Resources for SNAP Food Stamp Challenge

After putting out there that we’re going to do the SNAP Challenge August 20-26th (living on the budgeted equivalent of food stamps for a week for meals), some folks came forward with some really helpful resources. Even if you’re not on public assistance and not planning to take part in the challenge, these are useful tools to help anyone on a budget plan for some good, nutritious meals.

Here’s a video clip on meal prep with only food bought on the food stamp budget, along with the list of groceries the chef bought on the budget:

Mario’s Food Stamp Challenge Grocery List

Here are dozens of recipes from Harvesters Food Network you can do on a food-stamp-equivalent budget, complete with nutrition information for each meal:

Harvesters Food Network SNAP Recipes

And here they are as a downloadable PDF:


Here’s a piece from about the prevalence of public food assistance (currently 1 in 7 Americans receives some kind of food aid), along with links to recipes and some tips on how to save money on your groceries, while also eating healthy. article, recipes and shopping tips

Finally, here’s a link to the website for Frugivore Magazine, a resource dedicated to low-cost, healthy eating.

Most important, this challenge is about raising awareness for those of us not on assistance, hopefully with the aim of gaining some compassion through the process of the challenges so many of our brothers and sisters face, every day. Aside from that, we can all use the practice of being more mindful of what we put into our bodies from time to time, as well as what we spend on that food.

Do you have other favorite resources? Share them in the comments below!

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  • Chuckles

    Maybe as a supplement to the challenge, everyone can apply for food stamps as well (whether you will qualify for them or not). You’ll get to see how many hoops they make you jump through to get them, and then, as an added bonus, get to you’ll get looked down upon by uptight social workers with bad attitudes. It’s a real treat, and part of the whole public assistance package.

  • mel

    I honestly do not understand what you are trying to accomplish with this whole challenge…as someone who lived off of food stamps for a period of my life it actually feels a little insulting that you are doing a “challenge” to see if you can live off of what I did for a week. Try living off that for months. People in poverty have to be creative and crafty on a daily basis to survive and they choose between putting gas in their car so they can get to class and eating for the day…or they sell their food stamps so they can put the gas in their car…or they buy pop with their food stamps and then return the cans for the deposit money…and the list goes on and on. When you are in a place where you actually have to think about where your next meal for your kids is going to come from you reach a whole new level of desperation that you never knew existed…but you also reach a whole new level of trust in God to provide for your needs. My kid never once went hungry, nor did I. A stranger on the street would hand me a $20, I would get invited to a meal. Every single day I experienced another new miracle as I watched God meet my every need. You can give up going out to eat and getting coffee at Starbucks for a week as an act of “solidarity” for those living in poverty, but I feel like it’s a silly, almost meaningless thing to do. Because next week you will be enjoying the pleasures of middle class life again w/out giving it a second thought, and you will not have helped anyone. Just my opinion, of course! 🙂

  • Mel

    The other thing that bugs me about this is that it isn’t really raising awareness for what it is like to live in poverty…for one thing, food is the LEAST of our worries…there are free meals and food banks everywhere, in addition to food stamps…finding food in America is not an issue. Things like not having transportation, having to wait in lines all day long to talk to social workers who look down on you and treat you like crap, experiencing judgment and being looked down upon (you are automatically lazy and uneducated if you’re poor, you know), not having equal access to services, substandard medical care…all of these things are way bigger problems then being on a limited food budget. In the same way that the 30 hr. Famine doesn’t teach teenagers what it’s like to go hungry in Africa this is not going to really raise awareness for what it’s like to live in poverty in America. A visit to a homeless shelter and an honest conversation with a family there would raise a lot more awareness. How about inviting a family from the shelter over to your house for a meal? Not your church, but your actual house…with your kids present. That would be a challenge that would actually raise awareness AND do some good for someone else.

  • taxedmore

    9 of the top 12 obese states also happen to be in the top 14 states for percentage of population on food stamps. So they are not only fat, they are paid to be fat by the taxpayers. And the democrats think this is just great and we should be doing more of the same.

    • Healthy food is expensive; if you use SNAP, you’ll buy what you can afford, not what’s best for you.