Why I am doing #SurviveOn35 – my experience with food stamps

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First, let me answer the question: “What is #SurviveOn35″? For the entire story, read this post on FitFluential.com.  In a nutshell, 10 FitFluential Ambassadors are spending $35 per person to eat for a week. Anytime Fitness is sponsoring the challenge. The blogger to win the challenge wins $1,000 donated to the food pantry of his/her choice.

My family is getting $110 – about the same we would receive if we were on foodstamps.

Tonight as I was reading the reactions to this challenge, I came across someone speaking out against the challenge. She had some very valid points. Hunger is not a game. And people struck by poverty (or just in a hard time of their life) do not see it as fun or a game.

What she does not know, is that I know exactly what she is talking about.

Here is my story, and why I am doing this challenge.

I was a surprise to my mother. She raised me on her own for the first 4 years of my life. She walked with me in the stroller everywhere and raised me on minimum wage income.  When I was about 4, she married, hoping for a better life. He tried, and things started to look up. But their marriage was rocky and his jobs were never dependable. Within 5 years of their marriage, they had 4 kids (including me, age 9) to raise on one income – my dad’s. He worked entry-level jobs. Life was tight. Money was non-existent. Christmases we received gifts from “Jesus” (our church’s angel tree program). There were Thanksgivings where we were surprised by a knock on the door and someone dropping off a basket of holiday food. I remember summers sitting in the hot car, waiting in line for the commodities distribution.

Food pantries, church pantries – that is where I thought people shopped. For the first 12 years of my life, I thought it was normal to buy things labeled “WIC Approved.”

Then I entered middle school – the year my parents divorced and my mom worked full time to raise her 5 children on her own. I had an experience that sticks with me to this day.  My friends wanted to walk down to the local small-town grocery store and buy a soda. I asked mom for money and she handed me a food stamp bill. When I paid for my treat with that food stamp, these “friends” would not let me live it down. I was ridiculed. “Does your mom pay for your house with food stamps? I can’t believe you had to pay with a food stamp!”

I felt ashamed. And I was mad.  She never had a dime to spare for meals on field trips. I lied and told my teachers in the McDonald’s line, “I am not hungry,” as my stomach growled at the site of their burgers. I hated it. I wanted just $2 for a burger and fries! As a kid, I had no idea how hard my mom worked to make sure every penny was spent on the best food possible for her children. I just saw what I didn’t have. And no matter that she was able to feed healthy foods to 5 children on just her own income and food stamps. I would see that accomplishment later, in hindsight.

As I participate in this challenge, it is not a game to me. I am not laughing or poking fun or looking down my nose. As I shopped for my groceries, I did exactly what my mother taught me to – I bought the items on sale, bought in bulk, and purchased the store-brand. She also fed my family on lots of rice and one-pot creations – one of which I will cook for you this week.

I am doing this challenge because I want to win it so the food pantry that fed me as a child can receive the $1,000.  I am constantly giving back to it – always have. But it will give me such amazing joy to see them receive the grand prize!

Please join me on this very personal journey. I want to help others learn that it is not a shameful thing to be poor. My mom never let me feel ashamed as a kid! She rejoiced in every blessing and was always teaching me how to make every ingredient stretch. I am hoping this challenge and my story inspires you to live on less and give the excess to your local food pantry!

Written by:: Annie Shultz

Annie Shultz has written 1932 post in this blog.

She is THE Mama Dweeb :) She created this blog back in 2009 and loves to inspire and connect with others through her writing. She also loves talking, dreaming, 90s pop and country music.

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Comments

  1. says

    It’s obvious to me that you are exactly the right person to be part of this challenge. I hope your mom is still alive, as I’m sure she’s proud of how strong and compassionate you are.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Alexandra! Yes, she is very much alive – lives near me too! I will have to ask her to guest post and share her wisdom :)

  2. says

    Well written, and thank you for sharing your story. Millions of American children spend their days without food in their bellies and are thrilled to have food stamps. Hunger is not a game, but this is bring awareness to a cause that needs it.

