No Arkansan should ever go to bed hungry.

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SNAP Challenge Day 2

bridgette-caseyHi. It’s Bridget on Day 2 of the SNAP Challenge. Today has proven to be much more difficult than yesterday. Lunch today was extremely unsatisfying – yogurt with honey and Grape-Nuts. By the time I left work, I was starving and felt light-headed. Once again, I had to turn down a friend who wanted to go out to eat for dinner. Instead, I stayed home and made an omelet with ground turkey, bell peppers, and tomatoes. I cut up several tortillas and baked them into chips and made a simple corn salsa from the canned veggies I had. Dinner overall was not bad, but did not feel very nutritious, and I wasn’t satisfied when I was done.

One thing I have noticed thus far is my tendency to snack throughout the day. This week, I have zero “snack foods,” like chips, crackers, or popcorn. I did not realize how much I relied on these foods to tide me over between meals. But if I had bought a snack or two when I went shopping, it would have seemed silly and unnecessary to me. Then I thought about what it must be like for someone on SNAP. They must feel intense pressure and scrutiny at the checkout line. If they buy anything remotely unhealthy, they might face judgment from other shoppers or store employees. And yet, they are expected to analyze every choice they make when shopping and prioritize down to the last cent of their SNAP dollars. How can we put so much pressure on SNAP recipients if we don’t provide them with the resources to make grocery shopping easier?

SNAP Challenge Day 1

bridgette-caseyHi! I’m Bridget Casey, No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador. I took a trip to the Walmart Neighborhood Market to stock up on groceries for the week. I’m taking the SNAP challenge – living on a SNAP (formerly food stamps) budget for all of my food, Monday-Friday. For all 5 days, I have just $22 to spend – or $4.40 a day. I knew it would be difficult going into it, but already I’ve encountered more problems than I could have anticipated.

At the store, I hit roadblocks every step of the way. I had to opt for 85% lean ground turkey, which is significantly fattier than I usually buy, but I literally could not afford anything leaner. I wanted to get some type of granola, but my favorite kinds were out of my price range. I settled for Grape Nuts instead, because they’re high in fiber and inexpensive. Typically, I’ll buy some type of frozen fish when I shop, but of course I couldn’t spring for that. Canned tuna, as well as canned tomatoes, canned corn, and canned black beans were added to my cart. I picked up a loaf of whole wheat bread and corn tortillas to use as multipurpose carbohydrates, and because they both contain fiber. As for fresh produce, well, I was left with only a few dollars to spend at that point. I picked out a head of romaine lettuce, a few bell peppers, and a lime to use for flavoring dishes.

Including the cost of the plain yogurt I already had at home, my total receipt was $21.98. I felt pretty good about my purchases initially, but after talking to the other interns I began to doubt myself. Why hadn’t I bought any fruit? Or milk? Or potatoes? Or cheese? I went home and made myself soft tacos for dinner, but could only think of what I should have bought instead.

Latest News Reports

 

Food Hardship in America: Households with Children Especially Hard Hit,

Food Research & Action Center, September, 2016

Did you know?

In 2014, our six Feeding  America  food bank members along with Project Hope distributed 44,032,106 pounds of food to programs and agencies that directly feed Arkansans in need. This is the equivalent of 36,693,421 meals.

Did you know?

More than 1 in 4 Arkansas kids do not get enough to eat.

Did you know?

Text FOOD to 877 877 to find free summer meals sites for kids

Did you know?

Arkansas ranks #1 in senior hunger.

Did you know?

Many elderly Arkansans must choose between buying food or medication.

Did you know?

Almost 500,000 Arkansas residents (1 in 6) receive federal food assistance.

Did you know?

Poverty is the main cause of hunger.

Did you know?

More than 40% of Arkansas people on SNAP are in working families.

WHAT WE DO

The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, through our member food banks, hunger relief agencies, volunteers and corporate partners, is committed to providing programs, food resources, education and advocacy to reduce hunger in Arkansas. Your interest and generosity will help us succeed.

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Find out about upcoming Alliance fundraising events as well as gleaning opportunities, Cooking Matters classes and grocery tours as well as other special events.

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