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

See More Resources
  • Report

    Poverty and food insecurity have detrimental impacts on infant, child, and maternal health and well-being in both the short and long terms. One critical strategy to address these issues is connecting vulnerable families to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Decades of research have demonstrated the effectiveness of WIC in reducing food insecurity, and improving health, nutrition, development, and well-being.

    WIC is a Critical Economic, Nutrition, and Health Support for Children and Families provides background information on WIC; briefly summarizes the harmful impacts of poverty and food insecurity; and highlights research demonstrating the effective role of WIC in improving food and economic security, dietary intake, weight outcomes, health, and learning.

    Read the report
  • Report

    The WIC food packages were revised in 2007 to align the authorized food with the latest nutrition science and guidance. The majority of WIC participants are satisfied with the revised food packages in terms of the new foods offered and changes in the amounts of food. As summarized in this brief, Impact of the Revised WIC Food Packages on Nutrition Outcomes and the Retail Food Environment, research shows that the revised WIC food packages have favorable impacts on dietary intake, breastfeeding outcomes, and obesity rates. In addition, also as summarized in this brief, studies suggest an important role for WIC in improving neighborhood food environments, which benefits both WIC participants and non-participants.

    Read the report
  • Best Practice

    Unemployed or underemployed adults without dependents and without other exemptions (such as disability) often face time limits after three months of receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In this best practice, learn how partnering with health professionals, advocates, application assistance providers, and others can help individuals who are struggling against hunger to continue to receive benefits from SNAP when they might otherwise be improperly subjected to three-month time limits as so-called “Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents” (ABAWD).

    Learn more
  • Report

    Making WIC Work Better features a comprehensive set of recommendations to overcome the barriers that have led to a downward trend in participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

    Read the report