snap logoMy name is Amanda Johnson and I am a staff member here at Second Harvest. As part of Hunger Action Month, we have decided to partake in the S.N.A.P. Challenge. The S.N.A.P. Challenge is a small glimpse into the life of an individual or family living off of the monthly stipends provided by the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (S.N.A.P.) formerly known as food stamps. We understand that although S.N.A.P. is in place to help eligible, low-income families obtain more nutritious food items, it is not a finite solution to end hunger. This is why food banks such as Second Harvest exist; we help fill in the gaps.

The S.N.A.P. Challenge asks participants to live off of the stipend provided per person per day to purchase food and drink items. The monthly allotment is determined by the USDA, for the state of Pennsylvania, the average monthly benefit is $119.41. This works out to $3.98 per day for a month consisting of 30 days. For the purpose of this challenge, we have rounded this total to $4.00 per person per day to spend on food and drink items. We have reached out to local community leaders and have urged them to take the challenge as well to raise awareness of the issue of hunger in our area and to advocate for the services Second Harvest provides to 167,700 individuals throughout eleven counties of northwest Pennsylvania.

I have decided to take the S.N.A.P. Challenge for 7 days. This means I have $28.00 to spend on food and drink items for one week. I will document my challenge experience on the Second Harvest website and Facebook page, so check back for daily updates.

For more information about the challenge or if you would like to attempt it as well, please contact me at ajohnson@nwpafoodbank.org or 459-3663 x 119.