Sunday, September 22, 2013

Snap Challenge


Many of you might already know what the SNAP challenge is. For those of you who don't, don't feel bad, I wouldn't if I weren't an avid Yahoo Shine article reader. A couple months ago I came across an article titled "SNAP Food Challenge: 1 family $16 per day", I was intrigued. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, I do feel the need to point out the supplemental part when explaining challenge.

You can find the SNAP challenge here:

The challenge rules are as follows:

  1. Choose the duration of your SNAP Challenge, any day or week (or longer!) is great for the SNAP Challenge.
  2. Your food budget for the week or day of your Challenge will be based on the average SNAP benefit, which is $4.50 per person per day– for ALL your food and beverages. You can use coupons while taking the Challenge but should not shop at membership clubs.
  3. Using your Challenge budget, decide on groceries to purchase and how much to put aside for food incidentals. Be aware of ALL food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week/day.
  4. During the Challenge, do not eat food that you purchased prior to starting the challenge.
  5. Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or while at work.
  6. Keep track of receipts on food spending and take note of your experiences throughout the week, in particular the choices you made between the variety and quality of food you ate.
  7. Invite others to join you, including your co-workers, family members, and elected officials.
  8. Share your SNAP Challenge through social media and by blogging about your experience

I disagree with the rules here for a few reasons.
  • SNAP participants can get free food from friends, family, or work.
  • SNAP participants don't get charged sales tax on their purchases when paying with EBT
  • It doesn't include that you shouldn't buy foods such as fast food which isn't an eligible item for someone on foodstamps or SNAP.
  • SNAP is supposed to be a supplement, not provide someone's entire grocery budget.
The challenge is designed to raise awareness and support for those who are struggling in our country. It was suggested that those who take the challenge donate the difference between what they usually spend on groceries and what they spent on the SNAP challenge to fight hunger! 

Recently, local radio station hosts began the SNAP challenge in our state. They created their own challenge with agreed upon rules, they are taking the challenge for a week, and in our state you can only spend $25 a week on groceries per person which turns into about $3.50 a day rather than $4.50. If your considering taking the challenge I think you should look up your local SNAP amount, as states like California will have higher benefits than the less expensive states!
I encourage everyone interested to give the challenge a try! I plan on taking it in the future, so look for it in my future blogs... first I need to eat whats in my cupboards so I'm not to tempted to cheat =)