The $25 Challenge: Could you eat on $3 a day?

October 1, 2008 11:40:17 AM PDT
Every week, thousands of Illinoisans struggle to feed themselves and their families on less than $25 per person each week - or approximately $3.50 a day. If this sounds nearly impossible, it is. As a result, more and more of our neighbors are turning to food banks and pantries just to make ends meet. As part of Feeding America's first-ever Hunger Action Month, the Illinois Food Bank Association is sponsoring the $25 Challenge to raise awareness of the difficult choices hungry people in our community face on a daily basis.

Those who take the $25 Challenge will purchase their groceries on a $25 food budget for a designated week during Hunger Action Month. The $25 figure derives from the average weekly food stamp benefit an individual receives in Illinois.

When is the challenge? The $25 Challenge will take place the week of September 22-28.

Who is taking the challenge? Everyone is welcome to take the $25 Challenge to illustrate just how challenging it is to eat healthy on a limited budget.

Participants include:

  • Executive directors of the eight IFBA member food banks
  • Elected officials
  • Community leaders across the state
  • Members of the media
  • Concerned citizens
Why is this challenge an important part of Hunger Action Month? With the cost of so many daily essentials on the rise, $25 doesn't go as far as it did even one year ago. After paying for rent, utilities and other necessities, thousands of Illinoisans have very little money left for food. To make matters worse, food prices have increased by approximately 4 percent during the past year and economists are predicting some of the steepest increases in food prices in two decades.

For more information visit www.chicagosfoodbank.org or www.feedingillinois.org.


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