Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Food stamp challenge

After posting the previous questions about charity, I ran into this article on the food stamp challenge.....

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak had second thoughts yesterday about buying a cup of coffee, because it would have eaten up one-third of her daily food allowance.

Through the end of this week, Rudiak said she will be spending under $7 a day on food, the same allotment a food stamp recipient receives, to highlight cuts in the federal program.

"I'm always up for a challenge, and surviving on (under $7) a day is certainly a challenge," Rudiak said.

Rudiak of Carrick is participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Challenge, a nationwide poverty simulation exercise sponsored locally by Just Harvest, a South Side-based anti-hunger organization.

Nationally, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department, nearly 40 million people are enrolled in the food stamp program. In Allegheny County, according to Just Harvest communication coordinator Adam MacGregor, more than 150,000 people and families in receive food stamp benefits.

I planned to try this challenge but then it dawned on me that I've already participated in this in the past. We just called it college.

See, me and my roommates subsisted on Ramen noodles, spaghetti, grilled cheese, pancake mix, boxes of macaroni and cheese, spam, day old dunkin' sticks from the local thrift bakery and for a good time ............$1.50 pitchers of some rank ass draft beer.

The thought of opening one of those Kraft cheese food slices still makes my stomach turn a little.

One year, one of my roommates got a turkey for Thanksgiving and we had that thing in our freezer for two months before one of us had a girlfriend who knew how to fix one. It was big time feasting.

The fact is, we were all willing to live that way because we all knew that was a temporary way of life........not meant for perpetuity.

The next time I do some grocery shopping, I'll do a quick price check on all those awesome culinary delights to help out this babe.

I'm sure everyone who's read this blog has some sort of cheap food story to share for Ms. Rudiak, feel free to let her know in my comment section. It looks like she needs some hints to live on $7.00 a day.


Anonymous said...

You can usually eat for free if you're washing dishes at a restaurant for minimum wage (usually more than minimum wage). When I left the restaurant industry my food budget went up several hundred a month.

Anonymous said...

You can buy 10 pounds of potatoes for 5 bucks. You can buy 2 pounds of lean ground beef for 6 bucks. You can live for a week on that alone. You can survive on 7 bucks a day. Easily. Here's a novel idea: maybe you shouldn't be buying coffee on food stamps. The idea of food stamps should to provide survivability rations, which it does. You want luxury foods, you should be expected to pay for hat from your own hard earned money like the rest of us.

gordon gekko said...

Yeah, I noticed that the council person couldn't even think through going to her local gas station to get her a large 99 cent black coffee that I get every day.

Anonymous said...

My late grandfather grew up in Europe during WWI. He told me of winters where they had NO food for a days at a time. I always use this as my baseline. I guaran-damn-tee you he wasn't buying 2 dollar coffees.

Anonymous said...

I had a housemate who worked at Pizza Hut during college. All the leftover personal pan pizzas ended up in our kitchen. We even had "steak" by buy cheap-assed ground beef and making look like a steak. Heck, with a good buzz on you couldn't tell the difference. Then with all the cheap pasta out there, we lived pretty well....considering that what we saved could generally be invested in some of that cheap draft you spoke of.