Skinny Bitch’s Vegan Challenge

If the Arlington Food Assistance Center Hunger Challenge is my food Iron Man, then co-author of the Skinny Bitch Rory Freedman’s vegan SNAP food challenge is my pre-marathon training.


Having raised a couple question about AFAC’s Hunger Challenge, I searched the Internets to see what actual contestants of the challenge did. I came across an similar SNAP food challenge undertaken by Rory, but with a twist: it was entirely vegan.

Rory spent $33 dollars ( the average amount of SNAP an individual receives in California) on fresh fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains for the entire week. She bought bought whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, carrots, kale, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, apples, mangoes, pears, nectarines, bananas, black beans, white beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, and organic peanut butter. Rory explains the answers to one of my original questions posed in regards to AFAC’s Hunger Challenge, ” Isn’t SNAP supposed to be a supplemental program, so in addition to the amount of food an individual already spends from their personal finances?” Rory answers:

Since SNAP is a supplemental program, I used some of the food I already had at home, like bread, jelly, garlic, rice milk, olive oil, and vinegar.

I think Rory’s challenge actually brings the purpose of SNAP into context. And makes the challenge more realistic. Even SNAP’s federal homepage states:

SNAP benefits help supplement an individual’s or a family’s income to help buy nutritious food. Most households must spend some of their own cash along with their SNAP benefits to buy the food they need.

SNAP does encourage its recipients to make healthy choices, but Rory’s challenge mandates it. She says that she can “…only imagine how hard this would be for Americans who are addicted to junk food, like chips, soda, and sugar… or for Americans who are addicted to meat and cheese, which are high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and low in fiber and nutrients.”   Rory has partnered with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to push for a revamped SNAP program to promote healthy basics like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

I will be withdrawing exactly $33 from my bank account this weekend. And headed to the produce section of the grocery store.
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