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About Merlyn on Media

Merlyn Reineke is Executive Director of Montgomery Community Media, which provides media training and community-based content by-and-for the residents of Montgomery County. Merlyn’s blog focuses on all-things media, with an emphasis on how community-based media can make our county a better place to live, work and play.... Read more

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Merlyn Reineke

Take the SNAP the Silence Challenge

One of the hardest things in the world is to truly walk in someone else’s shoes. Sure, we can empathize with another’s challenges… but it’s something far different to live someone’s life as they do.

One of these challenges is poverty, which forces many to feed themselves and their families on an astonishingly small amount of money. Yet more than 65,000 residents of Montgomery County, one of the most affluent areas in America, live on less than $5 a day. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps) provides support to help these individuals… with an average per person amount of $4.28.

Could you survive on that, day in and day out?

To help us appreciate this, Councilmember Valerie Ervin has stepped forward and offered the “SNAP the Silence Challenge”. She’s asked Montgomery County residents to live off a food budget of $5 per day from February 4-8. So far, hundreds of elected officials, community leaders and regular residents like me have signed up to take the challenge. Councilmember Ervin will be blogging right here on about HER experiences eating on $5 a day. I will be chronicling my efforts as well, starting this weekend with a video blog and continuing new postings throughout the week.

Please check-in with Councilmember Ervin and others bloggers from February 4-8. And if you’d like to take the challenge too, click here to sign up:

It’s not going to be easy, but that’s the point.

Merlyn Reineke

About Merlyn Reineke

Merlyn Reineke is Executive Director of Montgomery Community Media, which provides media training and community-based content by-and-for the residents of Montgomery County.


2 Responses to “Take the SNAP the Silence Challenge”

  1. On February 8, 2013 at 11:32 am responded with... #

    Sir, you are an example of why so many people have complete disgust for the white upper class. I live on disability income, work part time and still have to stand in line for food from Manna when work slows down. I, and every other person who avails themselves of Manna or SNAP cannot do this, and I quote you, “thanks in part to my nutrition coach . . . and her meal plan she made up for me for under five dollars a day.”

    • On February 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm responded with... #

      Hi Betsy,

      Merlyn reached out to me to design a healthy affordable meal plan for people who are working within a limited food budget. I am not his official nutrition coach but I do make myself and expertise available to the DMV community. You stated that you as well as others on SNAP and Manna could not eat healthy, but with my blueprint I assure you that you can.
      You may purchase the 15 meal e-book for only 97cents here:

      I’m sure that Merlyn and every other person who took on this challenge did not participate in it to elicit disgust among those facing this very real challenge every single day. They did it to raise awareness, which it has.

      I do hope that you find the e-book helpful and I look forward to being of service to you if you would like as well.


      Simone Sophia
      Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Expert

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