Phoenix, AZ – When Mayor Greg Stanton was challenged by local activist groups to live on a food stamp budget during the week kicking-off Hunger Awareness Month, he decided to play along and found out just how hard it really was.
Throughout the challenge, Stanton kept a diary. He lived on roughly $29 a week, just like the 1.1 million Arizonans who receive supplemental assistance through SNAP each week. He admitted by day four that he was “tired,” and that it was “hard to focus” going through his work day without eating a decent breakfast.
“OK- ran out the door today with no time to scramble eggs or even make a sandwich. So I’m surviving on an apple and handful of peanuts, and the coffee I took to the office until dinner. I’m tired, and it’s hard to focus. I can’t go buy a sandwich because that would be cheating- even the dollar menu at Taco Bell is cheating. You can’t use SNAP benefits at any restaurants, fast food or otherwise. I’m facing a long, hungry day and an even longer night getting dinner on the table, which requires making EVERYTHING from scratch on this budget. It’s only for a week, so I’ve got a decent attitude. If I were doing this with no end in sight, I probably wouldn’t be so pleasant.”
According to Stanton’s Facebook page, his city ranks 34th worst among America’s 100 largest cities in terms of hunger. Nationwide, more than 46 million people receive SNAP benefits.
Here’s a video report of Stanton’s food stamp journey, via Newsy: