The Hunger Challenge

Can you eat for $5 a day?

That’s the challenge as part of observing Hunger Action Month. Next week, September 18 through 24, organizations fighting hunger in America are issuing the challenge so those who are not hungry can see what poor people have to endure to survive. We at The Bachelor’s Kitchen urge you to try this challenge so you understand better what others in your community are living through. And, we hope, you’ll understand the need to donate to food pantries right in your neighborhood.

Why $5 a day? That’s about what those people on Food Stamps have to spend per person on food. They’re not really food stamps anymore. It’s now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Instead of actual stamp books, the program now uses an electronic card like a credit or debit card. Still, you are limited to $200 a month per person. And that’s just for groceries. It can’t be used on prepared foods, like deli, sandwiches or rotisserie chickens. It also can’t be used for other things like soap, shampoo, detergent, coffee filters or toilet paper, which are also necessary items.

Here are the rules: 

  1. Spend no more than $5 a day or $35 a week for food including beverages. Don’t forget to include snacks.
  2. Don’t use any food you already have on hand or if you do use it, deduct the value from your spending. Salt and pepper don’t count but other condiments, spices and cooking oils do.
  3. You can’t accept food from family, relatives, co-workers, neighbors or anyone outside your household.
  4. Try to include fresh produce and healthy protein every day.
  5. Keep track of your expenses and experiences.

You are encouraged to share your experiences with others on this blog and others.

We here at The Bachelor’s Kitchen are participating in the SNAP program and really understand how tough things can get toward the end of the month. That’s when many meals consist of ramen noodle soup or peanut butter and crackers. We know times are tough. But think how much tougher it is for those without jobs or much of an income. Remember, that $200 a month doesn’t go up when food prices do. Congress and state legislatures are always looking to cut back funding for programs that help the poor, including health and food programs.

So, give it a try. Can you do it for a week? How about just a day? Try it and let us know how it went.