TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They help feed more than 20,000 mouths every week. September is Hunger Action Month, and the East Texas Food Bank is asking for a little time, a little food, or a little money.
In an effort to raise hunger awareness, I am participating in the food bank's challenge of living off food stamps for a week. It's day one and so far so good! But, the next six days should open my eyes to a problem so many East Texans face: hunger. The Food Bank's SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, gives you $24 to eat with for the week. That's the same amount those on food stamps use to feed their family.
Now, I've always considered myself a pretty frugal shopper but today (Thursday) really put the price of groceries in perspective.
Imagine not being able to pay your light bill or pay for the medicine that you need because you've gotta buy groceries.
With my $24, it was time for some grocery shopping...but not without some help.
Certified nutritionist Maggie Griffin was my grocery guide for the day. She helped me get started on a nutritious, yet budget friendly menu. We checked our list and one by one I got the staples, picking up cooking tips along the way.
I found some beans I could cook all night long, and then box up in little containers to put it in the fridge for an instant dinner. I found that for many foods, convenience reflects cost. A little cooking may be necessary for the best deal. Doing a body good, milk was my next target while Maggie went towards the produce. I couldn't resist making one change to my menu, grabbing a bag of Snickers. I threw a few onions on the scale to check my cost, then was good to go. After a quick unload at the checkout and I got my total...$25.28 - more than a dollar over. Handing over the Snickers, the new price was easily under the limit. I bagged up my food for the week in fewer bags than normal, but left the store ready for the challenge.
Can't wait to see what tasty meals tomorrow holds!
I will keep you posted on how the SNAP Challenge goes. Be watching for my updates on KLTV.com!