Here is the blog post with the rules I will be following for my month-long food stamp (SNAP) challenge. I’ve thought quite a bit about these, talked to a bunch of people on Facebook and on the blog here, talked with my family and friends about this and we’ve come up with what I think is a pretty good and realistic set of guidelines for the challenge.
Before I get into that, I want to share with you a few poignant moments that have happened to me already while preparing for the challenge that I hadn’t exactly expected but that were interesting to experience nonetheless.
Preparing for this challenge has brought back a lot of memories for me. For example, I was remembering the first time I learned what food stamps were. I was raised in an upper-middle-class family. As a child, I never did without anything. Compared to a food stamp recipient, we were rich. I always had a full belly. From the time I was little, my parents owned fast-food, burger-joint type restaurants, so food was always around me. I grew up eating burgers and fries and sodas. This might be one reason I’m not a big fast-food fan today.
When I left my parent’s home at the age of fifteen, I lived with my (then future) daughter’s father’s family for a little less than a year. This was my first introduction to food stamps. I had never even heard of them until I moved into this tiny three-bedroom, one-bath home with five adults, two teenagers and three kids. I don’t know for sure how much food stamps they received, but I know I saw the mother of the family using them and had to ask what they were. I thought they were a special program that the store we shopped at (a Save-A-Lot–which was a store with second-hand freezers, misprinted labeled foods and meats sold frozen solid and in bulk–they were cheap. I had no idea how much things cost–I was quite naive about those things as a 15-year-old kid!), kind of like green stamps used to be. I am barely old enough to remember being a kid and shopping at the green stamps store.
Shopping like that, living like that, using food stamps like that was a culture shock for me.Read More