Being on Government Assistance Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
“The biggest bummer for me was not being able to buy Starbucks because it was too costly,” said Hannah Anderson, a Human Nutrition grad student, of the SNAP challenge.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Challenge was designed to allow participants to see how it is to live off only $4.15 a day. SNAP, also known as food stamps, feeds millions of Americans every month. The program has enacted this activity to bring awareness to the importance of receiving these benefits and hoping to make an impact so that long-term action will take place.
“I’ve been to ALDI a lot and I’ve bought two pounds of brown rice for $1 and some eggs,” said Miranda Gartman, a Human Nutrition Graduate student.
The SNAP Challenge makes you think about what you’re eating and the preparation of the meal before even going to the grocery store. Sometimes you can’t buy things you’re used to buying because it’s not in the budget according to SNAP Challenge participants.
“I did not buy any meat or fresh food because it did not fit into my budget. I had to plan out what I wanted to buy when I went to the grocery store so I did not go over my budget,” Anderson said.
Foods that were bought on the challenge weren’t necessarily nutritious but affordable. Rice, beans, canned foods and frozen vegetables were staples for the participants.
Participants across the board have all agreed that doing the challenge has made them more aware of the difficulties families face on food stamps. “If I had to live on the program my quality of life would be worse and I would constantly worry,” said Tyler Wallace, a Human Nutrition grad student. The benefits from the challenge range from empathy for those on food stamps to more of an appreciation of the money you spend.