Why participate? The SNAP Challenge gives participants a view of the struggle to obtain adequate food that is faced by millions of low-income Americans. By living on the average food stamp benefit, Challenge participants find themselves forced to make food shopping choices on a limited budget, and learn how difficult it is to avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy without adequate resources. While living on a food stamp budget for just a week cannot come close to the struggles encountered by low income families week after week and month after month, it does provide those who take the Challenge with a new perspective and greater understanding of what it is like to live on a limited budget. It is a rare opportunity to walk in someone else's shoes.
To date, hundreds of people have accepted the challenge and educated themselves and their communities about the SNAP program. They have bolstered the public's understanding of the program and helped create new anti-hunger advocates. As a food blogger, my intent is to develop nutritious menus and recipes within the allotted budget and to share the results of the process with you. Come the 1st of January I'll be posting about the process every day. If you'd like to join in, I can set up some type of link process so my readers can also see what you are doing. There are some guidelines and I'm posting them tonight because they will require a bit foresight and advance planning.
1) Each person should spend a set amount for food and beverages during the Challenge week based on Federal guidelines.
2) All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week, including fast food and dining out, must be included in the total spending.
3) During the Challenge, only eat food that you purchase for the project. Do not eat food that you already own (this does not include spices and condiments).
4) Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or at work, including at receptions, briefings, or other events where food is served.
5) Keep track of receipts on food spending and take note of your experiences throughout the week.
6) Invite others to join you, including co-workers, reporters, chefs, or other elected officials.