Hunger Challenge

How well can you eat off $4.03/day?

Since my car got shot up by some hooligans and a BB gun, I’ve been using public transportation a lot more so to get around. As I chased after my bus one morning, I noticed a huge notice on the rear of the bus:

And I really, really want to try it. In college, I took a Nutrition course where the final project was to create menus for breakfast, lunch, a snack, dinner and dessert that met all the daily RDI  for a week- all together under $5 a day. It was a really fun and creative project to conduct ( I will do some digging and post my menu in a separate post). But if I really had to eat all 3 of my meals under $5/day, it would be extremely difficult and timely to cost out and calculate the nutritional information as we did ( and I spent hours creating  my menu for the week). Arlington Food Assistance Center is challenging you to eat under $4.03 a day, the average amount in food supplements a person in need receives.

Below are the official Hunger Challenge Rules:

  1. Spend no more than $4.03 per day, $28.21 per week, including beverages.
  2. Don’t use food already on hand unless you deduct the value from your weekly amount. Salt and pepper don’t count, but all other seasonings, cooking oils, condiments, snacks and drinks do.
  3. Don’t accept food from family, friends, coworkers and others.
  4. Try to include fresh produce and healthy protein each day.
Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat the food I grow?

Yes, you can eat food from your garden. AFAC provides vegetable seedlings to our clients. Of course, not all have the space or time to grow their own food.

What about my morning coffee?

Your morning trip to the local coffee shop will bust your budget so try making coffee at home. If coffee is all that is stopping you from doing the Hunger Challenge, you can make an exemption. (Be sure to appreciate your coffee even more.)

What if a friend invites me out to dinner?

You should decline, postpone, or invite your friend to participate in the Hunger Challenge and prepare a frugal meal together.

My office has bagels and other breakfast foods each Friday. Can I have some?

No. You should assume that most AFAC clients don’t work at places that provide food. Tell your co-workers about AFAC and the Hunger Challenge while they enjoy their bagels.

I found a couple of overlooked pit holes in this challenge:

I thought this would be a piece of cake, having created daily meals in college all together under $5, but my meals were costed out in terms of servings, not in individual purchases. For example, I would gratuitously use olive oil in my meal plan; however, 1 serving or tablespoon of olive oil, cost me around $.49  a tablespoon- which perfectly fits into my budget; however, to buy a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil would already cost me at least $5 bucks, already blowing my Hunger Challenge. So I wonder- do all my purchases and subsequent consumption have to be under $4.03/day for the Hunger Challenge, or just the meals in and of themselves under $4.03/day?

Also, $28.21 is  the amount of  SNAP an individual receives- the “S” stands for Supplemental (Nutrition Assistance Program), so in ADDITION to the money they already use from their personal finances to contribute towards food. So a big question for AFAC : how much does the average person who receives SNAP personally spend on food from their own personal finances before receiving the supplement?

Have you ever taken the AFAC Hunger Challenge?

One thought on “Hunger Challenge

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