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South Dakotans Take the Food Stamp Challenge

November 14, 2008

How well can you eat on $25 a week? South Dakota residents can find out by taking the "South Dakota Food Stamp Challenge" during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, which begins Monday, November 17.

Cathy Brechtelsbauer, volunteer coordinator for South Dakota Bread for the World, says participants are being asked to consume only what they can purchase for $25 per person, the average weekly food stamp allotment per person in South Dakota.

The challenge, says Brechtelsbauer, allows those who don't normally go hungry to experience firsthand the struggles that low-income people face, trying to piece together a healthy diet in a nation where food costs continue to rise.

"South Dakota is not that different from other states, where people are trying to eat on not very much money. The price of housing is high; the price of gasoline to get to work has been pretty high this year, and probably will be back up there. It takes a lot out of peoples' budgets to be able to keep life and limb together."

She points out that, while Food Stamps help many South Dakota families, not everyone who qualifies for the program receives them. She also has a unique perspective on the program.

"I would encourage people to sign up because it's not just a help to the food budget, but also it helps South Dakota. It helps support agriculture; a lot of it is funds that come into our state that wouldn't otherwise be rolling around in the South Dakota economy. So, they're really helping their neighbors when they sign up."

Get more information about the "South Dakota Food Stamp Challenge" and sign up online, at http://sdchallenge.blogspot.com

David Law, Public News Service - SD