Are you up for a challenge?
The Austin Food Bank has provided one: Live for a week on Food Stamps.
Think it's easy?
Ok...here you go. You have $21 for the entire week.
Yep. $1 per meal.
Though I'm sure the Austin Food Bank has done their research, I didn't want to post anything that I didn't know for sure. So, I called a friend of mine who receives food stamps and, sure enough, she and 3 of her kids receive $432/month. That's $3.48 per day per person...or $1.16 per meal (so Austin was a little off).
I thought about accepting Austin's challenge. I know I probably should. But, as I looked at their sample menus for eating a healthy diet on $1/meal, several things went through my mind. 1) It's going to take a lot of time to plan my meals in order to make sure I'm within budget, 2) The food they suggest isn't exactly creative and flavorful (there's not much room for flavor and creativity when you're on a tight budget), 3) There aren't enough calories and sustenance to provide me with enough energy to exercise, and 4) It's never going to fill me up!
Congressman Lloyd Doggett and U.S. Representatives James McGovern and Jo Ann Emerson have posed this challenge to all U.S. House members and citizens across the country. The Food Stamp Challenge is part of a push to increase the value of the Food Stamp benefit as part of the 2007 Farm Bill, which Congress will begin debating at the end of this month.
If you try it, let me know how you fare.