Taking on the Food Stamp Challenge

For four days starting Monday, November 12, I’ll be taking on the Food Stamp Challenge.

Hopefully, most of us will never be forced to rely only on just food stamps. The reality is a record 46 million Americans were on food stamps in June. 200,000 people in Sacramento County don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

The Hunger Coalition kicked off the challenge to raise awareness about hunger. For the challenge, I’ll be living on $4.90 a day.

Think about how much a latte costs or a soda, for that matter. Doesn’t sound so easy now, does it? For me, this isn’t a political statement or a call to change policies. This is a matter of trying to understand the challenge facing the people who we call our neighbors and even our friends.

I know this can be a life-changing experience. I’ll be honest. I walk into stores and even restaurants and I don’t think about what I’m buying. I often toss out food that rots in my fridge or leftovers that we are tired of eating.

I welcome the lesson I’ll be learning and I hope it gives me a better understanding and more compassion. If you’d like to join the challenge do it by living on $4.90 a day.

Watch my reports on FOX40 News at 10 to see what it takes.

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11 comments

  • disabledmom2

    My family has been doing great on foodstamps. You need to get your fruits and veggies at denios. You eat beans and legumes instead of meat. You eat at church on Sundays.

    Stick to a menu. No junk food.

  • Akalola1

    I worked as an R.N.B.S.N.P.H.N.for most of my life at $65,000/year. On September 14, 2001 I was hit from behind by a large truck and my whole life changed. Flat on my back for two years until surgery that is repeated every two years to keep the pain under control and me up on my feet for short amounts of time. I now live on about $12,000/year and $187.00 a month in food stamps. On top of which, at forty, I was diagnosed by small intestine biopsy with non tropical Sprue disease (celiac disease). I cannot eat flour, wheat, rye, barley, oats, or foods prepared in places that also prepare the others causing contamination. 187 divided by 30 equals $6.23/day. I buy Amy's Gluten free enchiladas for about $3.89-$4.50. I am unable to buy fresh meats and fruits that I am supposed to have. progresso's has 2 soups that are gluten free for $2.50/can. I have problems with nutritional malabsorption which requires b-12 injections, thyroid medication, high blood pressed medication, and pain medication. I am homebound, unable to drive. I am glad if others are doing well on foes stamps, but I so wish for a gluten free food bank that delivers. I have a caretaker but she can only help with certain items. I need someone who can cook from scratch and freeze meals that I can heat when I am alone. I also wish I knew someone who went to denio's (who don't accept EBT cards). Safeway delivers groceries but only accepts EBT cards at the store's, not on deliveries. Signed, hungry between a rock and a hard space. Surely the federal government could make things easier on homebound disabled persons. Gluten free food banks that deliver? Or gluten free meals on wheels? Volunteer gluten free cooking on a budget, Rachel Ray?

  • catcasarez3512

    This is only for one (1) person right? What about a family of 2,3 or 4. There are to many issues to just focus on one individuals budjet. There wasent hardly any nutrition in the products that you picked. Not even a good solid breakfest to start you off fdor the day :( . This is a double edge sored. We are slowly starving due to the way they think we should survive!

  • carrie

    Hi I just wanted to say that ur food stamp segment isn’t accurate.. u can’t buy fast food with food stamps what so ever u can’t buy hot food, not even the prepared food at the grocery stores . As a news station I would have thought u guys would have known that and been more realistic with ur segment

  • fox40samcohen

    (Producer Sam) No comments have been deleted from this story, I'm not sure why they may not be showing up for you.

  • Stefanie Cruz

    Hi there,
    Thank you for the suggestion. I did find that produce is expensive at grocery stores. It's great that you can use EBT at farmers markets. Take care.

  • Stefanie Cruz

    Hi there, I can't imagine having my two kids eating on that budget. No produce or milk. You are right, so many more issues that could be touched on. I just wanted to highlight the issue from my perspective.

  • Stefanie Cruz

    Hi Carrie,
    You're absolutely right. You cannot buy Taco Bell with food stamps. None of us who took the Food Stamp Challenge actually got Cal Fresh. We lived on the same amount. I went to fast food just to illustrate how tough it is to get a nutritious meal. I apologize if that wasn't clear and I'll be sure to blog about it later. Thank you.

  • carrie

    Yes but in that case you should not be calling it a food stamp challenge because it is not accurate. If your doing a “food stamp” challenge you should be abiding by the same rules that people on food stamps do. The company I worked for went out of business due to the recession I was forced to get on food stamps. See you go yo taco bell and get a few tacos for less then two bucks that’s awesome but we can’t do that. I wish we could because it would make alloy less stressful because u can get more food for your Buck and make it easier to feed your family on that limited budget but being on food stamps and not being able to do that and only getting to shop at grocery stores and paying there prices make healthy earring almost impossible in fact this year we grew a garden just so we could attempt to eat better because getting a limited amount to last us all month the quality of food we can afford is horrible aalot of processed food such as hot dogs and I am Bologna and a lot of boxes dinners high in sodium such as hamburger helper Mac n cheese and top ramen ect. And it makes it almost impossible to eat healthy.. I am just saying you guys are not showing how it really is, how hard it really is and u make it look kinda simple when u can just go to fast food when its really not… I love ur guys station but if your going to do a story show it how was really is or at least put a more honest title to it