The SNAP Challenge gives participants a glimpse into some of the struggles faced by millions of low-income Americans who are trying to put food on their tables. Participants use the average SNAP benefit (just $4.63 per day in Louisiana), as their budget for food for one week. The Challenge provides an opportunity for participants to experience how difficult it is for families living on SNAP to simultaneously avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy with limited resources.
Over the years, hundreds of Members of Congress, governors, state officials, journalists, and other community leaders have taken the Challenge and have learned first-hand what it is like to try to make ends meet on the average SNAP benefit.
The average SNAP benefit in Louisiana is $139 per person per month, or about $4.63 per day.
Here are some guidelines for the Challenge:
- Each person should spend up to $32.41 for food and beverages during the Challenge week, which is the average benefit for a SNAP recipient. All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week, including dining out, must be included in the total spending.
- During the Challenge, only eat food that you purchase for the project. If you eat food that you already have at home, account for it in your SNAP budget.
- Whenever possible, avoid accepting free food from family, friends and coworkers since these opportunities are not always available to those in need.
- Eat as healthy as possible, keeping in mind that this is how many people eat every day, whereas you can make up for lost nutrients next week.
- Track your spending and publicly share your experience on a blog, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.