Target: Members of Congress taking the SNAP Challenge
Goal: Thank members of Congress for taking a stand against cuts to the food stamp program
Twenty-six members of Congress have taken the SNAP Challenge – temporarily living off of food stamps, a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). They have done so in order to better understand the need for SNAP program funding. Members who take the challenge live off of $4.50 a day or less, which is the average budget of a person who receives SNAP benefits. Those participating in the SNAP Challenge do so in protest of recent cuts to the SNAP program.
The members of Congress participating in the SNAP Challenge share their experiences, disclosing the challenges of living on such a limited budget. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) blogged about her grocery shopping experience, realizing that milk and butter were outside of her budget, and a McDonald’s value menu item counting as her midweek break. Individuals receiving SNAP assistance must find ways to purchase a week’s worth of groceries for as little as $30. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton completed the SNAP Challenge and shared that he felt “tired” and found it “hard to focus” by the fourth day of the challenge.
Meanwhile, twenty-five Republican representatives recently wrote a letter reading, “Unfortunately, the rapid growth of this program has only increased dependency on government and added to our federal deficit.” However, the experiences of those officials who have taken the time to experience what it is like to receive SNAP assistant have shown how important this program is to the people who need it. Commend the twenty-six Congress members who have participated in the SNAP Challenge, raising awareness about the importance of the food assistance program.
Dear Members of Congress,
Thank you for taking the time and initiative to take the SNAP Challenge, experiencing what it is like for those receiving SNAP assistance. The SNAP program has experienced funding cuts, and your efforts have raised awareness to other officials about the impact the SNAP program has on those who need it. I commend you for challenging yourselves to live on such a limited budget in order to prove how little is already given to those receiving assistance, and how crucial that little bit is to those trying to survive.
Encourage others to participate in the SNAP Challenge, and continue to advocate for funding for the SNAP food assistance program. There are so many families who rely on SNAP assistance to survive, and funding cuts to this program are taking away basic needs from American families. Thank you for taking a stand against this injustice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Elvert Barnes, Flickr