Phoenix Mayor Attempts to Live on a Food Stamp Budget
September 27, 2012 7:34 am
Earlier this month, Phoenix, AZ, Mayor Greg Stanton took the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) challenge, and attempted to live on a food budget of 29 dollars a week, or $4.16 a day. The Democratic mayor came out of the challenge four pounds lighter and advocating a living wage as the best “program” for struggling families.
Mayor Stanton said that he found himself skipping meals and subsisting on ramen to stay within the budget. On his Facebook page, he claimed that he was tired and had trouble focusing. The challenge was issued by the Arizona Community Action Association, and was meant to illustrate the deep effects of proposed GOP budget cuts.
Stanton spoke to ABC 15 on why cutting assistance doesn’t make economic sense:
We forget that the money that goes into the SNAP program goes right back into the economy to support grocery stores like Safeway and Fry’s. This isn’t money being put into a bank account and saved, it goes right back into circulation.
In June of 2012, a record 46.7 million Americans used food stamps. Regardless of the record assistance, a Gallup poll reported that a staggering one in five Americans did not have enough money to pay for food at some point in the last year. With the scant assistance offered to individuals — as reflected by Stanton’s week long diet — this statistic is not surprising, but it is troubling.
Kudos to Mayor Stanton for attempting to understand the struggles of low-income Americans, rather than dismissing them as part of the 47% of Americans who pay no income tax and feel entitled to a handout.
Image from here