Eating a nutritious meal often proves to be a huge undertaking for millions of Americans, especially those with an average monthly food stamp budget of just $126.
A pathway to a healthy lifestyle, however, may lie in an online cookbook that took social media by storm and inspired a Kickstarter campaign that has generated $145,000 in donations.
The book, touted as Good and Cheap, shows readers how to prepare healthy food on a budget of just $4 per day. Chock-full of colorful, vibrant images, Good and Cheap features meals that anyone can chef up using a host of cheap, natural ingredients including garlic, canned vegetables, dried beans, and butter.
In an interview with NPR, Good and Cheap author Leanne Brown said the book allows flexibility in meal preparation, especially since food prices fluctuate during seasonal changes.
“It really bothered me,” said Brown. “The [millions of] people on food stamps — and that’s a big chunk of the population — don’t have the same choices everyone else does.”
Kickstarter’s #1 Book Ever
Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for tight budgets. It’s free online—and the print version was Kickstarter’s #1 cookbook ever.
You can already download a PDF version for free on her website. Thanks to the support of a bunch of awesome strangers on social media, and elsewhere, it’s been amazingly popular — over 200,000 people have downloaded the draft version!
Brown wants to take it to the next level-
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“I want your help to fund printed copies so that we can get Good and Cheap into the hands of people who don’t have computers or who wouldn’t otherwise see it. The expensive part of printing books is the initial set-up; the cost of each additional copy is fairly low. The more books you buy, the more I can donate or sell at a massive discount to organizations that support low-income families on SNAP (the modern name for Food Stamps).”
Because printed books cost money, a scheme was born: $25 buys one copy for you and a second copy will be donated to someone who needs it. Here’s Brown’s scheme-
“I want this book to be as accessible as possible. That’s why I’ve made it free online, and nearly 200,000 downloads to date proves there is both a willing audience and a need.
My dream is that everyone who could benefit from this book would be able to get a copy, at whatever price they can afford. For many, that means keeping it free — even in printed form.
Once I reach my goal, I’ll approach organizations to figure out who to entrust with getting these books into the hands of low-income families and individuals. I hope to be able to work with a variety of organizations for the greatest reach.”