As I continue to prepare for the SNAP Challenge that awaits me January 1st, I started contemplating how much preparation that could realistically entail. That is to say, what is to become of what’s in the house once I start?
My accountabili-buddy in any number of other avenues, Jessi Robinson, confirmed what I already knew as I pondered the question:
I was talking to my wife about this; she is a Social Worker & most of her clients are on SNAP. Something to keep in mind as one does this is that most people who don’t need food assistance also have pantries–people who DO have food assistance typically can’t afford to create a pantry to pull from, which winds up hurting them over time (I can always have rice with a meal because I always have rice on hand & can afford a larger hit when it runs out). SNAP recipients usually can’t afford the hit for a big bag of rice that will last for longer than a given month because they have to eat it during that month. Creating a pantry is difficult if one doesn’t properly think it through beforehand.
So the question is, what do I allow myself to start with? What do I tuck away for the month of January? And what do I spend the next several weeks feverishly trying to finish?
Ultimately, I decided that I am prepared to start with salt, pepper, and a can of vegetable cooking spray. Anything else that I decide I “need”, will have to fit within the confines of the budget. So staples like oatmeal, rice, or even spices like garlic powder will not enter into the equation unless I introduce them. I can’t make this completely real (more on that in a future post), but I am open to coming as close as I can.