Do What Should Have Been Done Long Ago
Tuesdays are typically days where I have to spend a lot more energy than normal, because I bike to and from my class at Corcoran College of Art and Design, from Brookland to downtown DC and back. I spend my whole day biking or standing and working, and so logically I need more calories than normal.
Being on the Food Stamp Challenge, I knew this day would be different, and it turned out that it was. After the typical 3 meals that day, by 9 p.m., I was hungry again. What happens when you can't afford to assuage such situational nutritional needs? What happens when you are a growing teenage athlete? Everything suffers when we are not properly fed.
There are direct links between proper nutrition and performance in school, and hunger has a direct effect on the futures of youth in the US. Poorly fed kids are at a distinct disadvantage. What is it like when parents have to worry not only about their food but the food that their children get? What happens when parents don't eat so their kids can eat? What happens when children get sick or parents get sick from a weakened immune system due to malnutrition?
As Wednesday and now Thursday are rolling by, I am coping with the food that I am eating, but know that over the long term this limited diet would cause me to not be able to function like I know that I can. If I want to be an active adult with a productive career, living on SNAP benefits is simply inadequate. How can we expect the poor and hungry to function on such levels? From my experience, it is simply a fact that SNAP benefits have to be improved.
Mark Fenton is a communications intern at Bread for the World.
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