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Food Stamp Challenge: Eating Healthy on $4.90 a Day

Starting today to November 15, nonprofits and residents in the Sacramento region will take on a seven-day Food Stamp Challenge initiated by the Sacramento Hunger Coalition. California Food Literacy Center is proud to be a sponsor! Throughout the week, we will share recipes from a variety of popular food bloggers on Facebook, and show that it is possible to create meals that are delicious, nutritious and affordable!

“Oftentimes people think that it is impossible to eat healthy meals when there is a strict budget,” said Amber Stott, founder of California Food Literacy Center. “It’s possible to make healthy and delicious meals that are also easy to prepare!”

California Food Literacy Center teaches children how to cook healthy, affordable meals. We feature a weekly recipe on our website. We also send recipes home with children in our program, encouraging them to cook with their families. 70% of the kids in our classes report asking their families for the foods they eat in class, including peanut butter sandwiches.

You can make a donation to support our food literacy work today.

Across the nation, community leaders and many other Americans have undertaken this annual challenge to understand the plight of those in need. The current recession has resulted in high rates of unemployment and underemployment. Due to economic hardships, one in five Americans is struggling with “food hardship” in 2012 (Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project). CalFresh benefits (food stamps) help struggling individuals or families whose net household incomes are at or below 100% federal poverty level. Thousands of low-income Sacramentans receive CalFresh benefits but there are still about 81,059 potential participants who qualify but are not enrolled.

In California, CalFresh benefits add up to an average of less than $5 per person, per day, based on income and number of people in the household. The Food Stamp Challenge helps to raise awareness of hunger that is especially pervasive in times of recession. Participants are encouraged to commit to eat only $4.90 in food for at least one day during the Challenge, share their recipes, stories, videos, and photos in the Sacramento Hunger Coalition’s Facebook page. In addition to raising awareness, the organizers also hope this event will help generate year-round support for food banks who serve SNAP clients when they are unable to make ends meet.

At Capitol Heights Academy, where we teach our weekly food literacy classes, the school tells us that several of the children receive their last meal of the day at school due to hunger in their homes. We hope you’ll join us and participate in the Food Stamp Challenge to raise awareness and celebrate what’s possible when families are equipped with food literacy, healthy recipes, and cooking lessons.

On November 15, the Food Stamp Challenge will culminate in a press conference at River City Food Bank at 9 a.m. Participants are encouraged to donate healthy food at the food bank. One of California Food Literacy Center’s favorite volunteers, Aidan the Short Order Cook, will be present to demonstrate a low-cost healthy recipe he developed that will feed a family of four for just over $3.

Please join the Food Stamp Challenge, or make a donation to ensure that healthy recipes and food literacy knowledge go home with every child we reach.

For more information about the Food Stamp Challenge, visit

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