What is the 512 Project?

Welcome to the 512 Project!

We are a family of four. Mom (that would be me) is a part-time Pilates teacher, restaurant assistant manager, and health coach. Dad coaches triathletes and is one himself. Rowan is a Kindergartener so full of life, she’ll knock your socks off. And Baby Simon just turned one and is wildly busy exploring the world.

I don’t know what our monthly food budget was prior to this project. That alone should tell you that it was a lot. We would frequently grab a quick lunch out, Panera Bread, sushi, smoothies. Nothing extravagant, really, but combined with Dave eating restaurant lunches and coffee almost every day, I’m sure it was a lot.

As I move back into Health Coaching as my career, the challenges I hear most people facing are: Time and Money. So I started thinking about what we spend on healthy food and the questions just started rolling into my brain. If we only eat at home, how much difference would that make in our budget? Does everything really need to be organic? Do coupons really help? What do people with far less income spend on food? What about food assistance programs? How much do families who need help have to spend on food? So, I looked up some numbers, which aren’t actually easy to come up with, without going through the actual process of applying for assistance. The Kaiser Family Foundation provides average monthly benefits per person, listed by state. For Virginia, it is $128. That makes $512 for a family of four. And so it was born. The 512 Project.

We are only 12 days into the project, but things are going well so far. As to not appear disingenuous, we are not starting a kitchen from scratch. The kick-off date for the project was October 5. We were at the point in our food supply where I would feel the need to go grocery shopping. BUT, we do have a hearty canned-goods supply in our pantry (which, shh…. don’t tell Dave, but I squirrel away a few cans every week for the food bank drop-off at church.) We also have food in the freezer, which we’ve been using up, too. This project may get much more difficult as we use up those stores, I don’t know. We are learning every day.

Thank you for taking the time to find out about the 512 Project! It is my hope to bring some perspective and help to others by the sharing of this project. 


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