Posted by Dorine King on January 5th, 2017 in SNAP Program, Uncategorized

    SNAP CHALLENGE – Are You Up for It?

    SNAP into 2017 and the Year of the Fire Rooster!

    Are you back to your regularly scheduled life?  At the beginning of each calendar year I go over our finances and re-look at what we are doing, how we are doing it, and where we want to go. One of the other things I consider is what and how we are eating.  A few years ago, I heard about The SNAP Challenge and tried to implement it into our regular lifestyle.  I did not do a very good job and actually, I miserably failed at the Challenge!  I didn’t even last an entire week!  My intent for the 2017 Year of the Fire Rooster is to commit to the Challenge for the next eleven weeks.  I would like you to consider joining me in this Challenge and let’s see if we can eat reasonably healthy meals on a budget set at $357 per month for a Minnesota family of two.

    If you are up for it and decide to take part in it, The SNAP Challenge provides participants a glimpse into some of the struggles faced by millions of low-income Americans who are trying to put food on their tables.  Participants use the average SNAP benefit as their budget for food for one week — or in my case, the next eleven weeks.  The Challenge provides an opportunity for participants to experience how difficult it is for families living on SNAP to simultaneously avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy with limited resources. For more information on the Minnesota SNAP program, eligibility and benefits, click here.

    As part of The Red Phoenix Cooking Through the Seasons, my intent is to use nutritious menus and recipes (yea for Pinterest!) within the allotted budget and to share the results with you.  At our house, we began our Challenge January 1, 2017 and will continue through March 18, 2017. Because I am committed to this Challenge for the next eleven weeks and perhaps even longer, I am using food I already have in my house and will use the SNAP Allotment as my grocery budget.  If you’d like to join me in this Challenge, catch me on the blog and be sure to comment.  You can also post comments and photos on The Red Phoenix Facebook page and please, be sure to use the hashtag, #RedPhoenixSNAP.

    Challenge Guidelines

    1. Each person should spend a set amount for food and beverages during the Challenge, based on the state guidelines (Minnesota SNAP program). All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge, including dining out, must be included the total spending.
    2. During the Challenge, only eat food that you purchase for the project. If you eat food that you already have at home or that is given to you by friends, family or work, account for it in your SNAP budget.
    3. Keep track of receipts on food spending and take note of your experiences throughout the week.
    4. Share your experience and invite others to join you, including family, friends and co-workers.  You can post comments and photos on The Red Phoenix Facebook page and please, be sure to use #RedPhoenixSNAP.

    Happy Cooking!



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