The mayor of Phoenix was asked to live on a foodstamp budget for one week in honor of Hunger Awareness Month. He did, but found after 4 days he was “hungry and tired.”
He writes in his journal,
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.
Republicans have wanted to cut funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) touting racist ideas about people abusing and free-loading off the system, but there’s nothing “fun” about the small amount of restrictive money you get on this program. It gives you a little bit for basic foods, almost all of which have to be prepared in advance (you can’t, for example, buy prepared foods at the grocery store) which can be really hard for working parents. We should all cook and eat basic whole foods, and fast food restaurants can die–but I’m fairly certain most families on food assistance are barely surviving and often not even getting their basic necessities met.