After the time was up for all families to pay their bills and deal with problems thrown their way, the whole group sat down to debrief.
Comments came fast and furious: "It was intense." "It was stressful." "It took my total energy just to stay afloat." "It was really hard to get ahead." "I had no money for gas so I was late for work and I got fired." "It was brutal; everywhere we went there seemed to be an extra fee." "It made the focus of conversation for the family to be on finances."
Participant John Nebel, who has volunteered with the St. Joseph's Catholic Church food bank, got a round of applause when he summed up his feelings.
"It was a great learning experience, and it was fun," he said, "but the only reason it was fun was because it wasn't real."