SNAP Challenge Reflections
Around this time last year, several United Way of the Midlands staffers were getting ready to participate in something known as the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge.
The SNAP Challenge asks participants to live on the same budget as people living on food stamps, approximately $4 per person per day for a week. The Challenge is not meant to be an exact replica of the experience of people depending on SNAP, but to bring awareness to how we all make food choices and how more limited resources affect those choices. Participating can really challenge your perceptions of poverty, as you’ll soon see below.
An English class at Blythewood High School in Richland County School District 2 recently did a SNAP Challenge. Each student was asked to write a brief reflection of their experience which were given specific guidelines to follow, such as special health needs like diabetes or pregnancy.
In honor of the upcoming National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 12-18), we’ll be sharing these reflections periodically. Below are just a few reflections from students about their experiences.
The Snap Challenge was a difficult challenge. Groups had certain conditions which caused them to have to choose certain foods. This challenge/ activity is helpful because it lets us more fortunate people understand how others live. When I first started this project, I didn’t take it seriously, but once I realized that this is how others live, I took it more seriously. Other schools should try this activity and see how they like it.
The Snap Challenge activity is a good way to walk in someone else’s shoes. It is hard for those families that are less fortunate because $4 a day per person can’t help them. I worry about the families that go through this because I can tell it’s hard. The Snap Challenge is a good activity, and it’s a good way to see how the less fortunate families survive.
- Jason Curry
I liked the Snap Challenge because it showed me what other people have to go through in order to survive off a small amount of money. In my group there were four people . We had $4 a person, and we had to live off it for a week. It’s hard to base a small amount of money on large families and even small, when you have to provide for them and yourself. You have to make sure the meals that you eat are healthy, and provide the right amount of nutrition.
With that being said, I learned how much coupons and grocery store catalogs helped you prepare for your meals, and how they also help with lower prices, but it takes a strong person to do it . Families that live their lives like that are truly blessed. In my group, we had to prepare meals with health expectations that you have to meet in a everyday food pyramid, and that’s not easy. Overall, I did enjoy this project, It makes me feel more grateful and sincere for what I have in my life.
- Kristina Able
We love that these students were able to learn so much through their experiences. Check the blog next week for more reflections, and if you’re interested in taking the SNAP Challenge in your family please let us know so we can share your experiences as well! Thank you, students of Richland Northeast for LIVING UNITED!