SNAP Challenge

SNAP Challenge Module

You can always choose to challenge yourself to live on a food stamp budget.  Or you can coordinate your own Food Stamp Challenge with your school, club, place of worship, or community.  Contact us if you’d like ideas on how to start up your own. 

Students and community members participate in a food stamp budgeting activity at Social Soup during the 2012 Utah Food Stamp Challenge.

SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge

The Food Stamp Program helps nearly 46 million low-income Americans purchase food for themselves and their families.  That’s nearly twice the number of Americans on food stamps than in 2007, when the original Food Stamp Challenge launched. In May of 2011, more than 274,000 low-income Utahns accessed the Food Stamp Program. The program is designed as a safety net to help ensure people have access to food during difficult times, with the majority of people leaving the program within nine months.  More than half of food stamp recipients are children and eight percent are over 60 years of age.

Community leaders, elected officials and the general public take the Food Stamp Challenge in order to better understand how the program works on a personal level.  For one week, people taking part in the challenge will live on the nationwide average food stamp benefit.  According to data from the Department of Workforce Services, which is responsible for administering the Food Stamp Program, Utah’s average monthly benefit in the 2011 fiscal year was $125.00, approximately $4 a day or $1.35 a meal.

Utahns Against Hunger invites all Utahns to challenge themselves to living on a food stamp budget and share their experience.

Watch this video to see what one University of Utah student thought about doing the food stamp challenge.

Take the Food Stamp Challenge in order to better understand how the program works on a personal level.  For one week, people taking part in the challenge will live on the nationwide average food stamp benefit.

Participation Guidelines:

  1. You have a daily food budget of $4 (Utah’s average daily per person benefit). This means you should spend no more than $28 for a week’s worth of food.
  2. All food purchased and consumed during the Challenge week, including any fast food or eating out, should be included in your total food spending.
  3. All of the food and beverage you consume for the week must come from your food stamp budget. You cannot eat food you already own (including items like condiments).
  4. You cannot procure free food (i.e. from friends or relatives)
  5. Keep a log of your spending as well as the kinds of food you are (and aren’t) able to buy. You may find it difficult to complete the Challenge due to schedule or the limited budget.  It will still be important and worthwhile to track your experiences. Food Stamp Challenge Log
 (adapted from the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge- developed by The Hatcher Group)


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