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Mississippi Leaders Take the SNAP Challenge

By Daniel Cherry | Published 13 Nov 2012 09:48pm | comments
Dozens of Mississippi leaders are learning what it's like to feed a family while living in poverty. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on the SNAP Challenge and how it's raising awareness about hunger in our own backyards.
 
The goal is to buy enough food to feed a family of four for a week. The catch is, do it on 100 dollars. Melissa Boguslawski with The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi says the key is to plan ahead.
 
"We kind of just thought what would be easy to make and something that you could use more than one day a week. Kind of use again, so you're looking to see what will be easy, not take a lot of time to make, but also feed a family of four."
 
The program is called the SNAP Challenge, where community leaders get a glimpse of the budget of a resident receiving nutrition assistance. Sara Steinlage, with a company called Elanco helped organize challenge in Jackson. She points out, Mississippi leads the nation in food insecurity so the goal is to increase understanding of those residents.
 
"it is a challenge. The folks that are doing this for their families aren't living high on the hog. They're not having lavish meals. They're putting very basic foods on their table, but they have to know how to cook. There's no convenience in any of these foods."
 
For some, the SNAP challenge is an eye-opening experience. Melissa Dean, the President of the Urban League of Greater Jackson found out, feeding a family on a budget is easier said than done.
 
"I said,'You've got to be kidding me. There is no way that I'm going to be able to go in with $100 to feed a family of four. I can't see that.' But today it was brought to life, and it happened. We had enough food for a week."
 
For a family of four to be eligible for SNAP benefits in Mississippi, total household income must be less than 28 thousand 665 dollars.

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