Food stamps are a hot topic and have been for a long time. Some people feel that no food stamps should be given at all and people should be made to fend for themselves. Other people may be confused about what food stamps are and how they are given to recipients. With all the misconceptions, hard feelings, and anger towards the program many people have started participating in food stamp challenges. Here are a few things to know about these challenges and the effects they have on the program as a whole.
Food stamp challenges are different depending on the outcome or awareness they are trying to produce. The most common is the one week challenge. This challenge takes the average amount a single person or family of 4 receives for a week of food. You then take that amount and purchase the food on your own. You keep track of what you purchase and stay within or if possible below the allotted amount. You eat only that food for one week. No eating out, no extra purchases. What you buy is what you eat.
The purpose of most of the challenges is to bring awareness to how many people are living across the country. Recipients are usually on the poverty line or below it. They are having a hard time making ends meet and benefits help, but may not be enough to provide proper nutrition. The challenges are also there to make people aware of the truth about who is on SNAP and who isn’t. There is a common misconception that people are on the program for the wrong reasons. The truth is families in need and the elderly make up the majority of the recipients. The challenges bring awareness to that.
The truth is the effects are not far reaching. The challenges help bring awareness for a short time. They help the needs and the cause to be brought to the media’s attention. The problem is they disappear quickly. They are rarely used to help benefits on a political or legal level. They do not really help the program. They do, however, bring awareness in one way or another. For good or bad, people are made aware for a very short time. The topic is discussed and ideas are shared. If the purpose is awareness, then the effect is long term and it does help to bring awareness.
Overall the challenges do bring a sense of awareness and discussion. They do help in that sense. They will not make a difference in legislation on the matter, but they do help shed some light on the common misconceptions of the program. People will believe what they want to believe. However, some people will have their eyes open to the needs of the program and the needs of recipients and in that sense the program and challenges work.