Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Food stamp challenge (with abundant talent)

In my presentation at Virginia Tech last month, I mentioned the food stamp challenge, a short-term exercise in living on the food budget available to a very low-income participant in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

One of the students there began the challenge and documented it on a blog, posting food photography and receipts.  Although some people attempt a food stamp challenge using average benefits as the spending benchmark, I think Clara was correct to use the maximum SNAP benefit as a benchmark (this is the benefit amount received by the lowest-income program participants).

Of course, few of us have the talent to make a food stamp challenge look so good.  Please do not use Clara's blog posts for the purpose of redesigning federal food stamp policy!  Instead, just consider Clara's experience as one example of the diversity of experiences that people have with the economics of food spending, preparation, and ... clearly ... enjoyment.

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