Monday, February 9, 2009

Could You Live On A Food Stamp Budget?

In the February 9, 2009 Slashfood article "Could You Live On A Food Stamp Budget?," Emily Matchar reports on the challenges of a limited income:
We talked earlier this month about whether we could live on a $15 a week grocery budget. Many of us thought we could, though it would be hard, time-consuming and rather boring. Now, CNN reporter Sean Callebs is attempting to see what it's like to eat for $176 a month, the most a single food stamp recipient can get in a month. The economic stimulus bill is calling for raising food stamp payments by 13 percent, a sign that the current payments are not enough, Callebs says.

So far he seems to be doing OK, eating basic but healthful meals like chicken stir fry and grilled cheese sandwiches with salads. He's also eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and a lot of pasta with tomato sauce. But, Callebs points out, he has time to cook and is well-educated on which cheap foodstuffs are also healthy. He also has energy to run three or four miles a day, making his carb-heavy diet less of a weight gain risk. The average food stamp recipient may be working two jobs, with little time to spend in the kitchen chopping and stir-frying lean cuts of chicken.

Callebs is also getting a lot of interesting comments, ranging from budget and shopping tips to admonishments to "stop whining" to thank-yous for raising awareness about consumer food spending.

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