7 days later, 24 dollars means more says reporter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7 days later, 24 dollars means more says reporter

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - $24 means a little more to me now than it did seven days ago. I accepted the SNAP Challenge because I wanted to see through the eyes of close to 400,000 East Texans. I lived for a week off what one person would have with the Food Banks SNAP Program, similar to food stamps. The experience was an eye opening one. I knew it wasn't going to be easy.

"The hope is, through the SNAP Challenge, people are introduced to what family members are up against when they're trying to feed their family on a limited income," explained Food Bank Director Robert Bush.

My SNAP Challenge shopping trip was a surprising one. The cart was loaded with whole bags of beans, rice, and frozen chicken. Not exactly microwave friendly. In the beginning, I didn't do that great a job at planning my meals so headaches accompanied hunger pains.

Dinners were different that what I was used to. Plenty of preparation was required. I found out that prior planning paid off. What the food lacked in convenience it made up in flavor.

I paid the Food Bank a visit on my final day and checked in with Director Robert Bush.

"We really look at SNAP as one of the first lines of defense against hunger," said Bush.

Unfortunately, of the people who qualify for the SNAP Food Stamp Program, Bush says close to 40% don't even know it.

"We really don't want anyone having to make difficult choices between food and electricity or food and medicine or food and school clothes," said Bush. "There's no need to go through that if they can unveil themselves to the benefits that are out there for them."

...benefits that help East Texans with a challenge they face every day. The past week proved the power of just $1 which is all it takes for the Food Bank to produce eight meals for hungry East Texans.

If you want see what you can do for the hungry or take a look at Morgan's nutritionist approved menu click here.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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