Could I get what I considered to be proper nutrition on the food budget of the average older person on SNAP? That was the challenge that I set for myself.
During the SNAP Challenge, I’m using SparkPeople, an online nutrition diary, to track my intake of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
When NCOA decided to do the SNAP Challenge, people assumed I would leave the rest of my family out of it. Never! Since we eat dinner together as a family every night, my family was required to come along on this important ride with me.
I am starting day four of the SNAP challenge and was so glad to make it over hump day! My husband opted out of the challenge but has been quite supportive. He helped me shop last Sunday at Aldi’s but said he did not have to participate to know that he couldn’t make it on that little amount of food.
I'm on day three of the SNAP challenge and it's getting a bit easier to get into a routine. I’ve found that my biggest struggle has been in the evenings at dinner time and before bed.
Food already looms large in my life. I have enjoyed cooking and many of my happy childhood memories involve family meals. One special memory is picking the first strawberries in June on the eastern end of Long Island for my father’s favorite birthday cake – Strawberry Shortcake with lots of fresh whipped cream. So taking up the SNAP challenge is something I think I am equipped for.
My husband is joining me for this week of the SNAP Challenge, and we knew we couldn't make it through the week without some serious advance planning.
During the first day of the SNAP Challenge, I thought a lot about my grandmothers, both of whom knew how to stretch a dollar to feed their families.
My maternal grandmother, Thelma, raised five children on my grandfather's railroad salary and the money she brought in by running a daycare in her home. During the Great Depression, her family relied on bruised and damaged vegetables from the local grocery when they couldn't afford produce.
I shared the SNAP challenge with a friend a couple weeks ago and she invited me over on Monday for a potluck. I joined her and her family with my very skimpy salad (lettuce, grated carrots, and tomato) to add to her meal.
Today was the first SNAP lunch, consisting of rice and beans, a sweet potato, and some greens. It was definitely a much smaller portion than what I’m used to eating for a work lunch.
I went to my local supermarket on Saturday to buy my food for the week, and learned several lessons even before starting to live on my tight budget.
As I reflect on how to make this week work on the less-than-$5-a-day budget, I think about my grandmother, Momma Carol. She lived in the same apartment for 40 years and three of her neighbor/friends were there for 30+ years...
I approached my shopping trip to prepare for the SNAP Challenge armed with the 4 Cs: coupons, calculator, club card, and cash. With a budget of only $20, I wanted to make sure I was ready for the bargains.
Could you eat healthy on $3.84 per day? That’s the challenge for the 2.85 million seniors who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food help – on only $119 per month (national average). And now it’s our challenge, too. From March 5-9, 2012, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) will sponsor the first-ever SNAP Challenge by a national organization serving older adults.