The Hunger/Food Stamp/$25 Grocery Challenge

By Ed Nicholson

I’m trying something this week.

For the past couple of years, in working with hunger relief organizations around the country, I’ve become aware of an interesting experiment, conducted to make its participants realize how difficult it might be to live full-time on the what the typical food stamp recipient gets–$21-25 a week.

As far as I know, the experiment began as the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge, issued by hunger relief organizations to members of Congress as they were considering the nutrition title of the most recent version of the Farm Bill.  Some of the members particpated and posted their observations.

David Davenport, CEO of Austin’s Capital Area Food Bank, did it for a month (hat tip, David!)

Six inspiring food bloggers from the Bay Area did it in September of ’08, and worked collectively on a blog that has perhaps the best collection of advice, information and recipes for anyone trying this.

This week, I agreed to participate, along with several others from our community in the $25 Grocery Challenge, being issued by United Way of Northwest Arkansas, and the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank (Feeding America member). 

I’ll be posting my observations here, as well as cross-posting, along with other participants, to the Live United blog.

Should be interesting. 

Have you done this?  We’d love to hear your observations in the comments.


3 Replies to “The Hunger/Food Stamp/$25 Grocery Challenge”

  1. Pingback: SNAP Challenge – The Rest of the Story » United Way Week of Action

  2. Pingback: David Davenport–Food Stamp Challenge Champion | Tyson Hunger Relief

  3. susan


    Good luck on this Ed. It’s difficult, especially for those who haven’t had a lot of practice. I’ve been shopping with gas money given to me by neighbors and friends for the last two months. This basically means five dollars here and there. I had no idea how hard it would be to prioritize things and actually have enough to make a whole meal. LIke you, I’ve learned that oatmeal, peanut butter (and bread), goes a long way.

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