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SNAP = $21/Week for Food – Could You Do it?  February 6th, 2012

SNAP = $21/Week for Food – Could You Do it?  (or why the Food Drive is so important)

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or what used to be called food stamps.  If you’re a SNAP participant, you receive $21 per week to spend on groceries, or $1/meal. Could you do it?  Could you go a week spending only $21 on food?

It’s a challenge OSU Students in Free Enterprise (OSUSIFE) voluntarily took on last fall.  OSU SIFE Team Executive Council member Natasha Badaa made the mistake of heading for the grocery store without a list, without planning out a menu, and without researching ideas for inexpensive foods and meals.
“Although we were able to breeze through Winco buying food and keeping under budget it was not until early in the challenge that I realized how wrong my shopping attempt was. I did not buy enough food. I did not buy enough satisfying food. I did not buy enough healthful food. And I did not take into account the essentials like coffee which ended up costing me exponentially in physical, mental, and emotional distress.”  The experience taught her empathy and confirmed her desire “to do more to help those in poverty even more.”  You can read more about Natasha’s and other student experiences with the SNAP Challenge and other activities at http://oregonstate.edu/groups/sife/.  In addition, SNAP Challenge videos are available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LmvuADvLoqk.

You too can choose to take the SNAP Challenge and see how it feels to only have $21/week to spend on food, or you can simply choose to help those who live the SNAP Challenge by participating in any of the many food drive events taking place on the OSU campus during the month of February!

– Julie Howard, College of Forestry