Eating on $31.50 per week? Twin Cities Religious Leaders Give it a Try

What is it like to eat on $31.50 per week? Leaders from 15 Twin Cities community and religious organizations – Muslim, Christian and Jewish – will participate in two November programs that provide a glimpse of life on a food-stamp budget.

The Sunday, Nov. 11, “Food Stamp Challenge” program will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 East 31st St., Minneapolis. Leaders from the participating organizations will head to a nearby Cub Foods to buy $31.50 worth of groceries. That’s the average, weekly, per-person food allotment given to recipients of SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).

Following the shopping trip, participants will return to Holy Trinity for a program on hunger in Minnesota and to discuss Jewish, Muslim and Christian teachings on caring for the poor. For the next week, some participants will honor a pledge to only eat food purchased with their $31.50.

The Sunday, Nov. 18, program will be held in two adjacent St. Paul locations. From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. participants will prepare and serve food at The Family Place, 244 East 10th St. From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., participants will gather next door at the First Baptist Church, 499 North Wacouta St., to hear from the pledge-takers what it’s like to live on a $31.50 food budget and to learn from experts how to combat hunger in Minnesota.

All of the “United Against Hunger: An Interfaith Partnership” programs are open to the public. Reservations are required to help serve food at The Family Place on Nov. 18. To make a reservation and for more information email Rabbi Amy Eilberg.

The hunger awareness programs are sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a partnership of the University of St. Thomas and St. John's University.

Co-sponsors are Adath Jeshurun Congregation, Beth El Synagogue, Beth Jacob Congregation, Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, Islamic Center of Minnesota, Islamic Resource Group, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Community Action, Justice and Witness Team of the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ, Minnesota Council of Churches, Minnesota FoodShare, Minnesota Rabbinical Association, Muslim American Society of Minnesota, Northwest Islamic Community Center, and St. Paul Area Council of Churches.