Could you survive on just $4 per day without going hungry? Experience what life can be like for millions of low-income Americans who receive SNAP benefits.

Take FRAC’s SNAP Challenge!

Most participants take the Challenge for one week and discover they have to make difficult food shopping choices, and often realize how difficult it is to afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy. While living on a SNAP budget for just a week cannot come close to the challenges encountered by low-income families week after week and month after month, it does provide those who take the Challenge with a new perspective and greater understanding.

For the past 10 years, FRAC has supported and fostered SNAP Challenges to help educate the public and opinion leaders about the important role SNAP plays in mitigating hunger and poverty — and the need to strengthen the program so beneficiaries can afford enough food for their health and well-being.

The Challenge first captured public attention in 2006 when FRAC allies in Philadelphia hosted one, followed by groups in Wichita, Kansas.

The Challenge took the national stage in 2007 when four Members of Congress — Representatives James McGovern (D-Mass.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) — pledged to live for one week on an average SNAP budget and blogged about their experiences.

Since then, hundreds — if not thousands — of people have taken the Challenge, including Members of Congress, governors, state legislators, mayors, celebrities, religious and community leaders, reporters, and average citizens.

Now you can too…

SNAP Challenge Toolkit

Includes Challenge guidelines, registration hints, host event ideas, media planning information, and more.

Download the toolkit.

Recent Publications & Data

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  • Advocacy Tool

    Restoring the value of the minimum wage — and helping families cover basic needs — is essential to addressing hunger. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour has not increased since 2009. A more adequate minimum wage would foster the nation’s economic strength and growth to be shared in more equitable ways. Low-income workers and their families would benefit the most from a higher minimum wage, leading to reduced poverty, hunger, and income inequality.

    From FRAC, the Economic Policy Institute, and the National Employment Law Project.

    Read more
  • Report

    The monthly benefits provided by SNAP enhance the foodpurchasing power of eligible low-income individuals and families. However, as described by many studies, including one by the Institute of Medicine, the greatest shortcoming of SNAP is that benefits for most households are not enough to get through the entire month without hunger or being forced to sacrifice nutrition quality. This limitation persists even in the face of overwhelming evidence on the gains from more adequate monthly SNAP benefits.

    This paper briefly analyzes why SNAP benefits are inadequate, reviews the body of research showing positive effects from more adequate SNAP benefits, and concludes with some of the key policy solutions that can improve benefit adequacy.

    Read the report
  • Advocacy Tool

    More than 40 million Americans are living in households that are food insecure. Even as the economy has improved, millions of families have been left behind, and the need for food assistance remains high. Congress should deepen its historically bipartisan commitment to programs that provide food assistance to vulnerable low-income households by protecting the structure of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the other federal nutrition programs, and by sufficiently funding them to address hunger in America.

    Read more
  • Advocacy Tool

    On February 1, USDA published a Proposed Rule on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents RIN 0584-AE57. That rule, if adopted, would make changes to SNAP that Congress specifically declined to make in the recently enacted 2018 Farm Bill. The proposed changes would decrease state flexibility, harm local economies, and increase hunger. They should be rejected.

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