I love Thanksgiving. I think any food blogger can agree that this is a holiday to get behind. I love any holiday that involves massive quantities of eating and fall/winter holidays are tailor-made for that.
But sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and realize how lucky we are. In a week I will get to consume enough food for a small army and create my own little food baby. But many are not so lucky. According to the Department of Agriculture, 47.1 million American rely on assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or Food Stamps as we commonly refer). As of August 2012, the national monthly Food Stamp Allotment is $133.42 per person, or $277.04 per household of 4. In Washington, D.C., roughly 23% of the population relies on Food Stamps (140,000 as of November 2012). In The District the weekly benefit for those on Food Stamps equates to $32/week for an individual.
Grocery shopping can be a daily occurrence to me. I can swing by Trader Joe’s or Safeway after work if I am in the mood to bake something, or need more eggs, or have a craving for pita bread. I never think twice about spending $20 every few days for “essentials.” But so many do not have that luxury and I know I am extremely lucky to have the means to do so.
Fellow DC bloggers (and eater of my cupcakes) are taking a big step in raising awareness of hunger in the District and participating in The Food Stamp Challenge. For one week they will live as if they are on food stamps, spending only $32 on groceries and food. Follow along in their journey and get some insight into the challenges that so many Americans face everyday. I can honestly say I do not know what it is like to go to bed hungry and I can have a $4.00 latte if I want. For so many hard working people living in our country, this is not the case. As a researcher at an early childhood company I know that not having proper nutrients can have a detrimental affect on a child’s development. Going to bed hungry is just one of the issues that young children in our country face and Amanda and Liz are bringing that awareness front and center. Please go to their site and support them in their challenge!
Statistics from The US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service website