My wife and many members of her Lead Atlanta Class of 2014 leadership development group are all eating on $33.98 this week, and I’m joining them. We are participating in the Virtual Food Stamp SNAP Challenge.
Why $33.98? Because that is the the average weekly SNAP benefit per person for one week in Georgia.
You have probably heard about SNAP increasingly. That is because the U.S. Congress is in the middle of, er a year late on, deciding the fate of the Farm Bill, which is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. The bill, which originated in 1965, has been renewed on about a 5 year cycle. This time around the bill would cost an incredible $500,000,000 for another 5 years. That sure is a lot of zeros! To put that number into perspective, The Department of Defense (DoD), which accounts for about 96 percent of defense spending, received $580 billion in funding … for the year 2013 only.
Who cares about this bill? How about 314 million Americans who eat food. You know, you. Like it or not, the Farm Bill affects you every time you spend money on food. And it *really* affects the 47 million Americans who face low or very low food security. SNAP is the main way these American’s are able to get a semblance of daily sustenance. SNAP is also the most expensive, and contentiously debated, title of the United States farm bill.
Join us on our journey!
You are welcome to join us on our journey on this blog or my public Facebook profile. Please feel free to:
- Comment on our posts with advice, ideas, tips, and encouragement
- Send us links to articles on SNAP and other issues related to food including the Farm Bill
- Send us your own stories about both hunger and plenty; what have you learned from your own experience?