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Nov 3, 2007 04:24 PM

Recipes for low-income people

I recently visited a friend on disability who, because of all the problems with red tape with HUD and medications had very little money to spend on food. He had lost fifty pounds in the last six months on his starvation diet. Does anyone know of a good recipe book currently in print that would address a balanced diet for people on very limited incomes, including folks like this guy with limited cooking skills? I've sent him beans and rice recipes, but there has to be more for him.

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    1. Off the top of my head I'd suggest the More With Less Cookbook. I really feel for your friend and hope things improve for him.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fern

        I'll second the More With Less Cookbook, I'd also suggest that he look into other social services--fifty pounds in six months might be unhealthy, depending on his starting weight. And since he's not TRYING to lose weight, I'd be a little worried about him.

        Agree with the poster who suggested Meals on Wheels. They will help folks on disability and he'll likely see some variety in his meals.

      2. If he truly has lost a significant amount of weight in the last few months he needs to go to a physician and get checked out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DaisyM

          I agree. First, he should definitely be checked by a doctor to see if illness is responsible for that much weight loss. Wherever he is getting the prescriptions for those medications must have a physician around someplace. Second, does he have a dental problem that is keeping him from eating? Third, is he actually preparing food? Does physical or mental disability keep him from taking care of himself? Is he perhaps too depressed to bother? Fourth, can this disabled person physically get to the store, even if he has money? Fifth, if this person is receiving income maintenance because of disability there should be a social worker somewhere on the horizon. Find him or her and draw a line between the person and the problem as all kinds of relief may be forthcoming. Big drug companies have assistance programs for patients who need their drug and have zero money. BigPharma...well, we could say a lot about them, but generally they don't expect patients to starve to death. Also, consider where the person is living; some kind of rent assistance may be available. In short, this person needs a lot more than recipes. You are kind to care.

        2. Try this:

          It even includes calories per serving and tips for adjusting recipes to taste.

          1. My heart goes out to your friend - what a tough situation. It's not so hard to be thrifty when you have the energy to hunt out cheap ingredients and the time and skills to cook cheap food from scratch (as per rworange's thread on eating well for $3/day: ), but really difficult if you don't. My memories of being poor and in poor health (though, luckily for me, not at the same time) are that time and energy are as scarce as money.

            How about a cookbook for starving-and-poor college students? I don't have a specific one to recommend (I have several, but they're British, all-vegetarian, and out-of-print). But I saw one on Amazon that looks pretty good - less use of expensive convenience foods than some others:

            - College Cuisine by Leila Peltosaari

            This next one seems to be mostly how to jazz up ramen noodles, but ramen packets are cheap, and if your friend is losing weight, the extra calories in ramen shouldn't be a problem.

            - Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? How to Feed Yourself for About $5 a Week by Tony Sakkis

            Best wishes for your friend!