The SNAP Challenge: Communicating Food Security Capabilities through Anti-Hunger Advocacy
This research brief reports preliminary findings related to the SNAP Challenge (SC), an anti-hunger initiative in which participants purchase their household groceries using the average food stamp budget benefit for one week. By simulating a SNAP budget, SC participants encounter food insecurity directly, recognizing how the food they are able to consume connects to income, nutrition needs, and other factors that contribute to quality of life, all of which can be considered capabilities of food security. Linking the experience of food hardship to conditions of poverty can address not only immediate food needs but also the interconnected material opportunities and disparities that constitute food (in)security. In this way, I suggest, a capability approach to food security can better align anti-hunger advocacy and food system policy. This initial study supports ongoing research related to anti-hunger advocacy communication, food security discourse, and capability-based approaches to food system reform.
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