$4.90/day – Seriously?!?

It might not be absolutely clear from the “eat” and “drink” sections of this site, but spending time in nice restaurants and bars is a huge part of life for me.  Same goes for the food we eat at home.  So when Lorena Gonzalez suggested I jump on the bandwagon of spending $4.90/day to better understand hunger and a food stamp budget I swallowed hard and jumped in.  I’m recruiting people to participate in the CalFresh Challenge to realize that wherever you are on the political spectrum, these issues are about people, not just sound bites.

Here are the basics.  The average adult Californian who receives food stamps (called CalFresh) gets the equivalent of $4.90/day to feed themselves.  This isn’t a post about whether, as a nation, we should pay for food stamps (I think we should, by the way, but that’s another topic and I don’t really know the data on this, but I digress).  It’s also not a conversation about whether the program is administered in the best way possible (pretty unlikely) nor whether it misaligns incentives for users.  This is really just about what it might be like to live off of what many of us spend on a single coffee, beer, or happy hour snack.  The point is, it doesn’t matter if you believe we should all be self-sufficient or you think the government should be paying for everyone. I happen to be a fiscal moderate, but I have a pulse–and empathy for people who don’t lead the same life as me, for whatever reason.  But anyway, put that stuff aside for a moment and let’s understand each other a little better by seeing what it’s like to live life in a way that’s a little more challenging. It’s not too late to give this challenge a try.  If you do it, please send me pictures or emails so I can post your stories, too.  Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by.  Tomorrow is Day 1, so here we go…

2 thoughts on “$4.90/day – Seriously?!?

  1. Good luck! I look forward to reading about this. I was recently laid off from my job and, as a result, have had to really think about budgeting for food. I haven’t given in to getting food stamps yet, but I will be receiving unemployment. And, frankly, the payments you get on unemployment are hardly enough to survive on. Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two from you experience!

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