Faith, Food Stamps and the Fight Against Hunger

Faith and political leaders recently united to call attention to the importance of the food stamp program (SNAP), which keeps 46 million Americans from going hungry and may be at risk for budget cuts. For one week, the clergy members and elected officials tried to try to feed themselves on the average recipient's benefit -- $31.50. "We have to remember that a budget is a moral document, and in that document we specify who matters and who doesn't," said Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN).
Grace Hill
November 11th, 2011 10:52 am

Why don't those who visit here (and are fortunate enough not to need food stamps) join with Ellison and Norton in taking the Food Stamp Challenge for a week? I would love to hear comments on how the experience went for others visiting this site. Am willing to try it.

Re Wanda's response above..I volunteer in a food pantry run by my church and from my experience, I don't think there are many people who would prefer living on hand-outs to working. Many tell us how ashamed they are of their present situation and how hard they do struggle to find employment--and then we interact with the working poor whose wages are so low they can't feed their families without assistance. How about raising the minimum wage, Congress?

Let's stop demonizing the poor and calling them lazy. Many of us are just a few steps away from being in their ranks.

November 11th, 2011 10:03 am

I recieve snap benefits myself. It is impossible to feed yourself on $31.50 a week. You can not the price of food has risen a great deal, you can not buy what you actually need to eat healthy for a week especially if your using the food pryamid.So you make cuts here there and every where else to streach your snap benefits, you end up buying unhealthy foods they are cheap . and thats the only way to make it last a week. And people wonder why we have all these health issues .I would love to buy fresh fruit and vegtables and grains,and even meat that is not battered, which is more healthy for you, but i just cannot afford it. I would run out of food completely, if I did that. going by the goverment food pyramid. and only using $31.50 in snap benefits

November 11th, 2011 06:06 am

I agree that $31.50 a week is not a lot, but it is very doable. I have been unemployed for three years now, but have not wanted to apply for food stamps. I regularly do not have more than $20 to $25 to spend on food for a week and it can be done. You won't be able to eat steak but you will eat. I also think you need to look at the opposite problem as well. I have seen what some people on the food stamp program purchase in the grocery stores, and it is usually higher-priced items that I can't afford, including "junk" food. And these same people also obtain food from the local food shelves on a regular basis as well. I don't think that very many of them are starving. Sometimes, the opposite is true and they are overweight or even obese. I think we need to put more funding into getting people back to work. Sadly, there are not enough jobs for those who want them, and even worse - there are people who would rather be given money and food stamps than work for a paycheck. Let's not make government hand-outs look more attractive than earning a living for yourself.

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