Maryland Hunger Solutions invites you to take the SNAP Challenge to highlight the struggles faced by too many throughout our region who can’t afford the food they need.

SNAP is an essential lifeline that helps millions of Americans keep food on the table, but the current benefit level is far too low. Currently, the average benefit is about $22 for the week – or about $1.47 per person, per meal. By taking the SNAP Challenge, participants can experience the difficult choices that low-income families are forced to make while food shopping on a limited budget, realizing how difficult it is to avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy with few resources.

Check out the SNAP Challenge Toolkit  for more information.

How to Take the Challenge:

  1. Plan to spend the average SNAP benefit as your budget for 5 days. That amount is $22 for all food and beverages.
  2. All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week must be included in the total spending.
  3. During the Challenge, only eat food that you purchase for the project. Do not eat food that you already own (this does not include spices and condiments).
  4. Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or at work, including at receptions, briefings, or other events where food is served (with the exception of food eaten at public places where anyone could eat, e.g., a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, etc.).
  5. Invite others to join you, including co-workers, reporters, chefs, or elected officials.

While living on a SNAP 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 of why SNAP benefits need to be improved.