In a demonstration to show just how hard it is to live off of food stamps for groceries, 200 people took part in a challenge called the 3Squares Challenge. By taking the monthly average for a food stamp recipient, and dividing it by four, CEO Melinda Moulton decided to see just what it was like depending on those $36-a-week benefits.
In an effort she described as not wanting to change who she was, Moulton bought foods she would normally buy as well as her vitamins. “She bought organic vegetables, gluten-free pasta and daily vitamins from Richmond Market, a locally owned grocery store.” After all was said and done, she had spent $8 of the $36 dollars on vitamins and tea, and resorted to yogurt for breakfast, two handfuls of peanuts for lunch, and lentil soup for dinner.
She conveyed that during the challenge she, “Physically, I dropped three pounds, had episodes of weakness and was exhausted.” Moulton expressed that, “Mentally, I was sad and then angry that people in this country are hungry – millions of people – I cried a lot.”
After experiencing the hard concept of life on food stamps, she says, “Spiritually, I am profoundly transformed in the way that I will ever look at food.” She revealed that it was quite a frustrating experience, and feels ashamed that our country, with all its resources, can’t feed our hungry.
She does however seem to understand the problem here as she writes, “This was the way things were right before the Great Depression. Our economy cannot sustain itself with this growing disparity between the rich and the poor.”
The budget for food stamps was recently cut by $5 billion. This resulted in families of four taking an, on average, $36 per month benefit cut.
It should be noted that the majority of those on food stamps do not solely rely on the benefits for the purchase of food.
Do you think you would be able to live off $36 a month?