According to the article, a disabled person in Missouri receives $25.38 a week, or about $3.62 a day in food stamp assistance. It went on to mention how the director of the local Food Outreach and several area politicians are challenging themselves to eat for a week on that allotted amount. I don't think I'm up to that kind of challenge, but I was curious how my food budget stacked up, so I calculated the cost of the food I ate for an entire day.
Here's what I ate today:
- 2 homemade chocolate whole grain muffins (oatmeal, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, flavored with cocoa powder)
- homemade mocha java (brewed coffee mixed with nonfat milk powder and sweetner)
- egg scramble (2 eggs scrambled with green pepper and served with salsa)
- 2 slices bread machine bread sprinkled with cinnamon sugar
- 1 apple
- 1 serving generic "Triscuit" crackers
- toasted cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread with generic "Veleeta" cheese
- sliced tomatoes
- frozen corn
(Note-I would normally have a glass of milk with dinner, but discovered we were out)
I made a little spreadsheet to figure out the cost of my food. I actually tried to figure out the "per serving" cost of the basic ingredients I used for the muffins, which necessitated a trip to the grocery store to check out some prices. I weighed the tomato to figure out its cost per pound, but guessed on the banana, apple, and watermelon.
When I added up the cost of all my food I was AMAZED (and pleasantly surprised) that it came to exactly $3.62, or what the paper said the hypothetical disabled person would receive per day. As noted, I didn't have the milk I usually have; that would have pushed me over the limit.
I have no desire to continue the experiment for more than one day, but it was an eye-opener to see what that small amount of money can buy.