Can you imagine what it would be like to only have $4.50 to spend on food for an entire day? I spend that much on my Starbucks coffee in the mornings! There’s no way I could make it last for three whole meals. However, that’s what many people who receive food stamps from the government have to do every single day, and now, students at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania are trying it out through the Fighting Poverty with Faith Food Stamp Challenge.
The challenge is being offered by the Chaplain’s Office of the College and allows students to really understand what it is like to survive on food stamps. They are then encouraged to advocate for the hungry by writing letters to their government officials to increase Food Stamp Assistance programs.
“By stepping into the shoes of someone who lives on food stamps, students experience the difficult decisions many families make every day,” said Amy Shorner-Johnson, the assistant chaplain at Elizabethtown College. “My hope for the Food Stamp Challenge is students go beyond simply being grateful for what they have, toward action and advocacy on behalf of the hungry.”
Students have three meal plan options to choose from when they are participating in the challenge. They can eat a meal that costs about $1.50, receive $4.50 worth of food stamps for a day, or receive $31.50 of food stamps for any entire week’s worth of food.
In 2010, there were more than 40 million people and 19 million households who used food stamps. This number has been growing recently, probably in response to the current economic recession. The students at Elizabethtown College are not the only ones who are participating in the Fighting Poverty with Faith Food Stamp Challenge; many congressional Democrats are also participating in order to oppose cuts to the food stamp program that have been proposed by the Republicans.
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