I had just finished hosting a turkey drive drop off (our seventh!) when I received an invitation to take part of the Food Stamp Challenge and figured "why not?"
After signing up, this is the email I received...
"You've taken the first step in the Food Stamp Challenge! By signing up, you've shown a true commitment to understanding the very real hardships that are faced by the over 1 million food insecure individuals in New Jersey each day.
Below are guidelines you can follow during your week:
- Each person should spend a set amount for food and beverages during the Challenge week. That amount is $30 for all food and beverage.
- All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week, must be included in the total spending. Fast food and dining out should be avoided (as this cannot be purchased with food stamps). Should they be used, make sure to include them in the total spending.
- During the Challenge, only eat food that you purchase for the project. Do not eat food that you already own (this does not include spices and condiments).
- Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or at work, including at receptions or briefings.
- Keep track of receipts on food spending and take note of your experiences throughout the week using our website, face book page or blog.
- Invite others to join you, including co-workers, reporters, chefs, or other elected officials.
- Please share the Food Stamp Challenge with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, and help us spread the word!"
And so it starts. Tomorrow my husband (who decided to join me) and I start on the Challenge. There are a couple things I will be doing differently.
1. We will be eating some food that was already purchased. However, I will subtract the cost as per purchasing it anew. This may include: cans of diced tomatoes, dried pasta, cereal, frozen veggies and fresh eggs.
2. We will be attending a friend's holiday party on Saturday night. Again, we will adjust the budget to account for this meal.