Taking Part in the SNAP Experience - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Taking Part in the SNAP Experience

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Every day, more than 440,000 Nevadan's experience food budget challenges and must rely on the supplemental nutrition assistance program, also known as SNAP.

This week, members of our community are challenging themselves to experience SNAP first hand. For one week, each participant must shop for food, as if they relied on SNAP benefits. So that means spending no more than $4 per day, per person.

Aramelle Wheeler works for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and she decided to participate this year. With coupons in hand, she considers herself a frugal shopper, hoping that would help in keeping the prices down.

Aramelle was given a budget of $84 to spend for her, her 7-year-old son and her husband. Aramelle quickly realized after a glance at her calculator, that to hit her budget, this shopping trip would require some extra thinking.

"I haven't even made it out of the produce department, and I’m already at $16 of my $84 budget,” said Wheeler. “I can't afford to buy the big brick of cheese that is actually less expensive that way, when you look at how much you're getting.”

As items like meats, breads and pasta's began to fill the cart, the budget quickly filled too. Luckily for this smart shopper, she kept the final price to nearly $12 below her requirement. But as she filled her car with a lot fewer items than she's used to bringing home to her family, that's when the importance of this SNAP experience really hit her.

“I’m more aware of truly what our clients are going through on an everyday basis,” said Wheeler.

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