  3. Mary Beth Elderton says

    I am glad to see this challenge. So many people don’t understand and have lately been talking about food stamps as though it were some kind of free ride, as though the people who need them were somehow living “high on the hog” for “free.” And, no, hunger is not a game. But I hope that your and the other bloggers’ experiences will help to spread understanding to those who do not know.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      That is another goal of mine in this challenge Mary Beth – to encourage people to have more compassion for people on assistance. They work HARD and they struggle – we need to help them, not scoff!! I remember once that another family was in worse shape than mine. My mom and her friend each put $50 together and bought this family $100 worth of food and surprised them. I watched it all and kept that act in my heart.

  4. says

    What I like about the challenge is that it makes us stop and take note of how much $ we are actually wasting at the grocery making “dumb” purchases because we’re lazy.

  5. says

    This is such an amazing post and brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy to see you competing in this challenge to give back to your food bank. Hunger obviously is a real thing and shouldn’t be “toyed” with, but this is for a great cause and I hope that the people who are speaking negatively about it see your post.

    All the best,
    Nicole

  6. says

    Thank you for sharing. I too had similar experiences at one point during my childhood, and remember feeling the same way. In hindsight, I am so thankful for such amazing parents who did the best they could for us at the time! I look forward to following your challenge!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Heather! As kids we have no idea how much of a struggle it was for our parents to make sure we ate right when they had limited funds. But now we know.

  7. says

    Wow, it just seems like you’re trying to show everyone that it’s NOT easy, but it’s possible. This is a great post. I am glad you are doing this challenge, because you are bringing a lot of light to this matter. I’m very privileged to get food on my table every single day. I need to make myself aware that I need to pay it forward. Thanks for this :)

  8. Rachel @ Runner's Tales says

    What a well written story!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! You truly are perfect for this campaign. Hunger isn’t a joke and hopefully people will see that feeding a family healthy meals on a small budget truly is possible.

  9. says

    What a beautiful and well written post! My parents also had holiday dinners left on our doorsteps when we were growing up. Dad was in graduate school and Mom stayed home with my little brother and I. Very humbling!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      oh wow Erica! Thank you for sharing that! People that go through hard times are not always lazy. I am glad you and I can start to take that stigma off. Yes, it is definitely humbling. But my mom taught me that those were “blessings from God.” So I began to learn how to accept help as God’s way of providing instead of as something shameful :)

  10. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Hunger is no joke and so much more pervasive than I think people are aware of. It hurts my heart and is why I was excited to hear about this challenge – to hopefully bring some light to the issue and to give back to one of the many, many food pantries out there doing amazing work. Good luck with the challenge!

  11. Dominique @ Craftfullycooks says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story- I am so in awe of you! Good luck on the challenge, can’t wait to see :)

  12. says

    Annie, what a fantastic post. We are what we are because of the experinces we have lived through. I am sorry you had to go through such a difficult childhood but because of that experience, it has brought you to this place in time where you are able to spread the word about hunger and potentially give back to those in need. I think it is so easy for our kids (and us adults) today to just expect everything and not truly appreciate what they have. You (and your mother) are an inspiration and I hope and pray you win the money to give to your local food pantry.

  13. says

    You are absolutely beautiful. Your mother would be so proud! I’m so glad that you are participating in this challenge. I think you’ll spread a lot of awareness & teach us all that eating healthy on a budget is definitely possible.

  14. says

    Cool stuff. I began trying to live like this after I read nickled and dimed. The link you posted is frustrating, why do people think raising awareness is a sign of arrogance or that it in any way can “do damage”. I am glad you were picked. I am glad you are in this challenge. I am excited to follow along and look forward to learning the ways you save on groceries and meal planning!

  15. says

    SUCH AN AMAZING POST! Hunger is not a game, and so many people are face with this challenge every day. In the healthy living world we talk about food all the time, what to eat, when to eat, how to eat. But it is not a luxury that everyone has. I am so proud of you and Fitfluential for bring awareness to this issue.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Krysten, you nailed it! When we are blessed and able to choose to eat organic Quinoa and organic nuts,etc we sometimes loose sight of the fact that these blessings are just not an option for others. Moms eat less so their kids can eat more. Sometimes money is so tight that canned veggies are one of the only ways kids get their veggies. I am really glad FitFluential is bringing awareness too!

