mcc_logoManchester Community College students created a board game simulating the problems faced by the poor in acquiring food items at reasonable cost.

The game was created using information from the US Census beaureau, town hall, and the book “Closing the Food Gap” by Mark Winnie. Players start with various advantages and disadvantages, so winning isn’t the point.

Players are assigned to live in a house, an apartment, low-income housing or a shelter, and they are given a weekly cash allotment for food — as little as $7. Players who live in a home also have a car, and have a better chance of reaching the market faster.

A toss of the die determines how quickly players may stock up at a grocery store, convenience store or farmer’s market. Players who live below the poverty line may also rely on a food pantry or food stamps.

Players may be set back by such events as an illness, pay cut or lost wallet, or receive unexpected bonuses.

Brian Kosilla, one of the students who helped create the game, said he was most surprised by the difference in prices at supermarkets and convenience stores. The students found that a loaf of bread cost 99 cents at a supermarket and $3.19 at a convenience store.

The game will be donated to the Manchester Area Conference of Churches.