The (FoodStamp) SNAP Challenge: $4.50 a day -- I'm all in.

September 07 2010 - 1:17 PM

Taking the SNAP Challenge means no restaurants, no fancy cheeses, no wines, no gourmet produce, no premium cuts of beef, no candy… it's going to be a hard week. The real question is not whether I can do without gourmet ingredients but whether I can simply have enough to eat.

SNAP stands for 'Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program…' in other
words, Food Stamps. Why the federal government needs a long and
unintuitive acronym is beyond me. But Feeding Illinois is challenging you to eat on
the limited budget of nearly 2 million Illinois residents.

September is Hunger Action Month. From the challenge is simple:

More than 1.6 million people in our state live on $4.50 a day – can you?

From September 19th-25th they are running the official challenge. If you want in here's the link. I'm starting the 24th until the 30th. Considering that I'm swearing off basically everything I tend to write about, if anyone has any suggestions to eating on a dime, I'm all ears. If anyone wants to join me, send me an email!

More on SNAP from Wikipedia:

The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)[1], historically and commonly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal-assistance
program that provides assistance to low- and no-income people and
families living in the U.S. Though the program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, benefits are distributed by the individual U.S. states.Today, all food-stamp benefits are distributed using cards but for
most of its history the program had actually used paper denominational
stamps or coupons worth US$1
(brown colored), US$5 (blue colored), and US$10 (green colored). These
stamps could be used to purchase any prepackaged edible foods
regardless of nutritional value (for example soft drinks and confectionery
could be purchased on food stamps). In the late 1990s, the food-stamp
program was revamped and actual stamps were phased out in favor of a
specialized debit-card system known as Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) provided by private contractors.
Many states merged the use of the EBT card for public-assistance
welfare programs as well. The successful replacement over time of all
paper food stamps by EBT cards enabled the U.S. Congress
to rename the Food Stamp Program to the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program, as of October 2008, and to update all references in
federal law from "stamp" or "coupon" to "card" or "EBT". This was
effectuated on June 18, 2008, by U.S. House Resolution 6124, The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, enacted as Public Law over U.S. President George W. Bush's veto.[2][3]

The number of Americans receiving food stamps reached 39.68 million
in February 2010, the highest number since the program began in 1962.[4] As of June 2009, the average monthly benefit was $133.12 per person.[5] As of late November 2009, one in eight Americans and one in four children[6] are using food stamps and the program rate is growing at 20,000 people a day.[7] Recipients must have at least near-poverty incomes to qualify for benefits.[8]