Last week Phoenix, Arizona Mayor Greg Stanton participated in the weeklong SNAP Experience program, hosted by the Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA). During the experience, Stanton and other participants were tasked with living on a weekly $29 food allowance, the average budget of a typical SNAP recipient.
Prior to the challenge, Stanton discussed his decision to participate in the event, “This exercise is a great awareness tool to help us all understand how difficult it is for struggling families to get by during tough times, even with help. The real challenge is creating healthy, balanced meals on such a tight budget, especially for growing children. Rising out of the recession takes all of us together as a city working toward a strong economic future for everyone.” Source: ACAA
The challenge was an eye-opener for the mayor. During the weeklong challenge, Mayor Stanton chose to skip full meals to save money by drinking coffee instead. Over the course of the week, the mayor lost four pounds due to not only a lack of food but also a lack of healthy and nutritious food. Evidently, his menu for the week included ramen noodles, pasta, chicken and a few extra cups of coffee to fill his belly.
September is Hunger Awareness Month and the ACAA is encouraging everyone to participate in the SNAP Experience challenge and blog about their experiences. For more information about the challenge, including guidelines about what you can and can’t purchase, visit the The Arizona SNAP Experience website.