Family Resiliency Center | Illinois

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  • Food and Family Students SNAP Hunger Challenge - Kevin Thomas

    Unfortunately, I failed very early on in my attempt to complete the SNAP Hunger challenge. Going into it, I had a feeling I would not be able to follow through with it successfully, so my goal was to try to go through at least one day eating only $4.50 worth of food. I found it difficult to go about doing it this way so I tried to buy a few things that ended up being below $30 and I decided that I would attempt to use those groceries for a few days. My plan was to buy a bag of brown rice, some type of meat, such as ground turkey, and some frozen mixed vegetables.

    While this was all under $30, there was not really enough variety for me to have for every meal of the day. There are a few meals that I have on almost a daily basis such as oatmeal for breakfast and a green smoothie that contains various fruits and vegetables, but I knew that I would certainly go over $4.50 if I had these. In addition to this, I realized that I was planning on working out on the days that I was going to complete the SNAP challenge, and I usually have some sort of a protein powder afterwards, but of course this would not be allowed. Lastly, I thought about my class schedule the next day, and the fact that I had many long breaks between classes during which I usually buy lunch from somewhere.

    After taking all of these factors into consideration at the grocery store, I decided I could not successfully complete the SNAP challenge. I caved in and I ended up buying my regular groceries instead. I did at least still try to minimize the cost of my purchases. Even though I could not complete the challenge at all, I felt that I did gain something from it. Going through the whole thought process while at the grocery store certainly did give me a much greater appreciation for the difficulty of being able to eat well under such heavy constraints.

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