There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Sometimes referred to as "food stamps," more than 40 million Americans receive SNAP benefits every month. Approximately 66% of SNAP participants are children, the elderly, or have a disability. In 2018, SNAP kept 3.1 million people out poverty. Although SNAP has prevented millions of Amerians from going hungry, however, it's almost impossible to maintain a healthy diet on a SNAP budget.
To show just how difficult life can be for people who rely on SNAP, we organized a SNAP Challenge with our partners from Crown Relocations during their client event at the Worldwide ERC Conference last week in Boston.
The SNAP Challenge gives participants a glimpse into some of the struggles faced by millions of low-income Americans who are trying to put food on their table. Participants use the average SNAP benefit as their budget for food for one week. Teams of 4 need to go ‘shopping’ for a week’s worth of food to feed one individual on a weekly SNAP budget of $29.26. The teams were asked to choose what they thought they would need to prepare 3 healthy meals for 7 days. They were each given a list of items to choose from, but didn’t know how much they would cost.
To the surprise of many, it was difficult to feed even one person using the SNAP benefit, let alone an entire family. The lesson we hoped the attendees learned was that it's so important to take action to protect and expand the SNAP program. In the meantime, we must to continue to donate food, prevent food waste, and hold food drives to help fill the meal gap.
Thank you so much to our friends from Crown Relocations for providing us with this opportunity to share what we've learned about SNAP with your clients.