waited until after the holidays to let most folks know simply because I didn’t want to bring others down during this festive time of the year.

What have I accomplished over the last couple weeks of joblessness? I’ve updated my resume, posted it on job search websites, applied for unemployment, and have applied for several jobs. This unexpected time off gave me lots of time to knit – presents finished for Christmas on time, miracle of miracles.

Oh yeah, and I started a charity with the help of several friends who boosted my original Facebook post.

A friend of mine from childhood – we met in a local Pioneer Girls Group many years ago – wanted to teach her daughters the value of giving to others. Several years ago they began preparing gift bags for the men of the Detroit Rescue Mission to be given out Christmas Eve. The bags include toiletries, socks, gloves and other goodies like candy. Every year they up their goal of how many to put together. 2015’s goal was 200 and was met. How did they meet this goal? Through a network of friends across the U.S. who donate all of the necessary items. Community in action.

In 2015 I volunteered to knit as many pairs of mittens as I could. I got a late start and was only able to donate six pairs. My goal for 2016 is to have a pair for all 200 gift bags. This is more than one knitter can knit in a year unless he/she has unlimited time. So I posted on Facebook:

A story problem for my local crafty friends.

If 17 pairs of mittens a month = 204 pairs of mittens a year. How many     crafters committed to:

One pair of mittens a month would it take to complete all 204 pairs?

One pair of mittens every two months?

Every three months?

And any combination of commitments.

Mittens can be knitted, crocheted, sewn, felted and so on.

Wanna play along?

I’d love to get a group together and I’d love to be able to take 200 pairs of handmade mittens to XXXXXXXXX for the Detroit Rescue Mission next year.

A non-knitting friend boosted my post to several of her knitting friends who boosted the post further. So, between my friends, her friends, and their friends we have over a dozen knitters and crocheters volunteering. How exciting is that? Eventually I would like the group to expand to enough crafters that we can provide warm knitted/crocheted/sewn/felted goods to additional charities in cold weather climates.

So, Mittens for Cold Hands was started. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. It takes a community.

Mittens for Cold Hands Facebook Group