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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 12, 2012, 09:34 PM

WDAY’s Rob Kupec finds out what you can buy for an average weekly SNAP allowance

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Can you feed a family of three for just over $30? A group of faith leaders is trying this week in the Twin Cities as Part of the Food Stamp Challenge.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Can you feed a family of three for just over $30? A group of faith leaders is trying this week in the Twin Cities as Part of the Food Stamp Challenge.

We sent reporter Rob Kupec to the Grocery store to see what he could get for the average weekly SNAP allowance in North Dakota.

Well I'm at Hornbacher's and I've got $30.66 to spend on a family of three for a week. Let's go shopping. All right $3.19 says there are 18 servings, so that would be almost enough for a week for my family.

But to go with that cereal, I'll need some milk and that's going to cost me another $3.69.

Next I figured I should focus on dinner, and I know that beans are pretty cheap and they're high in protein.

So here's my dinner dilemma, beans for $2.59 or split peas about half the price and I can get about three meals out of each one. I'm thinking about price, I'll go with the peas.

And while we’re doing our shopping today and limiting it just to the $30.66 we know that most people that are on SNAP or food stamps are actually getting some other source of income.

Melissa Sobolik, Great Plains Food Bank: “It's supposed to be supplemental to their income and what we find is that most of the people are working. They're just underemployed and not making quite enough.”

And Sobolik says while other sources like food pantries are available most people are not taking advantage of all the resources that are out there.

Sobolik: “They maybe have this stigma about going to the social service office to ask for help or getting involved in a government program, where it's easier to go to a church and get a food basket from somebody you know.”

Back at the store we've covered the rest of the dinners with Ramen Noodles and Mac and Cheese and we've covered the lunches with hot dogs and some bologna, now just have to finish off the breakfast.

I think we've got a deal here, this will get me enough breakfast now for the week and muffins with flax seed $.98.

With a little money left maybe a small splurge. I think I can get about five apples and not break the bank.

In the end we made it by $.20

Here's a look at what my family of 3 will be eating for a week. Hopefully they like split peas because we're going to have four meals of that. We did manage seven cans of canned vegetables, a couple of bags of lettuce, two loaves of bread and two half gallons of milk in addition to the Mac and Cheese and Ramon Noodles and the other things you see laid out on the table here.

SNAP can be used on any item in the store that has a nutritional label. No deli food, diapers or toiletries can be purchased.

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