Lewis Diuguid

Take Harvesters’ SNAP Challenge and learn how little food stamps provide

Some Missouri lawmakers should join other area residents in taking Harvesters’ SNAP Challenge next month. They might learn why pending legislation to reduce welfare benefits for needy families will only worsen problems people face.

Harvesters — The Community Food Network’s SNAP Challenge takes place March 2 to 6. Participants are asked to limit what they spend on food to $4.50 per person, per day for the five-day period.

SNAP is the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. The $4.50 a day is the average daily benefit for individuals in the Kansas City area.

It is particularly difficult to maintain a healthy diet with so little money. It’s why thousands of people who depend on food stamps are so food insecure, which leads to a host of other chronic health problems, including diabetes and hypertension.

People who take part in Harvesters’ SNAP Challenge are encouraged to use social media to post their experiences. They can go to #HarvestersSnapChallenge, use Harvesters' Facebook wall or write a blog or get the word out through other means.

Those who want to participate can sign up and get helpful tips and recipes by going to www.harvesters.org.

March is National Nutrition Month. Harvesters will offer food drive and other volunteer opportunities that focus on nutrition.