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A New Idea for Lent – Come Closer to Hunger in a Meaningful Way

by | Jan 30, 2014 | Not In USe

By Ginny Hildebrand, Conference Task Force on Children and Poverty

The Conference Task Force on Children & Poverty is issuing a challenge to all people of The Desert Southwest Conference during Lent—March 5-April 20, 2014. Set aside seven consecutive days to participate in the SNAP Challenge to live on the average Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—formally known as the Food Stamp Program) benefit of $4 per day for that period of time.

5 Simple Steps:

  1. Make the pledge to live on a SNAP benefit food budget of $4 per day for 7 days.
  2. Decide which seven days between March 5 and April 20 you will do the Challenge.
  3. Do it and report your experience in the midst of the Challenge to Billie Fidlin at bfidlin@dscumc.org or at www.facebook.com/dscumc no later than May 16, 2014.
  4. Discuss your experiences during the SNAP Challenge with others during a breakfast at Annual Conference (date and location to be announced).
  5. Use this experience to motivate yourself and others around you to speak out on behalf of low-income people in your community and advocate for their good health and ability to cover their basic need for food.

130410-FA-MI-0652.jpgThe idea behind this Challenge is to experience, on your own or with your family, the difficulty of maintaining a healthy diet for one week on only the benefits provided on average to people eligible for, and enrolled in this nutrition assistance program. 5.7 million people in the three states touched by our Conference deal with this struggle daily. It is difficult enough to do this for someone who is on a regular diet, and even more challenging for people with health issues requiring special diets, dealing with disabilities, or chronic health conditions.

Participants may spend $4 per person per day for their groceries, or a total of $28 for one person for seven days. If you have more than one person in your household, multiply $28 by the number of people in your family and that will be your total food budget for the week. (Example: A household of five at $28 per person equals a total weekly food budget of $140. A household of two would have a weekly food budget of $56.) Remember to keep the meals healthy and your family members full.

What many people across the country have learned after participating in the SNAP Challenge is that while this experience cannot give participants a true sense of living in deep or prolonged poverty, it can provide insight into the challenges many families living on SNAP face.

For questions, or if your church plans to participate, please contact Ginny Hildebrand at ghildebrand1@cox.net .

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