For my last dinner on the SNAP Challenge, I used the rest of my onions, my flour, my pineapple, and almost all my tomato sauce. Today was the least stressful, because I knew I would have enough. I made a pizza in my cast iron skillet and ate half of it alongside the last bit of lettuce I had. Today, my meals were balanced and tasted good.
Am I grateful have access to SNAP? Yes. Does it allow me to serve as an Americorps VISTA, volunteering for an issue that I care deeply about? Yes. Am I glad to eat? Yes. But am I thankful for SNAP? I don't really think SNAP should exist.
In an ideal society, all individuals would have the ability and autonomy to make their own choices about everything, including food. We would have jobs where people made livable wages. We would all have enough money to make our own choices to feed ourselves good food. I believe that food, like clean air and clean water, is a right for all people. It's not a right currently enjoyed by all people, but I think I have a moral obligation to see this conviction through. Today marks the end of my public food stamp challenge. I will continue using SNAP to keep food on my table at least for the next few months as I continue on with my Americorps service. I hope after that to get a living wage job where I don't have to use SNAP to get by. But who knows? I know SNAP exists to help folks going through transitional stages. Most people on SNAP only utilize the benefits for between 1-2 years. It's not that they are limited to how much they can use SNAP, it's that that's how long it usually takes folks who can work to get back on their feet and to become more food secure. No one deserves to live in poverty and no one deserves to go hungry."