San Francisco and Marin Food Banks Press Contact:
Hunger Challenge Website (ongoing updates and blogroll):
WHO: Food bloggers, journalists, chefs, food activists, government leaders — and anyone interested in experiencing what it's like to live on a limited food budget
WHAT: Spend just $4.72 per day for all your food and drink — the average amount California's food stamp recipients have to spend
WHEN: September 11–17, 2011
WHY: September is Hunger Action Month. In San Francisco and Marin, an area overflowing with great food, more than 230,000 people aren't sure where their next meal is coming from. That's 1 in 5 adults, children and seniors.
Background: The Hunger Challenge
"Food stamp challenges" have taken place in the past. For example, in 2007 there was a food stamp challenge, which involved members of Congress.
The first San Francisco Food Bank Hunger Challenge took place in 2008. It was a challenge to six well-known food bloggers, who participated for one week, spending just $3 per day for all their food and drink. To anyone reading their posts, it's obvious the Hunger Challenge was a profound experience — even eye-opening for some of the bloggers. Here are links to their posts and recipes.
As the result of a tweet from one of the 2008 participants, Tyson Foods donated 200,000 pounds of high-protein foods to Bay Area food banks.
In 2009, more than 30 bloggers from around the country participated. In addition, they were joined by food activists (Michael Dimock, Roots of Change), city officials (Paula Jones, San Francisco Food Systems) and members of the press (Sue Kwon, CBS5). Many non-bloggers also participated, sharing their experiences through Twitter, Facebook and church newsletters. Via a Twitter campaign in partnership with Tyson Foods, San Francisco Food Bank supporters earned 100,000 pounds of high-protein foods for the city's hungry.
In 2010, nearly 100 bloggers participated. In addition, people launched their own local hunger challenges around the world. State Assembly Member Fiona Ma took the challenge and shared her experiences in constituent newsletters (and with Willie Brown, who mentioned it in his column). Once again, Tyson generously donated, with supporters earning 30,000 pounds of high-protein foods by leaving comments on the Tyson Hunger Relief blog.