By Marianna Reilly
Could you survive on $1.50 per meal – for an entire week?
October 27 to November 6, we challenge you do just this. Join us in taking the Food Stamp Challenge, and learn what it is like to subsist on a food budget of only $31.50 per week – the average weekly allotment for an individual who receives food stamps. Participants are challenged to only consume food purchased for the challenge (that means no free office coffee, no stocked-up pantry items).
It will be hard, but you will be in good company.
Joining in you in taking on this challenge will be Catholic Charities Executive Director, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Justice and Peace Coordinator Tom Dobbins, and Richard Bertin, associate producer of the Sirius Radio show JustLove will all be subsisting on a food stamp budget and blogging about their experiences right here.
We want to hear from you too: Tell us about your victories, your struggles… and your best low-cost meal ideas, to support the rest of us who are trying to make it through a week with no restaurants.
Here are the Challenge Guidelines:
1. Each person can only spend a total of $31.50 on food and beverages during the Challenge week – this translates to $4.50 per day, or $1.50 per meal.
2. All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week, including fast food and dining out must be included in the total spending.
3. During the Challenge, eat only food that you purchase for the project. Do not eat food that you already own (this does not include spices and condiments).
4. Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or at work, including food at receptions or coffee in the office
5. Please keep track of receipts on food spending and take note of your experiences throughout the week.
6. Share your Food Stamp Challenge by writing an op-ed for your local newspaper, blogging, sharing a reflection on the Fighting Poverty with Faith website, advocating for feeding programs, and more.
7. Donate the additional money you would have spent on food during this week to a local food bank or anti-hunger advocacy organization (optional).
Will you join us? Accept the Challenge now.