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Press Releases
Berkshire Delegation reflects upon the SNAP Challenge
July 11, 2013

WHO:  State Senator Benjamin B. Downing, D- Pittsfield
State Representative Gailanne Cariddi, D- North Adams
State Representative Paul Mark, D- Peru
State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D- Pittsfield
State Representative Wm. Smitty Pignatelli, D- Lenox
WHAT: Wrap-up and Reflection of 7-day SNAP Challenge
WHEN: Monday, July 15, 2013, 9:00AM-10:00AM
WHERE: Senator Downing’s District Office, 7 North Street, Suite 307, Pittsfield
DETAILS: How much do you spend on groceries each week? Do you think you survive on a weekly food budget of only $31.50? From July 8-15, the Berkshire legislative delegation is taking SNAP Challenge to see if they can.
The average federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or Food Stamp benefit for an individual is $31.50 a week, which further breaks down to $4.50 a day -- or $1.50 per meal. The goal of the SNAP Challenge is to live for a week on that budget and raise awareness about poverty and the Program. 
Here in Massachusetts Congressman James P. McGovern, Health & Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz and Stacey Monahan, Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance took the challenge for a week in June. Inspired by their reflections of the experience as well as recent debate on the Massachusetts Senate’s comprehensive welfare reform package, Downing challenged himself and his Berkshire House colleagues to do the same.
Throughout the week of July 8th the legislators will chronicle their daily meals on social media (Facebook and Twitter -- #SNAPChallenge) and be available to media to reflect on the overall experience and daily challenges on surviving on a small food budget. 
Media Contacts:
Sen. Ben Downing – Bethann Steiner (617) 722-1625
Rep. Gailanne Cariddi – Lisa Schifilliti (617) 772-2450
Rep. Paul Mark – Chris Cappucci (413) 464-5635
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier– Beth Leibinger (413) 442-4300
Rep. Smitty Pignatelli – Kerry Sullivan (413) 637-0631


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