Valerie Ervin’s SNAP Challenge

Councilmember Valerie Ervin represents more than 200,000 residents who live in District 5, which makes up the eastern portion of Montgomery County, and includes Takoma Park and Silver Spring. The district also shares boundaries with Howard and Prince George’s counties and the District of Columbia. Councilmember Ervin will be joining residents, non-profit leaders, business owners and elected officials in the SNAP the Silence Challenge the week of February 4th. Participants will only spend $5 on food each day. While living on a SNAP budget for just a week will not come close to the struggles encountered by low-income working families, it does provide a new perspective and greater understanding for those who take the challenge. Join Valerie by registering and liking the Facebook Page. You can follow her Facebook page or on twitter @ValerieErvin.

Partner Blog for Valerie Ervin’s SNAP Challenge

When Strangers Act Like Neighbors

Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin

When strangers start acting like neighbors… communities are reinvigorated. ~ Ralph Nader This week was one of ups and downs, highs and lows but ultimately it was an amazing showing of people committed to building a community of people who are unafraid to show their empathy and determination to shine a light on poverty and […]

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Raise Your Voice to SNAP the Silence

Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin

I was interviewed yesterday for the Segye Times, which is a Korean newspaper. The reporter was interested in the SNAP Challenge and couldn’t believe that in the U.S. there were people who go hungry every day. He was particularly interested in what I had to eat and wanted to take pictures of my lunch that […]

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Beyond the SNAP Challenge


This week, February 2-8, 2013, Councilmember Valerie Ervin challenged Montgomery County residents and community leaders to join her in a challenge to live on a SNAP budget for a week. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal program that allows qualified individuals to purchase food to […]

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Tuna Is "In" During SNAP Challenge (Recipes)

photo of can of tuna

If you were on a strict clothing budget, you wouldn’t go into Nordstrom Rack and pick up a pair of pants that don’t match anything else in your wardrobe. You probably wouldn’t even buy them if they went with just 1 or 2 items. No. In this scenario you want a pair of pants that […]

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Long Day Without Food

photo of Valerie Ervin

Today is day three of the SNAP the Silence Challenge and while it’s been difficult, I’m still holding strong. For me, one of the most interesting effects of this challenge is the way that my mind has begun to fixate on food. In the morning, I think about what I’m having for breakfast, lunch, and […]

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Second Day and Counting

Photo of Marie Henderson & Valerie Ervin

I started my morning yesterday shopping for the week on $25. It was a lot harder to do than I originally thought. It was embarrassing for me to carefully choose all of my items and then proceed to the checkout stand only to find that I had overspent by almost $4. I know that in […]

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