Food Stamp Challenge: Chef Marco Colon

Marcos Colon Restaurant Chef at Latin Quarters at Universal CityWalkChef Marcos Colon from Universal Studios
Restaurant Chef of the Latin Quarter at Universal Orlando Citywalk

Challenge Day: September 10, 2012

Short Bio: Age 33, has worked at Universal Studios for 10 years. Originally from Staten Island, New York, currently works as a restaurant chef at the Latin Quarters at Universal Orlando Citywalk.

  • Why did you join the SNAP Challenge? Enjoy taking part in drawing positive attention to true needs in our country.  Programs that are integral to our society.
  • What was your experience with food shopping? Was $6.67 enough for an entire day? It was interesting to say the least.  Definitely took more of my time than what I normally take.  $6.67 was not enough for what I am used to, but with what I purchased I definitely was able to purchase enough for 3 meals and a small snack.  I found that there becomes a lot of repetition in what I ate in order to get the most out of my money.  Utilizing eggs for breakfast and dinner, as well as white bread.  Drinking only water for the day.  Was not able to purchase a true protein due to high cost.
  • Did you eat well on the SNAP Challenge? How did you feel? I felt ok during the challenge, but the fact that all I had was water to drink truly was challenging, not having that cup of coffee or soda when I wanted.  No True Protein for the day was tough as well.
  • What kind of meals did you eat/prepare?
    • Breakfast – Eggs, toast, water
    • Lunch – Banana, 2 cup of noodle soups, water
    • Dinner – Steamed White Rice topped with a sunny side up egg, garlic bread, steamed broccoli, water.
    • Snack – String Cheese
  • What was the most difficult thing you faced during the SNAP Challenge? Probably the most difficult thing was truly finding a way to cross utilize my product.  Not having a chicken breast or any piece of meat was tough.
  • Do you have any additional thoughts or comments about living for a day on a SNAP budget? Aside from the amount, shopping truly does become a full on planned event.  No more just going to the store and picking up some things.  You really need to plan out exactly what you need as opposed to what you want.  Luckily I left my kids at home that day, because I think I might have pulled my hair out trying to meet that budget with them. I also found that when buying the loaf of bread and dozen eggs, that would be something I could use for another day.  I am not sure how the money is normally distributed but hopefully it is on a monthly basis.

Click here to read more about Second Harvest’s Food Stamp Challenge >>



Author: Maria Shanley

Senior Digital Marketing Manager Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

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