KSFY takes the SNAP Challenge - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

KSFY takes the SNAP Challenge

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Another change to the Farm Bill includes the SNAP Program. Congress cut nearly $8 million to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

One experiment, called the SNAP Challenge, gives people a sense of what life is like for millions of hungry Americans.

I will be taking the challenge for two weeks to show what it's like for the one in eight South Dakotans considered insecure.

I won't go out to eat, accept free food at work and won't eat any pre-existing food in my kitchen.

On day one of the challenge it was time to hit the grocery store. By my side -- Suzanne Stluka -- the Food and Families Program director at SDSU. She has her students take the SNAP Challenge for one week.


"These are nutrition students that are going to be dealing with families that are on limited incomes. So we wanted to know how they might prescribe a diet to somebody who might have 35 dollars a week to spend on their budget," said Stluka.

Alyssa Gehle is a former student of Stluka's and is now a Registered Dietician. She took the SNAP Challenge a couple of years ago.

She says it is difficult to eat healthy on SNAP but a little bit of planning can go a long way.

"We just learned that it can be done. But it takes a lot of planning and that's not something a lot of people do when they go grocery shopping," said Gehle.

Gehle tells me that taking the SNAP Challenge has helped shape how she does her job.


"It's a good perspective to have, especially in the job I'm in, where I have a lot of people that are on budgets and when they come in they want good healthy food," said Gehle.

"It's about making sure you get two to three servings of dairy, getting five to nine servings of fruits and veggies, about six ounces of meat products and then some whole grains as well," said Stluka.

Come checkout time, I did have to put a few items back in order to meet my budget of $31.50. Next week I'll be shopping on a budget -- on my own.

I encourage everyone to follow me on my journey over the next two weeks on my blog http://snapsf.tumblr.com/. Please feel free to share your thoughts or any recipes you may have.


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