Food Stamp Challenge on menu for potato commission

By the Tri-City HeraldApril 3, 2013 

MOSES LAKE -- Members of the Washington State Potato Commission will go on a food stamp budget for a week this month.

Six staff members and one staff member's family will participate in the Food Stamp Challenge beginning Saturday.

They'll each build a week's menu pledging to use the average weekly benefit available to Washington residents living on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. That's $29.56 a week for an individual and $56.45 for a household, according to a press release from the commission.

A key ingredient for each of their menus will be potatoes.

"Although we realize that living on a SNAP benefit budget for just one week cannot come close to the true experience that families face when having to rely on the program week after week and month after month, we felt the challenge would provide us with a better understanding of what those families go through," said Chris Voigt, WSPC executive director, in a news release.

"We also wanted to do it with potatoes having an important place in many of the meals we will eat. The purpose of this is to highlight the affordability and nutritional value potatoes can provide to the millions of people who struggle to find adequate sources of food," he said.

During the week, participating staff will need to resist accepting free food from friends or eating at events where food is served. The commission is based in Moses Lake.

They'll document their culinary experiences on the commission's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WashingtonPotatoes and their organization's blog, http://potatoes.com/blog.

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