Ready to take the Texas Food Stamps Challenge?
October 21, 2010 § 1 Comment
Millions of Texans rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps – one in seven as a matter of fact. The Texas Food Bank Network and Capital Area Food Bank challenge you to eat only using the ‘food stamps diet’ next week from October 25 – 29. But there’s a twist. For the first three days, you can spend only $4.50 per day, the current daily average allotment. For the last two days, you will be challenged to spend only $3.70 per day in order to demonstrate the average effect of the proposed cuts.
My family of three will take this challenge. We’re not trying to emulate the lives of SNAP recipients. Everyone has a different story, and how can we possibly understand the circumstances of the 3.6 million Texans who receive SNAP benefits, with more than half being children? I do want to gain some understanding of what families living at, or just above the federal poverty level face, when making grocery shopping decisions.
Here’s what my family will do for five days – so $20.90 each for the three of us:
- On Sunday, we’re going to put away the food we currently have and shop for the week, adhering to the daily SNAP allotment of $4.50 per person for three days and $3.70 per person for the last two days.
- We’re not going to use spices.
- We’re not going to consume free food or drinks. So for example, I’m not going to drink office coffee.
Will you join me in this challenge? Will you try to understand some of difficult decisions your neighbors in need have to make in feeding their families? SNAP recipients are children, families, older adults – all of us. Everyone is different, but we’re the same too.
Every one of us needs food. It’s not just a physical reality. It’s our right.
Can’t participate in the challenge?
Take the virtual challenge by filling your virtual shopping cart with food you may need for the 5-day challenge. It may be harder than you think.