Friday, November 23, 2012

Congressman Kimble Begins Food Stamp Challenge

Today, I began the Food Stamp Challenge.   I did this not because it is easy, but because even in a prosperous district like mine, there are many people who are hurting.   There many unemployed and underemployed people who rely on food stamps to feed their families.  I read today that 80% of Walmart employees are on food stamps and I wanted to know their struggle first hand.   Please check out the challenge for yourself.

According to the challenge, the food stamp benefit in California is only about $31.50 per day.   I've seen Rachel Ray survive on $40 per day, but that was a few years back.   I knew right away that some luxuries would be off limits this week.  I would not be able to afford my favorite 1.5 pound lobster stuffed with a smaller 1 pound lobster and even a second glass of wine at dinner would be a stretch.  I knew reducing tipping down to 5% would help, but for one of the first times in my life I would know real hunger.

Breakfast: I love my coffee and today was no exception.  I sat down to the paper at East of Java Coffee Shop for my usual 12 shot venti vanilla cinnamon white hazelnut mocha with extra caramel and mocha.  To that I added a blueberry muffin and a morning newspaper.   As I reached into my wallet to pay the $22.47 bill, I thought I might have made a mistake wasting so much money on breakfast, but as I gave the girl my Chase card, the owner saw me.  Joe and I go back along way and he insisted on comping me on my breakfast as his Thanksgiving gift to me.  Breakfast was free, but what about lunch and dinner.

Lunch: I stopped by the club and again unfamiliar with familiarity I overdid it.  While I stopped myself at 2 martinis, the Welsh rarebit was a bit pricey and when I added the $1.60 tip to the $29.83 bill, I founded myself with a grand total of 7 cents left for dinner.   This was much harder than I thought it would be.

Dinner: I hoped I wouldn't have to resort to it already, but after our Thanksgiving feast we had a lot of what is commonly referred to as leftovers.   I made myself a cold turkey sandwich with a slice of leftover pumpkin pie and some Merlot.    Was this really what I was reduced to?  Was I really scrounging for my meals in the old food of my refrigerator?  As God is my witness, tomorrow is another day and I will not go hungry again.

Day 1 Total = $31.43

1 comment:

  1. Either you're kidding or your math is funky. It's more like $31.50 a week.

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for administering the Food Stamp Program, the nationwide average monthly benefit in 2010 was $133.79, approximately $4.50 a day or $1.50 a meal.