Legal Aid SNAP Challenge

Join Lisa Meehan in taking Legal Aid's SNAP Challenge, a campaign to raise awareness about our clients' struggle to make ends meet, and to raise funds to support our efforts to ensure that DC residents have access to food stamps and other safety net programs. Participants who take the SNAP Challenge will eat on $4.40 per day, which is the amount that recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps, need to get by on.

You can be a part of the SNAP Challenge by:

  • Donating $62 (or any amount!)That's two weeks worth of food stamps for the average beneficiary, and enough to help one Legal Aid client apply for food stamps. Click here to donate!
  • Taking the SNAP Challenge yourself. Register online to participate and take the SNAP Challenge for two weeks, one week, or even a day. Share your experience with friends, family, and co-workers. 
  • Taking the SNAP Challenge together. Get together with your co-workers or classmates to set up a team. You can raise awareness about hunger in DC, and set a fundraising goal to support Legal Aid's work.
  • Share, share, share. Spread the word about the SNAP Challenge and about hunger in DC on your Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Lisa Meehan Takes the SNAP Challenge

Common Myths About SNAP

Myth 1: SNAP recipients choose not to work

About two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, disabled, or elderly. In the remaining households, nearly 60% include at least one working adult. In addition, many still can't find jobs: the unemployment rate in Wards 7 and 8 (of those actively looking for jobs) is 9.9% and 12.8%, respectively.

Myth 2: SNAP recipients are unhealthy

People who receive SNAP have very similar spending patterns to people who do not - they buy similar amounts of meat, fruits, vegetables, grains, soda, etc. In fact, one study demonstrated that children who received SNAP at a young age had better health outcomes than other low-income children who did not.

Myth 3: SNAP is rife with fraud

The fraud rate for SNAP is just 1%. The IRS estimates, on the other hand, a "non-compliance" rate of 18%.

Linda Murph's Story


In August 2017, Legal Aid partnered with Hogan Lovells and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice to file a class action lawsuit alleging systemic problems with the District’s food stamps program. Essentially, we asserted that thousands of DC residents had gone hungry because of the District’s mismanagement.

Linda Murph is a designated class representative in the lawsuit. Ms. Murph has a limited fixed income, and relies on food stamps to make ends meet. In 2017, despite going in person to a government service center to renew her benefits, she stopped receiving her food stamps, without notice. She went for months without them due to the agency’s failure to process her recertification application.

The case continues to progress. In May 2018, US District Court Judge Christopher Cooper issued a Preliminary Injunction Order requiring the District to process food stamp recertification applications within the time periods required by law. As the Judge succinctly put it: “The harms described in these affidavits—forgoing food or other necessities—are clearly irreparable in nature.”