GW College Democrats in conjunction with the Alpha Phi Omega service Fraternity and GW Hunger and Homeless Awareness held a meeting with all participants of the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Challenge in the Marvin Center on Nov. 11.
The SNAP challenge is a nation wide call to action for ordinary citizens to live off a food budget of $22 dollars for a week or $4.50 a day. The challenge is designed to give participants the experience of living on food stamps.
Brooks Boron, community service director of Campus Democrats, started the meeting with a list of places people could buy food from in order to emulate the dietary restrictions SNAP places on participants. He then explained items SNAP restricts such as alcohol, tobacco, and hot foods.
Brooks then introduced a blog that participants could fill out about their daily food intake. He stressed that the writer be honest about his or her success and failures, noting that even going above one’s daily budget of $4.50 showed the difficulty of living off food stamps alone. These stories will be posted on the blog
Boron also explained the positive effects that the SNAP program has on people below the poverty line such as reduced chances of childhood obesity and better overall health. He dismantled common myths regarding SNAP.
Upon being asked if the 73 participating students would be enough to spread awareness on GW campus, Boron replied that the challenge would be heavily invested in social media such as the blog and twitter where it could attract more people to the cause.
Two teaching assistants from the Human Services and Community Class, Daniela DiGuido and Tyler Daniels, also took an opportunity to explain the coinciding events happening this week for Homelessness Awareness Week. Upcoming events, including Thursday’s Hunger Banquet, will spread awareness of homelessness issues that pervade DC and other major cities.
During this week, they will collect canned food items for the homeless in boxes placed around campus.