OCTOBER 8, 2013 BY 

Two weeks from now, LiveWell Colorado, the Bud Werner Memorial Library, and YVSC team up to present A Place at the Table, a documentary by the makers of Food, Inc.

Food is a hot topic – local, organic, and GMOs aside, in much of the country there is simply not enough money for food, let alone food that is healthy for our citizens.

After reading The New York Times entitled, “On the Edge of Poverty, at the Center of a Debate on Food Stamps,” CEO of Panera Bread Ron Shaich embarks on a one-week challenge to experience what 49 million Americans face daily:  Hunger.  As part of Hunger Action Month (September) Shaich chose to take the SNAP Challenge and lived on just $4.50 a day, the average daily benefit per person provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly known as Food Stamps), and he extended the challenge to Panera’s Societal Impact Steering Committee, “the group responsible for helping Panera leverage its core competencies to help create real change and lasting solutions against hunger,” as well as Bob Aiken, the CEO of Feeding America.

His posts (links below) are interesting; without a history of living like this, his choices were poor- he comments on day 6 he wished he’d chosen oatmeal for breakfasts instead of toasted oats.  I’d have liked to see Ron have a go at a second week, but his point has been made: it’s not easy to live on $31.50 a week.  Knowing what we know about the cost of living in Steamboat, to eat the same amount of food takes 10-20% more money to buy, approximately $45 per week.

Learn more about the state of hunger in America culture on October 22nd at Bud Werner Memorial Library. More on that event here.

Ron’s posts: 
Challenging myself to experience hunger – 9/13

Day 1: Prepping for the challenge

Day 2

Day 3: Face of hunger

Day 4: How it feels

Day 5: It’s about life

Day 6: Solutions

Day 7: Reflections as challenge concludes 

Day 8: From the view of a senior

SNAP Challenge reflections and other employee posts