In 2011, the average individual food stamp recipient received $140 per month in food assistance benefits, which equates to $32.31 per week, $4.62 per day or $1.54 per meal. For the Challenge, which is only five days instead of a seven day week, we ask participants to limit their food purchases to $23 for the week. Your friends and family can join in the Challenge with you. Each individual has $23 to spend on food for the week. Please take into consideration any medical conditions of participants before agreeing to do the Challenge.
While food stamps are meant to supplement a recipients' food budget, after paying for housing, energy and healthcare expenses, many low-income households have little or no money remaining to spend on food. In addition, most food stamp households report that their food stamp benefits do not last the entire month and many are forced to turn to food pantries and soup kitchens. Spending only the allotted $23 will show participants how well they would fare living on a limited food stamp budget.
- Click here to register for the Food Stamp Challenge by April 27
- Purchase food and beverages using your Challenge budget of $23 during the week of April 30-May 4. All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week, including fast food and dining out, should be included in the total spending. See our Budget and Nutritional Information section of this blog for food buying guidelines and tips, as well as the USDA’s MyPlate nutritional guidelines.
- Try to eat only the food purchased for the Challenge with your food stamp budget during the week. Avoid consuming food that you already own (this does not include spices or condiments) or accepting free food from family, friends, or at work or social gatherings.
- Contribute to the blog by sending entries describing how the Challenge is going to you or video diaries to firstname.lastname@example.org (see ideas for blog entries on the What to Blog About page) and follow the blog to see how other participants are doing.
- Spread the word about your experience on your Twitter and Facebook accounts or on the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies’ Facebook page.