Just what can you get for $4.40 a day?
That's the reality for 1.3 million Tennesseans who receive SNAP benefits, and with the recent federal cuts putting food on the table is getting a lot harder these days.
To spotlight the problem that hunger is a reality for many in our community, and every dollar counts. Mayor Berke and his staff decided to take the SNAP challenge to see what it's like to have to rely on these benefits to eat.
We stopped by the Mayor's office to see what was on his menu.
Mayor Andy Berke says "What I wanted to do is say at $4.40 a day this is not a lot and at least highlight for a week what it means for a week to have these kind of challenges."
And there were definitely some challenges as the Mayor and his staff learned .
With $30.40 a week per person there are a lot of things you have to mark off the list.
Mayor Andy Berke says "With SNAP you really have to be purposeful, you have 30 dollars for the week and you want to plan out all your meals."
This was a typical menu for the mayor. His breakfast was an egg.
For lunch, Berke had a turkey sandwich and chips, an apple and banana, and for dinner he had pasta and red sauce.
Everybody says they had to make some sacrifices.
Lacie Stone says "When I did all the calculations, I realized coffee was expensive, so I went for black tea which has caffeine."
Kyle Miller says "I have to eat Gluten free and finding those options has been almost impossible, so I've been stuck to brown rice and black beans."
Molly Cooper says "To have fruits and vegetables and things like that are more expensive."
Eating healthy is definitely a challenge. And Mayor Berke says it's important to remember these are our neighbors, friends, and church members, and we all have an obligation to contribute to making things better.
Berke said "For us it's a week. I can make it for a week, it's inconvenient, but for people who have to do this everyday it's a much greater challenge."
It's a challenge the mayor is encouraging us all to take.