PRESS RELEASE – Empower Missouri Invites State and Federal Legislators, Media To Participate in Missouri SNAP Challenge


September 9, 2019
Contact: Conner Kerrigan, Communications Director
815-263-1261 (cell)
[email protected] 

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO)…On Sep. 9th, Empower Missouri, a statewide not-for-profit advocating for the well-being of Missourians through civic leadership, education, and research, issued invitations to state and federal legislators and members of the media to participate in the 2019 Missouri SNAP Challenge. 

Intended to highlight the difficulties faced by Missourians who rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to put food on the table, the challenge will ask participants to shop for a three-day supply of food for a family of four using only the amount of money available to families from the program. 

Presently, SNAP benefits are based on a formula that the USDA calls “The Thrifty Food Plan.” Depending on the age of their children, this plan allows $131-150 of food per week for a family of four. Since SNAP is a supplemental program, not designed to provide all of the food that a family needs for healthy nutrition, our federal dollars do not provide that entire amount. SNAP furnished an average of $1.33 per person per meal in June, 2019 according to the Monthly Management Report from the Missouri Department of Social Services.

“This challenge is intended to give our representatives the tools they need to better understand the difficult decisions faced by their constituents each day,” said Conner Kerrigan, Communications Director for Empower Missouri. “Currently, 759,000 Missouri residents, or 12% of the state population are reached by SNAP. Our lawmakers must consider the realities facing these residents when they are debating legislation that affects individuals and families with low incomes.”

Some legislators will be asked to base their shopping budget on The Thrifty Food Plan, while others will be asked to use the “Low-Cost Food Plan”, which would be incorporated into SNAP should H.R. 1368, sponsored by Rep. Alma Adams of North Carolina, be enacted on a federal level.

Some participants will be asked to talk about their experience at Empower Missouri’s November 9 conference in Columbia Missouri,  Building Blocks for Missouri’s Success.” 

Empower Missouri is encouraging members of the public to take the challenge as well. They can sign up and learn more details at, which will also highlight participants and their stories.


Empower Missouri ( is a statewide not-for-profit advocating for the well-being of Missourians through civic leadership, education, and research. Founded as the Missouri Conference on Charities and Corrections in 1901, Empower Missouri has operated under four names in its 118-year history, but always with a focus on access to basic human needs and basic fairness.

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