  16. says

    I’ve been eagerly looking forward to you guys doing this challenge … I currently have what I think is a strict budget, but it’s not this strict and I commend all 10 of you for taking on this challenge. But thank you even more for sharing this personal story.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Morgan! I hope that this challenge changes some perspectives in the participants. Maybe at the end they can continue living on less and giving the extra they used to spend to their local food pantry! That would thrill me!!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Carrie! Come back here or tweet me @MamaDweeb and tell me more about how this challenge has inspired you to live differently. I hope the effects can be seen way after next week ends :)

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Yes Jesica! It really is a reality. And a lot of people that live on that much struggle every day to find ways to eat healthy, but don’t have many options. I will definitely continue writing about this topic long after this challenge is over.

  17. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I can understand where some people may be upset about the challenge but I think it comes from a place of good to raise awareness. If everyone got better about saving money here and there (even if they didn’t necessarily need to) then there would be more money they could donate to help others. I am proud to be participating in this challenge with you and my other fellow FitFluential bloggers to bring to light an issue some people might not know much about. I do feel frustrated by the Facebook link because I know none of us think it’s a “game” …we as individuals aren’t winning prizes, our “winnings” are monetary donations to food pantries. I know I couldn’t donate $1,000 out of my pocket but through this challenge at least two of us get to help out in that regard.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Exactly Bess!! After this challenge is over, I am still going to campaign to urge people to eat on less and donate more to food pantries. I also want to take away the stigma of getting food from other places than grocery stores. I want to inspire people to give to others and encourage those that are going through the hard time that it DOES get better and they CAN live a healthy life.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Ashley! And this challenge will not last just this week for me. I am going to keep campaigning and encouraging people to give back.

  18. says

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your story with us. This challenge is obviously very personal to you and I think your past experience with food stamps gives this challenge even more validity. You have been there. You know what it’s like.

  19. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I don’t think any of us think of it as a game, and I’m sorry to the people who believe that! My uncle is actually currently homeless with schizophrenia in New York City (I think). That is one of the main reasons why I am doing this challenge. It kills me that my mom doesn’t know where he is, but I hope to help others like him at the end of this challenge.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      wow Brittany! I cannot imagine how scared and worried your mom must be. I will be following your posts and cheering you on as well! This challenge takes on a whole new meaning when you have such personal connections.

  20. says

    Beautiful, beautiful post. I also grew up with a single mom, and although we were lucky enough to stay just this side of food stamps, it was close. Like you, I never had the money for the “extras.” I’ve tried to give back to my local food bank as much as possible but I know there is so much more I should be doing. I can’t wait to read your posts for this challenge. You’ll bring such an honest and true voice to it. Good luck!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Jackie for sharing your story. I don’t know about you, but not having the “cool” stuff sure confused me as a kid. I didn’t understand why these kids had what I didn’t. Looking back, I know why and admire my mom for being able to do it!

  21. says

    Such an amazing story! I too can relate. I came along unexpectedly to my mother at age 16. For many years we shopped on a budget so I too naturally try to save when I shop by going for store brands (which usually work just the same as name brands you’re really just paying for the name), discounts and buying in bulk. Although I enjoy treating myself I see the value in not being wasteful. My mother always taught me the essentials in life and how to make the best of what you have because frankly having enough to get by is a blessing in itself that so many of us take for granted. Thanks for sharing your story and I’ll be routing for you in this challenge!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you for sharing your story with me Noelle! I agree 100% that having enough to get by is a blessing! My mom was a Christian and always taught me that “God provides for our needs, not our wants.” She was right. I was never starving. We always ate – and almost always it was healthy!

