Every time I talk about the Food Stamp Challenge, somebody asks me for the exceptions. What about their garden? What about their spice rack? What about coffee hour at their congregation.
These “what ifs” are a great chance to consider what it’s like for people on food stamps. So, rather than lay down a strict law about what is allowed and what is not, I’d rather you consider for yourself what’s appropriate and what isn’t and how that impacts your decision.
Here are some ways people are adapting the Challenge:
- Put a value on the food you already have in the house. If you have a few bananas around on Sept. 4, you don’t have to let them go bad. You can figure out what they would cost and put that into your budget.
- Find Free Food. I know the rules say you shouldn’t do this, but in truth many people on food stamps depend on finding ways to get some free food, whether that’s refreshments after church or samples at the super market.
- Use your garden. If you have a garden, that can be a source of some goodies, and some people on food stamps have access to a garden.
- Consider what it means when you bend the rules. If you have to bend the rules, take a moment to consider what that means. If it’s too hard for you for one week, what does that mean for people who face this every day? What ways do you have access to resources that people on food stamps don’t?
These are a few ideas. Feel free to share your thought about what’s appropriate–and what isn’t, as you take the Challenge.