SNAP Challenge: Friday

Before I write anything else, let me point you in the direction of our General Manager’s Blog. She took the SNAP Challenge last year (I think that’s actually why she started her blog), and she has some great insights. Read, or at least skim, it.


  • Peanut Butter Toast: $0.37

    PB Toast, Orange, and Milk


  • Orange: $0.36
  • Milk: $0.16
  • Total: $0.89

I don’t know why I didn’t eat toast for breakfast this entire week. It’s so affordable. Heck, I even got to eat an orange this morning! And I’m still under $1 for the entire meal, leaving me with $4.11 for the rest of the day. I’ll need it, too – I’ve been avoiding doing extraneous bicycling (see Tuesday’s post for my rant about biking while hungry), but this morning is chock full of appointments that will be faster to bike to than to ride the bus to. And that means I’ll need more calories. I’m going to go pack my lunch and two snacks right now, because I won’t have time to later.


  • Snack Mix: $0.22

One of my appointments this morning got canceled, so I have a bit more time. However, I’m still packing two snacks today – I’ll let you know if I eat them all. For the snack mix, I could have complemented the protein of the sunflower seeds with peanuts and gotten more out of it; however, I’m running tight on my budget today with two snacks, so I opted for the cheaper option of sesame seeds instead.


  • Hamburger Pie: $1.66
  • Pineapple-Corn Bread: $0.40
  • Cherry Tomatoes: $0.00
  • Total: $2.06

I was so happy to eat the pie for lunch. Like I said, I had a bunch of appointments around town today, and by the end of the day I probably will have made 10 miles of bike tracks through Champaign-Urbana. So, having a rich, protein-filled lunch was awesome. I wish I had made the Hamburger Pie earlier in the week.

Hamburger Pie, Pineapple-Corn Bread, and Cherry Tomatoes

A well-rounded lunch

I forgot to mention this in earlier posts, but my tomato plants are finally putting out tomatoes, so I’ve been snacking on home-grown cherry tomatoes this entire week. Eating even just one upon getting home from work perks me up – they’re so sweet and juicy. So, I had a handful for lunch today, and because I grew them myself, they’re free. It was a well-rounded lunch today.

You might notice that for how much I’m talking up this lunch, it only fills maybe two-fifths of my lunchbox. (This is a Laptop Lunchbox – we sell them at the store. You don’t have to be a kid to use one!)  So, I might not be getting enough calories per day. Perhaps.


  • Milk: $0.20

I had milk for my late afternoon snack before heading home. This puts me at $3.37 so far today, with $1.63 left. I actually don’t have a plan for dinner tonight, so I’m heading home to see what I can scrounge up…


  • Hamburger Pie: $1.66

Even if the Hamburger Pie tasted bad (which it most certainly does not), I would eat it tonight. I am far too hungry and tired to price out or plan another meal. Yes, I went over on my last day of the SNAP Challenge -the pie puts me at $5.03 for the day– but to be frank, right now I don’t care. I’m hungry. I’m going to eat, even if it is an hour before my usual dinner time.


Summing Up the SNAP Challenge…

Another bit of plain-faced honesty: I am very glad and grateful that this is the last day I’m doing the SNAP Challenge. This has been a really eye-opening experience, and I’ve enjoyed sharing my process with all of you, but it has taken mounds of time and energy. I am quite ready to get back to eating what I want and spending my time not looking at scales and spreadsheets. It has become very viscerally difficult for me to think about the people standing at the end of this week who can’t look forward to a weekend and foreseeable future of food security. Like much of the rest of the country, I knew hunger was a serious problem in the US, and something should be done about it – and yet, again like much of the rest of the country, I never took time to do anything about it.

Well, now I’m going to. The next week will be pretty busy for me with finalizing our October classes and newsletter and preparing from the Annual Meeting of Owners (MOO!), but the week after that -the week of October 3rd- I’m going to post a follow-up on the SNAP Challenge. I’m going to talk about what exactly it took for me to eat on $5 a day, what effects the Challenge had on me, and, by far most importantly, what we can do about hunger – in our community, state, country, and world. I hope you’ll read the follow-up post and join me in doing something about hunger.



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