Friday, September 23, 2016

SNAP Challenge DAYS 4 and 5 – Finishing out the week

by Nicole Milbradt, Director of Marketing

This morning I had to break it to the hubs that he had to go back down to one muffin in the morning or we wouldn’t have enough to get through the week. I also had to break it to him that we were out of bananas but we could each have another apple instead. Tomorrow, however, would be a different story.

It occurred to me that in a SNAP household, that fruit would probably have been gone long ago. If the kids hadn’t opted out, I was planning to give them my fruit as an afternoon snack. I suspect SNAP parents often give up their own food to feed their kids.

We didn’t end up having as much left over at last night’s dinner so that gave us no other option but good old PB&J again. I was so hungry but the sandwich just wasn’t cutting it.

My body was also revolting. The processed foods, higher fat content and lack of fresh veggies was taking it’s toll (TMI?) and I wasn’t alone. I was tired and cranky and hungry. Really hungry.

After our discussion, the family was all back in on the challenge. But that night we agreed that if they were feeling too hungry, they could supplement our SNAP food with things we had on hand. After all, that’s what the program is supposed to do… supplement. It’s right there in the name Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program – SNAP. More than 45 million people participate in the SNAP program and 76 percent of them are families with children.

Unfortunately, the reality is that many families live just like we were attempting. They use the SNAP funds to buy most of their food and “supplement” out of their own pocket when the can. Many rely on regular visits to the food bank because funds aren’t there. It’s a trend our partners at local food banks are seeing far too often. What used to be a service to get people in crisis through the rough times is now as important to feeding their families each month as the SNAP benefits.

It needs to change.

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