  22. says

    Wow. I’m nearly speechless. What an inspiring, and yes, beautiful post. I’m ashamed to say that, while I carry a strict grocery budget (by my own choice to save money) I often “play the game” of seeing if I can hit below or on the mark I’ve set forth. But so many people live at or below the mark I’ve set because they have to. I appreciate your honesty, your vulnerability and for reminding me to truly appreciate what I’ve been given…and to also seek ways to give to others. I’ll be following along on your challenge/journey.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Katie! I had no idea that the story I wrote at 1am would effect people so much. I hope that as people read this they will be inspired to give back. Let your blessings bless others :)

  23. says

    I am crying after reading your amazing story Annie! You’ve always been such an inspiration to me and this just made it more so. I am so excited to watch you take on this challenge and know you will have fantastic results to share! *HUGS*

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Oh Marcie!! Thank you so much! I really will have so much to share – I am hoping that I win the $1k for my food pantry!

  24. says

    This is such a great post. Thank you for being honest and sharing this with us. So inspiring and it definitely gets to the root of the challenge. I will be following along and sharing the whole way!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Liz! I am hoping to get my mom to guest post after the challenge is over to share her tips!

  25. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think this challenge will be an eye opener – both about how hard it is to actually accomplish as well as what it is possible to accomplish. I look forward to reading about the challenge on everyone’s blogs.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you MCM Mama! I am excited to read on the other blogs and get some ideas for inexpensive meals and snacks.

  26. says

    Awesome and inspiring post!

    I read the FB post and it bothered me to read such negative comments from the poster. How can you inspire others and expect them to be motivated to do something when you’re spewing words meant to tear down an attempt to educate others? Express concern; fine, but to be outright negative and attack those who are at least trying says a lot about the person.

    I applaud you for your efforts. It’s what motivates ME to get out into my community and do whatever I can.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Kim! I also wondered that? I mean, I know hunger isn’t a game and I know how it feels when privileged people “pretend” to know what you go through. But so much good came come from her efforts. She has some really great ideas! I think I am going to put some of them to work this Fall in another challenge!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you Abby! I really hope that everyone that reads this is inspired to give back. Cut out the excess and give it to those in need :)

  27. says

    Annie, I’m glad you shared this part of your life with your readers. I applaud you for taking on this challenge and I’m sure you feel amazingly blessed that you are now able to give back. It’s so honorable that you remember to help those who have helped you! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      I do Kristin! Honestly, I feel spoiled these days. Every time I see my kids eat ice cream, every time they buy new shoes, I think, “wow. they are spoiled.” I am going to raise them knowing how to respect money and how to give their blessings to those in need :) This world needs more compassion!

  28. Lori says

    I came across this post and as I read it your story brought me to tears. I remember going school shopping and secretly looking at the price tag before asking my mom if I could have it. I remember the heartache and embarrassment of not being able to have brand name jeans that all the popular kids were wearing. I remember the disappointment of not always getting everything I asked for at Christmas. But at the same time, I always felt loved and really never went without (though it seemed like it at the time). What an amazing story! I am rooting for you to win the challenge. Just this year I began volunteering at my local food bank during a time in my life when I am very close to being a recipient myself. I want to help. I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Serving others is and should be part of our every day life. Your story has really inspired me to think about what else can I do? Thank you. God Bless. Good Luck.

  29. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and why this is so important to you. I hope you have the chance to give the $1000 to the food pantry that helped you!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you so much Kim! I will have a better chance of getting the $1,000 for my pantry if you come back on Wednesday morning and leave a comment on that round up post. I really appreciate your support!

  30. says

    Thank you for sharing your story. We never ended up on food stamps, but my mom worked super hard, and I had two jobs at 15!

    I’m curious (and really, it’s just curiosity) where the amount $35/person comes in/from? Why? Well, we budget less than that for our groceries (about $80-$90/week) and while we don’t eat steak or anything fancy, we certainly could spend a lot less if we needed to. So, again, just curious.

    And, I hope you win the $1000 to give to the food pantry:)

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thanks for your support Krystyn! $35 per person is about average what someone on foodstamps gets. There is no way to say exactly what they get since (and I remember filling out the mountain of forms) you have to give them pay stubs and every single amount you get from other sources. Then they decide how much need you have and give you money based on that.

