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Montgomery County Residents Begin SNAP Challenge

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Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen shops for groceries on the first day of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) the Silence Challenge.
Armando Trull
Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen shops for groceries on the first day of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) the Silence Challenge.

A group of officials and nonprofit leaders in Montgomery County kicked off the first day of the SNAP the Silence Challenge — an effort to shop for five days worth of food on a $25 budget.

The group, which is led by Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, will shop for their local food at the Giant Food on Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

"It requires a lot of advanced planning," says Councilmember Nancy Floreen. "How do you feed yourself, and frankly a family, on a very limited scale?"

Nearly 300 people have accepted the SNAP the Silence Challenge, which is scheduled to take place Monday, Feb. 4 to Friday, Feb. 8. Each participant in the challenge is limited to a $5 per day food budget, which is close to the average amount allotted to the nation's neediest residents through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

"For the SNAP challenge, it's $5 a person, a day. And frankly, that's really higher than more people spend, I think," says Floreen.

Once the challenge is complete, local leaders will issue a report to discuss how well they've done.

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