Just as everything is a metaphor, the SNAP Challenge is one in many ways, not the least of which are the freedom and flexibility that are not there for people in poverty. Once I did my shopping for the week on Sunday, I was done. No trips to the deli for french fries, a juice, or to go get guacamole and chips. All of these are part and parcel to my days here; this week they are absent. I wanted to go out to dinner tomorrow night after a meeting but realized that was off. It became clear early in this process that gone was the freedom and flexibility I feel in my life every day.
There is no freedom in poverty. We all know that, in theory, and we see it in our days. Now, we get to “know it” in practice. And it highlights why poverty is our greatest social problem, one that we can solve with the focus we are bringing to this week’s efforts.
I sat in a class last night with 15 people who are living in poverty. The stressors they face, the insecurity they feel, the health issues they and their children face – all of these are the result of poverty and will be addressed positively if they are able to rise out of it. That is why the SNAP Challenge, with the metaphors it contains, is such a timely and important step along the way.