Healthy Eating in Communities Partner Story:
SNAP Challenge 2017 was a learning experience.
The SNAP Challenge held September 25-29, 2017 was co-sponsored by Live Well Goodhue County, Mayo Clinic Health System and United Way. The three organizations worked together to recruit community members to take the SNAP Challenge and live on a food allowance of $4.40 per day (the average daily SNAP benefit for an individual living in Goodhue County).
Participants were encouraged to share their experiences on social media to build awareness. Many reported that the SNAP Challenge was much more difficult and eye opening than they anticipated.
“I had to shop with a calculator and watch every penny I spent. I had to put things back on the shelf, because I couldn’t afford them.”
“I noticed how much food I waste. During the challenge, I found myself eating things I would normally throw away like the heel of bread.”
“I missed my fresh fruits and veggies. It was impossible to afford those on this budget.”
“I grew bored with my lack of food choices. After two days, I hated toast.”
In addition, participants reported feeling guilty about the abundance of food and resources they enjoy while others go without. Participants also expressed appreciation for the resources we have in our area for those who need it.
In the end, participants were grateful for the opportunity to understand hunger. It is one thing to know about the issue and see the statistics. It is quite another to walk a mile in their shoes.