My accountabili-buddy in any number of other avenues, Jessi Robinson, confirmed what I already knew as I pondered the question:
I was talking to my wife about this; she is a Social Worker & most of her clients are on SNAP. Something to keep in mind as one does this is that most people who don't need food assistance also have pantries--people who DO have food assistance typically can't afford to create a pantry to pull from, which winds up hurting them over time (I can always have rice with a meal because I always have rice on hand & can afford a larger hit when it runs out). SNAP recipients usually can't afford the hit for a big bag of rice that will last for longer than a given month because they have to eat it during that month. Creating a pantry is difficult if one doesn't properly think it through beforehand.
So the question is, what do I allow myself to start with? What do I tuck away for the month of January? And what do I spend the next several weeks feverishly trying to finish?
Ultimately, I decided that I am prepared to start with salt, pepper, and a can of vegetable cooking spray. Anything else that I decide I "need", will have to fit within the confines of the budget. So staples like oatmeal, rice, or even spices like garlic powder will not enter into the equation unless I introduce them. I can't make this completely real (more on that in a future post), but I am open to coming as close as I can.
What other challenges should I be considering? Anything I'm leaving out?
HOW Will You Do It?
Oh SNAP! Introducing SNAP Challenge 2013