No freedom — and the metaphors of The SNAP Challenge

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.

  1 comment for “No freedom — and the metaphors of The SNAP Challenge

  1. Elizabeth
    February 7, 2013 at 1:34 am

    I am middle class, but even I sruggle with feeding my family on a budget. When calculating I found I was close to 5 $ a day with what we have done. It is hard, but possible. The difference is we have the choice to deviate from time to time.

    The one common trend is feedback from this challenge, is that it took planning, discipline, and resources, guidance, and recipie help. Training and education is one important component for a food stamp recipient to truly live on the budget, but eat well and as nutritious as possible. With rising healthcare costs and an obesity epidemic this is one important thing that can be done to improve the lifer of some one living in poverty.

    My husband and I cut out processed foods (with little exception), and are struggling to stay in the 70 to 100 $a week for our family of four. It has been very difficult, have learned to use everything we can, eat left overs, and use item in a plainer menu that are common. It is still a struggle. I hope community based organizations like yours (you are great) incorporate dietary and shopping skills to help people know what they are eating and how to calculate true cost and value. It is a game that all people should know how to play.

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