      But $35 is kinda a middle number. My mom got $300 a month for 4 kids so she got less than $35/person. Then her income went down and I remember one month she got $500-600ish.

      And I will really need your comment on my round up post that I will publish Wednesday! Thank you so much!!

  31. says

    I remember that whenever mom would buy something with “real” money I always had this feeling of how weird it was. I also remember going on bus trips to sporting events I was involved in and having to hope that I got enough to eat at lunch because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get anything to eat for supper. I’m still at awe as to how mom was able to raise us, keep a roof over our head, and still keep food in our stomachs.

  32. says

    wow honey – you made me cry. I know that feeling, and I hated it. It’s not a joke to all, it’s not a hand out to those who don’t give a crap and are ‘living off the system’.

    God bless you for doing this. I Lub ya girl.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you so so much Tami! I totally appreciate your support. Please come back Wednesday to see what I ate on my $35/person this week! Yeah, lots of beans and rice, but I got creative. I had a wonderful role model so that helped!

      (and thank you for sharing your story. It meant so much to hear)

  33. says

    Wow! Thank you for that beautiful post! I would never ever doubt your intentions for doing a thing that you do. You have the biggest heart. Love you!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Love you too Felicia! I will need all the help I can get on Wednesday when I post my round up of meals I made. Hope to see you back commenting and sharing- you know I will always return the favor!

  34. donna cukjati says

    annie.and Bethany you made me cry… you can’t forget if it wasn’t for God i couldn’t of did this. i give all the credit to my Lord. I love you both very much. and I love being off the system. but its there for those that need it.

  35. says

    Wow, what a powerful story, thank you so much for sharing your heart and why you are participating in the challenge. I think for many it’s an opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes and have a chance to give back to a charity, which I also find admirable. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

  36. Bekah Lewis says

    I remember growing up that we didn’t have name brand clothes, name brand shoes or even cable. One thing I do remember is that we did have food on the table, mom made sure of that. I don’t know how she did it but she always made the money she had for food stretch.

  37. kathy pennell says

    oh annie, this also made me cry as i also know how hard your mom worked to take care of you all before the divorce and after. and my own struggles feeding my kids with food stamps and making sure they had healthy food. i hope you are able to give back to the breadbasket that helped feed both your family and mine

  38. says

    Wow, Annie. Thank you for sharing your story!
    I was a teen mom and had to stroll my little baby girl EVERYWHERE we went. We lived on food stamps and every type of assistance we were eligible to receive. I worked and worked my butt off for that little girl and things did get better :)
    It’s so wonderful of you to want to help the pantry that help you and your momma!
    Kudos to you! Great Job!

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Mary Jo – my mom strolled me everywhere when she was a single mom too! Now that I am a mom and especially this summer? I admire her (and you) even more. That is hard work! (She tells me stories of carrying grocery bags on my stroller handles and walking miles to and from the store. WOW)

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you so much Robbie! I will really appreciate it if you come back Wednesday to read my round up post! Your comment will support me and help my food pantry win :)

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you so much Shannon! Please come back Wednesday and comment/share my round up post. It will help me so much.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you sincerely Mandy. You are such a great friend :)
      Please come back Wednesday! I will need each and every comment and share to get this money for my food pantry :)

  39. Nancy Burton says

    My name is Nancy Burton and I am Annie’s grandmother. Donna, Annie’s mom, had to be away from the family to help care for her daughter inChildren’s Mercy in Kansasn City, Mo. for about two solid months. I came and lived with the kids. My! was my mind enlightened as to how each kid knew what to buy at the store. I took them all shopping with several lists, and they would go scout and pick up groceries and put them in the cart. I was amazed at how well the kids shopped, evan Matthew knew what to buy. Then at their church, we were given 5 bags of groceries once a week at the food panty. I was amazed agaiin. The nurses and others would stop by the house and give us food from the clay Center locker (all meat). wow ! One lady brought a couple of bags of “junk food”. O, I never heard some noise in all my life. It was fun, and a gain, Matthew would clean out the pantry and each one of the kids would hand him the food. So I actually did not have to spend as much as i thought. Just wanted to give my thoughts on the subject. God love you Donna, Annie, Bethany, Matthew, Bekah and Gloria. YOu all pitched in and took care of the chores.

