Four members of Congress representing both sides of the aisle recently finished the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge. The objective: Feed yourself on $3.00 per day, the average amount a food stamp recipient receives (sorry, no way to not make that sound redundant).
It was a good experiment, as it illustrated just how inadequate the Food Stamp Program is as it exists today. And it would make a good reality TV show; one with a social conscience, rather than voyeuristic, sadistic intent. Though the likes of Nicole Richie or Paris Hilton hardly need encouragement not to eat.
As a vegetarian, I think I could almost make $3.00 work each day (Taco Bell bean burrito: $.89 plus tax; cup of water: free; intestinal fortitude: priceless)... for a few days . But most people aren’t, and couldn’t. The challenge participants did cheat a little here and there. It ain't enough money!
In an interesting sidebar to this story, participant Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) had his peanut butter and jelly sandwich (ingredients bought with the $3.00 allowance) confiscated by the TSA before a flight, leaving him foodless. Have terrorists suddenly moved from WMDs and suicide bombings to murder by food allergy? These no-thrills airlines aren't serving food anymore, yet allow you to bring your own food aboard; has no one informed the TSA of this?I hope no food stamp recipient has to take a plane anytime soon (it could happen). Or a diabetic. Or any other normal human being requiring sustenance. They may be out of luck.
The Food Stamp Program is apparently just one of many federal entities that needs a policy overhaul.