SNAP Challenge


Can you eat on just $4.50 a day? The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge encourages participants to get a sense of what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger. By accepting the SNAP Challenge, you’ll commit to eating all of your meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant. The goal is to gain some understanding of the struggles vulnerable families in our communities face each day. For questions or to sign up to participate, email Lauren Ross Dewey.


Are you up for the challenge? Here's how it works:

  • Your food budget for the 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. You can purchase your groceries all at once or more frequently.
  • 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 days.
  • During the Challenge, do not eat food that you purchased prior to starting the challenge.
  • Condiments and cooking oils are accepted because they are not purchased weekly.
  • Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or while at work 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.
  • Invite others to join you, including your co-workers, family members, and elected officials.


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