Friday, August 31, 2012

A Challenge!

September is Hunger Action Month and one of our activities at Foodshare is a SNAP Challenge - asking people to live on the food budget of a recipient of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps).  You could take part in this challenge any time in September, for any number of days, though we are focused on the week of September 9-15 when many of our volunteer Board of Directors and our staff will be taking part.

Volunteer Board member Stephanie Stone recently put this challenge out to the rest of us:

Could you feed your family on $4 per person, per day?  Thousands of Connecticut families are trying to do just that.  Would you commit to trying  - for just one week – to join them?

We all work with an amazing organization – an organization that helps feed hungry people; people who should not be hungry in one of the most abundant countries in the world.  Yet, people are hungry.  Every day, children go to school without breakfast and dread the weekends, because there is no school lunch. 

I don’t know about all of you – but when I say I am “STARVING,” I am exaggerating.  Moreover, when I do miss a meal I feel tired, irritable and often end up with a migraine from low sugar.  However, if I had to skip meals to feed my son – or even my dog – I would do it in a heartbeat.  As I sit here, I think about families; adults, parents, teens and children who are tired, lethargic, headachy, sad and scared – not knowing when or what they will eat again – and I hurt for them. 

So, I am going to take this challenge.  I am going to do it, admittedly, in my suburban grocery store, with sale prices and coupons.  I am going to drive my car, and I am going to shop secure in the knowledge that if I go over, I am not going to have to count change, or figure out what to put back, embarrassed as people get frustrated behind me.   I am going to take the challenge knowing that the following week, things will be “normal” again, and I don’t have to worry every minute about having enough food.  I am going to take the challenge with a safety net – one that I am not confident that I will be strong enough not to use.

We live in an amazing place, in interesting times.  There are lots of things to worry about.  Let’s help to take food – off of that list.  Think about the ways food nourish you, body and soul, the ways your family and friends come together to eat, laugh and make memories, and do this for yourself and your family.   It will deepen your commitment, strengthen your resolve, increase your compassion and improve your understanding of Foodshare and the people we serve.

Take the SNAP Challenge!

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I work part-time in a suburban grocery store, and there are more people using food stamps than I would expect. However, it bothers me that the system is such that one CANNOT use EBT for a hot rotisserie chicken. Good base for a meal...more economical than cold cuts....carcass becomes broth...etc