SNAP the Silence About Poverty: Join Councilmember Valerie Ervin's SNAP Challenge
Are You Up for the Challenge?
Live on a SNAP budget for one week. Gain a perspective for a lifetime.

We all know how expensive it is to live in Montgomery County. What many people may not know is how many working families struggle to put food on the table everyday.  The current economic crisis has forced more people than ever to ask for public assistance.  

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, supports those whose wages are too low to lift them out of poverty, helping them to put food on the table. This Federal program allows individuals that qualify to purchase food to eat, or to buy seeds and plants which produce food for the household.  

In October 2012, approximately 65,200 County residents (6.7%) participated in the SNAP program. From July through October 2012, an average of 2,400 households applied for SNAP benefits each month.  For families that qualify for the SNAP program, the average daily benefit per person, according to USDA/FNS statistics, is $4.28 per day.

Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin invites you to join her in taking the SNAP Challenge and highlight how it feels to live in poverty.

Participants will only spend $5 on food each day. While living on a SNAP budget for just a week will not come close to the struggles encountered by low-income working families, it does provide a new perspective and greater understanding for those who take the challenge.

What: Take the SNAP Challenge. Spend $5 on food per day per person for one week.

When: February 4 – 8, 2013

Share your experience on Twitter using @ValerieErvin #SNAPthesilence
Share your experiences on Facebook (and "like" our page) at

Who: Join your friends, neighbors and others who have already accepted the challenge, such as:

Ike Leggett, County Executive, Montgomery County  
Ariana Kelly, District 16 Delegate, Maryland General Assembly
Aruna Miller, District 15 Delegate, Maryland General Assembly
Nancy Navarro, Council President and District 4 Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
Craig Rice, Council Vice-President and District 2 Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
Phil Andrews, District 3 Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
Roger Berliner, District 1 Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
Marc Elrich, At-Large Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
Nancy Floreen, At-Large Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
George Leventhal, At-Large Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
Hans Riemer, At-Large Councilmember, Montgomery County Council
Christopher Barclay, President, Montgomery County Board of Education
Shirley Brandman, At-Large Member, Montgomery County Board of Education
Peter Fosselman, Mayor, Town of Kensington

Uma Ahluwalia, Director, Department of Health and Human Services
Komal Ahmad, Founder and CEO/President, Feeding Forward
Marilyn Balcombe, President and CEO, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce
Mark Bergel, Founder and Executive Director, A Wider Circle
Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman, Executive Director, The National Center for Children and Families
Yvette Butler, Founder and Executive Director, GapBuster, Inc.
Judith Clark, Founder and Executive Director, Women Who Care Ministries
Jacki Coyle, Executive Director, Shepherd’s Table
Rev. Patricia Drumming, Rainbow Community Development Center
Ronnie Galvin, Executive Director, IMPACT Silver Spring
Susan Hawfield. Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County.
Clarissa Hayes, Maryland Hunger Solutions
Marie Henderson, Executive Director, Interfaith Works
D'Juan Hopewell, Maryland Advocacy Manager, Share Our Strength
Richard Jaeggi, Executive Director, Gandhi Brigade
Jonathan Jayes-Green, former Student Member, Montgomery College Board of Trustees
Michele Levy, Co-Director, Crossroads Farmers Market
Ana Lopez-Van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Services Center
Catherine Matthews, Director, Upcounty Regional Services Center
Mark McLaurin, Political Director, SEIU Local 500
Brett Meyers, Founder and Executive Director, Nourish Now
NAACP, Montgomery County Branch
Roberto Pinero, Chair, Housing Opportunities Commission
Anita Powell, President, NAACP, Montgomery County Maryland Branch
David Rodich, Executive Director, SEIU Local 500
Reemberto Rodriguez, Director of the Silver Spring Regional Services Center
Laurie-Anne Sayles, Vice President, Montgomery County Young Democrats
Karla Silvestre, Latino Liaison, Office of the Montgomery County Executive
Ben Simon, Founder and Executive Director, Food Recovery Network
Jeffrey Slavin, Board of Directors Chair, The Nonprofit Village
Dr. Joshua Starr, Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools
Kathy Stevens, Executive Director, Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy
Jim Stowe, Montgomery County Office of Human Rights
Jenna Umbriac, Nutrition Educator, Manna Food Center
Tim Warner, Chief Engagement and Partnership Officer, Montgomery County Public Schools
Joslyn Williams, President, Metropolitan DC Council AFL-CIO
Gregory Wims, Victims' Rights Foundation

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