The 3-Minute Interview: C. Marie Henderson works to fight poverty

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Henderson is executive director of Interfaith Works Montgomery County, and she and county leaders have organized the SNAP the Silence Challenge to raise awareness about poverty. The challenge starts Monday and runs through Friday evening.

What is the SNAP Challenge?

Its really a poverty awareness campaign. We're having a ton of nonprofit leaders, officials and community folks participate in the challenge. It's supposed to be like if you would have to live off of the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). For the normal person (in the program), it's $5 a day for food. Anyone who signs up, you have $25 for the week to live off.

Is poverty prevalent in Montgomery County?

A lot of people are surprised at the amount of poverty in Montgomery County. When they hear that there are 27,000 households on SNAP in the county, they're surprised. I think its about 50,000 who are on free and reduced meals in (Montgomery County Public Schools) ... Many people don't know to what extent poverty exists here.

What are some participant reactions?

People are nervous because they're not sure how they're going to live off of $5 a day ... But it's really insightful. It's a challenge I'm putting forward for my staff and the (Interfaith Works) board and people with Interfaith Works to walk the walk.

What do you think people are going to get out it? Hopefully they'll have a greater appreciation for their neighbors that are struggling. I am really hopefully people will realize how much they spend on food and how much they waste.

- Kate Jacobson

- Kate Jacobson

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Kate Jacobson

Montgomery County reporter
The Washington Examiner