  40. says

    Thank you for sharing your story – it’s an inspiration and a great reminder that there are all different ways to give back!

    I’m here from Fractured Family Tales – loved visiting your blog. Best of luck – I hope you win the challenge!

  41. says

    Wow, what a great post! And don’t feed the trolls! We can only please 50% of the people, 50% of the time! ;)

    Looking forward to seeing how you progress with the challenge! This is what I call #socialgood I’d rather see people shedding light on something AND doing something about it, rather than those who just complain about a situation and do nothing to help or solve it. Good for you!

    Do we have to do something specific to help you? Do we vote somewhere or does our comment count as a vote? Please let me know!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Your comment made me smile, thank you Tracy! You can help me by spreading the word – follow my #SurviveOn35 tweets and RT them. And specifically on Wednesday I will appreciate your support and comment love on my round up post! You are such an encouragement!

  42. says

    You are amazing for inspiring others to see what really is important in life and how much guts you have now to stand up for things you believe in and to use your voice and online influence to inspire others.

    • Annie @ Mama Dweeb says

      Thank you so much Katja, that means the world coming from someone I admire as much as you!!

  43. The Rebel Chick says

    Annie, this made me cry. I love that you are doing this challenge and I love WHY you are doing it even more. xoxo

  44. says

    Annie, thanks for sharing your story. I wish there was no shame in food stamps. It breaks my heart to think of you being hungry on those field trips. I know there are kids like that in every town, and it just pains me to think of it.

    I wish all 10 bloggers could win and help support the food banks that are doing such a great work, but I will certainly be rooting for you!!!

  45. says

    Annie, your Mom is amazing. The thought of kids going hungry really bothers me. In our county, we have a backpack program that provides food for kids on Fridays during the school year. This food gets them through the weekend until Monday when they can breakfast and lunch at school. I wonder about those kids all summer and how they must feel with no Friday backpack. Thank you for your lovely post. It was really beautiful and makes me admire you more.

  46. says

    Wow. This brought tears to my eyes. Your mom is amazing and did the best she could and you are stronger for it. I’m enthralled by this. I don’t think it’s a game either.

  47. says

    When my parents divorced we were so, so poor. We had been poor before, but not hand to mouth poor. My mom worked as a clerk in a grocery store. She refused to get food stamps out of pride. She saw how those people were treated on a daily basis. Years later she admitted that pride was stupid. The only way we survived those lean years was my mom’s ability to stretch a buck, family that was generous with what was in their freezer, and her friends at the store that would sometimes “fudge” the sell. She never asked them too, but they did.

    I love that y’all are doing this challenge and I hope it brings awareness to this need in our country. I was looking for charities yesterday that benefit hungry people in America. I’m just so scared that my money won’t go to the benefit of the people that really need it. I guess I just need to pick one and trust God that it will help.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Annie of Mamma Dweeb is an amazing mom that I had fun getting to know during this challenge. CLICK HERE to read her super inspiring story about why this challenge was so dear to her heart. She’s [...]

  2. [...] Last week I included links to both Lindsay and Meghann’s blogs about the #surviveon35 challenge they were participating in. This week, Lindsay wrote a wrap up post here, while Meghann’s wrap up post is here. Is it possible to survive and eat healthy on $35 per week (per adult)? Yes, it is. Definitely difficult, but it could be done. I can say this – I’ve never been on food stamps (although there were times I would have qualified), and sometimes dinner has been a baked potato or a bowl of cereal. Eating on a truly limited budget is hard. As I read my way through some of the posts this week, I followed a link and wound up here, at Mama Dweeb’s blog. Her mom raised five kids with the help of food stamps, and her account of why she participated is very personal, and touching. [...]

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