Rep. Pete Aguilar sends postcards from the Snap Challenge
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Rancho Cucamonga, former mayor of Redlands, shops in Redlands Sunday for
the SNAP Challenge. His family will eat for less than $5 a day per person this week. His wife Alisha
planned the menu for them and their two sons. Courtesy Photos
With Rep. Pete Aguilar taking the SNAP Challenge, their
shopping budget was $66.22. They spent $65.86.
Postcards to Redlands from Rep. Pete Aguilar
Day 0 – SNAP Challenge
The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
Challenge is a great opportunity to raise awareness of food
insecurity in San Bernardino County and get a glimpse of what
32,000 households in this congressional district experience
This week, my wife Alisha and I will attempt to live off $4.73 per
person per day, which is the daily average for a family living on SNAP assistance in California.
Each day we’ll catalog and take pictures of the meals and the challenges we face along the way in the hope of
raising awareness for those who utilize this program to avoid food insecurity.
Earlier in the week, Alisha mapped out our meals. We talked about the real trade-offs of protein versus vegetables
and how to make these meals as healthy as possible, while managing some fairly hectic schedules.
Bananas or eggs for breakfast?
How many meals can I actually eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
Can we afford coffee (the answer was no)?
How many strips of bacon are in a package (12 is the answer) and how many meals can it be used in?
Those are just a few of the questions that we asked each other this week as we began planning our shopping.
Alisha and I were armed with our list as we hit the grocery store on Sunday afternoon.
Our shopping budget was $66.22 and we spent $65.86.
We did our best to get some fairly healthy items to make some well-balanced meals.
Alisha has mapped out our weekly plan and now we’re ready to go!
This was the first day of our SNAP Challenge, where we try to live for a week on an average SNAP allocation for two
Breakfast and lunch weren’t too bad.
I’m often a little hurried so having two meals is always a good start.
Breakfast consisted of two scrambled eggs with cheese.
For lunch, I watched others eat at a downtown restaurant and then retired to the office for my PB&J.
I am keeping my scheduled lunch meetings this week, but not ordering any food.
It is tough to sit across the table from friends enjoying the food I can’t enjoy this week.
One of the other difficult parts was actually skipping coffee.
Whether by habit or addiction, I have come to appreciate the comfort a good cup of coffee in the morning.
Dinner was good.
Alisha made burger salads with lettuce, tomatoes, a hard-boiled egg, onions and jalapenos.
Two burger patties joined the plate with two ears of corn on the side, which was as close as we got to dessert.
This isn’t easy.
And for thousands of people in my district, this isn’t a choice for them. That’s something I remember each meal.