More than 100 Marylanders Taking the Challenge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kirsten Bokenkamp, 202-986-2200 x3974, 202-957-6611; firstname.lastname@example.org
Baltimore, Md. – October 9, 2012
What: The Food Stamp Challenge: Participants pledge to use the average food stamp benefit – $30 a week in Maryland – as their total budget for groceries for seven days.
Who: Maryland Hunger Solutions Director Cathy Demeroto will be joined by more than 100 people across the state including Maryland Department of Human Resources Ted Dallas, United Way of Central Maryland Director Mark Furst, Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute Director Neil Bergsman, State Delegates Mary Washington and Shane Robinson. Demeroto and others taking the Challenge will be documenting their experiences on Maryland Hunger Solutions’ Challenge Diary.
When: October 9-15, 2012
Why: The Food Stamp Challenge gives participants a view of what life can be like for millions of low-income Americans. Challenge participants find they are forced to make difficult food shopping choices, and often realize how difficult it is to avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy.
“While living on a food stamp budget for just a week cannot come close to the struggles encountered by low-income families week after week and month after month, it does provide those who take the Challenge with a new perspective and greater understanding,” said Demeroto. “We hope to shed a light on the challenges facing many in our state and the need to provide for the needs of low-income Marylanders.” As households throughout Maryland continue to face economic struggles, food stamps serve as a critical resource. According to data collected by Gallup and analyzed by the Food Research and Action Center, more than one in seven Marylanders reported in the first half of 2012 that they had a difficult time affording food at some point in the previous twelve months. Eligibility is based on income and assets depending on household size. In August 2012, more than 733,869 Marylanders received food stamps (called the Food Supplement Program in Maryland).
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Maryland Hunger Solutions is the lead research, public education, and advocacy group in Maryland, dedicated to using public programs to end hunger in Maryland. Maryland Hunger Solutions is an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center.