In Their Kitchen

Diversity of Human Experience

SNAP Challenge April 19th-21st 

For one weekend I took the SNAP Challenge, which involves eating on $4.00 per day. I took this challenge hypothetically and tried shopping for a limited amount of food that could be stretched over three days. Below is a menu of the meals I could have eaten for a weekend and a reflection of this experience where I placed my self in the shoes of thousands of families who live off food stamps. For one weekend I put myself in the kitchen of these families.

Grocery List:

Boneless Chicken – $6.99

Bread – $3.30

Peanut Butter – $5.14

Oatmeal – $3.18

Tea – $3.28

Cheese – $5.99

Carrots – $1.50

Broccoli – $4.50

Green Beans – $1.50

Frozen Corn – $3.00

Potatoes – $1.99

Total: $40.37

 

Friday

Dinner – Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

1 lb chicken breast, 40 oz $6.99 ($1.75 per meal)
5 medium russet potatoes 10lb bag of potatoes for $1.99 ($.50 per meal)
4 carrots 3lb bag of carrots for $1.50 ($.50 per meal)
2 broccoli 1lb bags $4.50 ($.50 per meal)
3 handfuls frozen corn 4lb bags $3.00 ($.50 per meal)

Saturday

 Breakfast – Oatmeal and Tea

Great Value: Oven toasted quick Oats $3.18 for 42 oz ($.42 per meal)

Lipton Tea Bags 100 count $3.28 ($.13 per meal)

 

Lunch – Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich w/ Vegetables

Great Value Whole Wheat bread $3.30 ($1.65 per meal)

Homemade jelly (free)

Great Value peanut Butter $5.24 for 42 oz

Leftover Carrots and Broccoli from dinner

Dinner – Chicken Dinner

1 lbs boneless chicken breasts

2 cups green beans

Sunday

Breakfast – Oatmeal and Tea

Great Value: Oven toasted quick Oats $3.18 for 42 oz ($.42 per meal)

Lipton Tea Bags 100 count $3.28 ($.13 per meal)

 

Lunch – Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich w/ Vegetables

Great Value Whole Wheat bread $3.30 ($1.65 per meal)

Homemade jelly (free)

Great Value peanut Butter $5.24 for 42 oz

Leftover Carrots and Broccoli from dinner

Dinner - Sloppy Joe’s

0.50 lb. shredded chicken ($1.99)

Whole wheat bread ($.50)

4 slices cheese ($.67)

Last of vegetables ($.50)

Reflection

            The SNAP challenge is not a new concept for me as I have family and friends who have attempted and failed the challenge. Therefore, I chose to hypothetically participate in this assignment. I grew up in a money conscious family who made budgets for everything especially when it came to grocery shopping, so I believed I had an upper hand in this assignment, but difficulties arose when I began my research.

My game plan began by attempting to keep each meal at $5; meeting this goal would have kept me at $35 for the whole weekend. After I determined how my finances looked I did a Google search for $5 meals and found a great site by Erin Chase that listed hundreds of meals for $5 and less that fed a family of four. I used three different recipes from her site for each dinner. I felt dinner would be the most expensive meal of the day and I spent most of my research and money in this area. Sticking with my regular lifestyle I wanted to keep breakfast and lunch simple, but filling and nutritious.

With the goal of keeping a family of four fed, energized, and healthy, I chose oatmeal and tea for breakfast. Oatmeal is extremely cheap and filling while tea provides essential vitamins and nutrients needed in our daily diets. For lunch I stuck with hearty PB&J sandwiches and fresh vegetables. The first two meals of the day are boring, but my main goal was nutrition over taste and excitement.

During this whole process I had a feeling of stress when deciding what to buy and what kind of meals I could make with a limited amount of resources. The real fact is 22% of Oregonians receive benefits from SNAP and face this problem in real life.[1] As discussed in the article from the Oregonian posted on D2L you have to be mindful of what you purchase in order to make the small budget stretch while also eating healthful food.[2]

One day I would like to attempt this challenge, but I understand it is not a choice for many families. I am blessed I have a choice when grocery shopping while many families living on food stamps have few options. With this assignment fresh in my mind, I wonder what can be done to improve the food stamp program to allow families more nutritious food. Is research done on families on this program? If so, are changes being made to improve the likelihood of success? If not, I believe our government and society as a whole would benefit from great changes in programs that assist families with basic needs from food to shelter.

Works Sited:

Chase, Erin. “Feeding the Family for $5 or Less.” $5 Dinners. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

< http://www.5dollardinners.com/&gt;.

“Food Stamp Statistics.” Statistic Brain. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

<http://www.statisticbrain.com/food-stamp-statistics/&gt;.

“Walmart.com: Save Money. Live Better.” Walmart.com. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

<http://www.walmart.com/&gt;.


[1] Food Stamp Statistics

[2] Oregon Live

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