Could You Live For A Week On A Food Stamp Budget?

December 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Food Stamp Challenge, Press Releases | Leave a comment

Food Stamp Challenge Participants Share Brown Bag Lunch and Conversation with SNAP Recipients at Children’s Hunger Alliance

Cleveland, OH––The Jewish Federation of Cleveland has organized a team of volunteers to take the Food Stamp Challenge and better understand what it’s like to live on the average weekly food stamp benefit of $31.50.

The group–primarily comprised of Federation volunteers and professionals–will meet with current SNAP recipients, including Tonya Martin-Penn (a mother of four, whose husband lost his job after a devastating car accident) at the Children’s Hunger Alliance’s midtown offices (3634 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44115) at noon on Wednesday, December 14.

Warren L. Wolfson, Chair of the Federation’s Community Relations Committee (CRC) is taking the Challenge this year. “The goal is getting people to pay active attention to the real crisis of hunger and poverty all around us and take action now to support federal programs that do make a difference,” said Wolfson.

Debra Parmer, Vice President of Regional Operations for the Children’s Hunger Alliance, started the Challenge on Sunday. After only two days, Parmer has already noticed a significant change in herself: not only is she more focused on food than ever before; she finds herself to be generally unhappy. Parmer spoke of the profound impact the Challenge has already had on her: “I work in the community and see hunger facing the children we work with everyday. I wanted to experience what others, without my choices or options, must go through. This has been a powerful experience for me.”

The team joins interfaith community activists across the country, that have already taken the Challenge, and together are sending a resounding message to legislators about the crisis of hunger in our own communities and across our nation.

The week-long challenge is part of the Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization, which the Jewish Council for Public Affairs co-chairs with the National Council of Churches and Catholic Charities and includes more than 50 national faith groups as partners.

The objective is twofold: to send a message to legislators about the importance of supporting the SNAP program (formerly known as Food Stamps) that currently reaches more than 45 million Americans with vital nutrition assistance and last year kept almost 4 million from falling into poverty, and to understand what it’s like to live on the average weekly benefit of $31.50.

To see the daily challenges of the current participants, visit:

For general information on the program visit:

Visit to see the ways the Federation is working to alleviate hunger in Cleveland and for information on ways you can help.

— Jewish Federation of Cleveland —


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