Last month, the Arlington Food Assistance Center launched its first-ever Hunger Challenge as a part of Hunger Action Month, a campaign to raise awareness of issues around hunger and food insecurity in Arlington.
Reporter Jonathan Kim interviewed three people about their experiences on this challenge, stitching their stories together in this audio podcast. Their struggles with the Hunger Challenge open a small window into understanding food insecurity in our community.
- Listen to the podcast on our podcasts page
- Or search "Arlington Mercury" in iTunes to download to your mp3 player.
The Hunger Challenge was a new initiative this year. Those who signed up pledged to limit their food budget to $4.03 per day or $28.21 per week as a way to simulate the struggles faced in the community.
AFAC chose this number based on the amount of benefits received by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Arlington.
The rules as stipulated on AFAC’s website are as follows:
- Spend no more than $4.03 per day, $28.21 per week, including beverages.
- Don't use food already on hand unless you deduct the value from your weekly amount. Salt and pepper don't count, but all other seasonings, cooking oils, condiments, snacks and drinks do.
- Don't accept food from family, friends, coworkers and others.
- Try to include fresh produce and healthy protein each day.
In addition to the Hunger Challenge, AFAC conducted a series of events designed reach out to community members about its activities. AFAC partnered with community restaurants such as Pete’s Apizza, Whitlows on Wilson, and Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop. The organization screened a movie at Arlington Central Library and held a food drive at Safeway stores.
AFAC is a nonprofit company on S. Nelson Street near Four Mile Run that provides supplemental groceries to our Arlington neighbors in need, their website says.