Congresswoman Suzan DelBene announced today that she will be living on an average food stamp budget for one week -- $4.50 a day -- to raise awareness about the importance of nutrition programs for low-income families and children in combating hunger.
"It's critically important to raise awareness and stand up for the millions of families, children and seniors across the country who rely on nutrition assistance programs by ensuring our safety net is adequately funded," said DelBene. "Participating in this SNAP challenge is a way to highlight the struggle many people and working families are facing today and to call attention of the need for these life-saving programs."
As part of the broader Farm Bill, there are currently proposals to make deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The proposed cuts would affect 47.5 million Americans, nearly half of whom are children. Eighty-three percent of all SNAP beneficiaries are children, seniors or disabled adults.
During the mark-up of the Farm Bill in the House Agriculture Committee, DelBene sponsored a number of amendments to restore support for SNAP and funding for school lunches.
If implemented, these cuts would be in addition to cuts to SNAP that are set to take place in November 2013, when temporary increases approved in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire.
DelBene will live on a food stamp budget from Sunday, June 16th through Saturday, June 22nd. All food purchased and eaten during the week will be included in the total spending.
DelBene will also be actively sharing photographs of her meals and thoughts throughout the week on her Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag #SNAPchallenge.