Food insecurity is both a cause and a symptom of poverty. It is not representative of the whole picture though, and that is where many SNAP challenges fall short.
I chose to participate in the SNAP challenge for 5 days and post about it on my personal social media accounts. My hope was to increase awareness of SNAP as a whole, but also to share my own narrative utilizing the program. For the first three days, I posted candidly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It wasn’t until day 3 that I got a negative remark on a post, an old classmate who asked why I wasn’t more grateful for the “free food.” Rather than respond with words, I decided to make this audio project to highlight other people’s experiences using SNAP.
Some background: a couple of students from the University of Vermont had recently finished a study on the efficacy of our SNAP outreach. Among the other data that they collected, they were able to gather quotes from real Vermonters who had applied for SNAP with help from the Vermont Foodbank. I took a few of the quotes and compiled them, then asked a few of my coworkers to read them while I recorded their voices. Some were messages of how SNAP has impacted their food choices for the better; others spoke to the psychological effects of not worrying about affording food all the time. All spoke to the significance that SNAP has had on them personally. This is the end result.