This past Sunday marked the beginning of Hunger Free Vermont’s 3SquaresVT Challenge, a program which seeks to highlight what it’s like to eat on the average food stamps benefit – approximately $1.80 per meal for a single person. Taking the Challenge is an enlightening process, as you get to learn first hand what it’s like to make ends meet on this very tight budget. Though food stamps are officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a sizable number of recipients depend on this benefit alone to provide them with meals throughout each month. Hunger Free Vermont’s aim is that the Challenge “draws attention to the experience of living on a strict food budget allotment and how that may or may not change your daily life both physically and psychologically as a participant.”
To broaden awareness of the 3SquaresVT Challenge, Hunger Free Vermont has recently screened a duo of food insecurity related documentaries across Vermont. One of the films was We Have to Talk About Hunger, a poignant look at the faces of food insecurity in Vermont from local filmmaker Alison Segar. The other was Food Stamped, an award winning film which follows a couple in California as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamps budget and also investigate the state of food systems in the U.S. Their website features some interesting information about their own food stamps challenge and more.