STOP (Students Taking on Poverty) wrapped up its awareness campaigns for the year this week with Food Stamp Awareness Week. Today, the first ever Food Stamp Challenge to take place on a college campus happened here at Stanford.
What is a Food Stamp Challenge? It’s the agreement to spend only the amount of money that food stamp recipients receive per week on food – basically, to live off $21 for the week or $3.00 for the day. This movement engages in the Challenge in order to raise awareness of the inadequacy of the average food stamp budget, which has remained the
same since the 1970s.
According to a STOP member Debbie Warshawsky, over 200 people have registered online, pledging to spend no more than $3.00 on food today. STOP provided lunch and dinner to participants in the lobby Old Union today, taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of hunger here in the U.S.
The Food Stamp Challenge gained awareness in the blogosphere last year when Congressman Tim Ryan, who was participating in the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge (where members of Congress live off a food stamp budget to raise awareness of the inadequacy of the food stamp budget), had his jars of peanut butter and jelly confiscated by a TSA agent while flying due to regulations about liquid (Ryan had decided to live off sandwiches for the week). The jars represented the majority of his food stuff for the week and left him with .33 cents and a bag of cornmeal to last him for the remaining two days of the week-long challenge.
STOP is an official student group, which is 2 years old. They have participated in a number of awareness campaigns on campus this year, including the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. STOP’s goals are to increase awareness of poverty and inequality in the U.S. on campus, and to work in local communities, empowering residents in the Bay Area. You can contact STOP by emailing email@example.com.
With the price of gas rising food costs have escalated and more families on the edge are at risk and $3 doesn’t buy a lot of food, and neither does $21.
What are the experiences of those of you who have lived on $3 today?