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
  • Guide

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service issued Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) on September 19, 2022, a final rule that simplifies and clarifies SFSP program requirements while also removing administrative barriers. Several of the final changes formally codify many of the rescinded policies that were previously available through nationwide waivers, as well as several flexibilities that are currently available through policy guidance. Learn more in FRAC’s summary.

    Read the summary
  • Fact Sheet

    The SNAP Excess Shelter Deduction allows households applying for SNAP to claim a variety of shelter costs related to housing (such as rent, property taxes, repair costs) and utilities when determining net income. Current federal law, however, places a limit on the amount of excess shelter costs that households can claim unless one of their members is 60 or older or has a disability.

    Learn how the Shelter Cap exacerbates the squeeze many families already experience between food and shelter expenses in this national fact sheet.

    Read the fact sheet
  • Interactive Data Tool

    This interactive map provides household food insecurity rates, by state, on average over 2019-2021.

    Read more