Take the Food Stamp Challenge!
As America's economic recovery continues to drag its feet, it has condemned more and more Americans to poverty. Today, 46.2 million Americans live below the poverty line, which is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as just more than $23,000 in income for a family of four. And with poverty has come another pestilence: hunger. The statistics are heartbreaking: According to the Center for American Progress, 50 percent of American children will rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) at some point before their 18th birthday. Today, about 16.2 million children in the United States struggle with hunger.
From October 27 through November 3, I, along with many of my coworkers here at the RAC (including Rabbi David Saperstein) will be joining Members of Congress and other community members in the Fighting Poverty With Faith Food Stamp Challenge. The challenge is an effort to better understand the hardships endured by America's hungry, so that we can all work together to end hunger in America.
At its core, the challenge is simple: live for one week off of the average food stamp allotment. Doesn't seem that tough, right? But consider that the average food stamp allocation is $31.50 per week. Per meal, that's $1.50.
Think about how little that is. Consider that instant noodles cost around $1. Even a staple of the infamous "college student diet" is barely affordable on the limited amount available under this federal hunger program.
I encourage you, whether for one meal, one day, or one week, to spend time in the kitchens of America's hungry. Register today to take the Food Stamp Challenge with me, so that we might all begin to understand what it means to be hungry in America.
Image courtesy of the Food Stamp Challenge website.