Okay, maybe not next week since it’s Thanksgiving, but the week after, find out if you can go a week on only $24 for food. That’s the challenge the folks at Sodexo Careers have just come up with.

From the site:

The “Food Stamp Challenge” is a program that aims to educate us on what it is like to eat on the average food stamp benefit – which is little more than a $1 per meal per person.

With a little research I learned more about the nation’s food stamp benefit which about $3.45 per day (depending on income and situation). That’s about $24 per person per week (source) . After paying for housing, energy and health care expenses, many low-income households have little or no money remaining to spend on food without food stamp benefits and often those benefits don’t last the month forcing them to turn to food pantries and soup kitchens. Sadly, more than 35.5 million people in the United States are at risk of hunger. The Sodexo Foundation supports supports hunger-related initiatives on local, state, and national levels to help children and families in the United States who are battling problems such as poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and food insecurity.

While living on a food stamp budget for just a week can’t compare to the real life struggles of low-income families week after week and month after month, it can provide those who take the Challenge a new perspective. Shondra said that while she was keenly aware of the problem of hunger in the U.S. and the limitations of current Food Stamp benefits, she took the Challenge to make the issues more personal. “Nothing is more powerful in raising personal awareness and understanding than to experience for yourself (if only for one week) what others experience every day.”

Bonus #1: You aren’t on your own. Download the Toolkit.

Bonus #2: This could easily grow into a buzz-worthy movement if properly funneled through social media. Do I hear “case study?”

Bonus #3: After a week of eating out with visiting family and Thanksgiving next week, the timing couldn’t be better anyway.) $24 for a week? I’m game. (Cafe au lait doesn’t count though, right?)

Okay, who else is in?

photo by Christopher Wray-McCann