Mayor’s Food Stamp Diet: “I’m Tired, And It’s Hard to Focus”

Written by Travis Waldron

When local activist groups challenged Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to live on a food stamp budget for a week to mark Hunger Awareness Month, he took them up on the offer and found out just how hard it was. Stanton kept a diary on the challenge, which allotted him roughly $29 a week, the same amount 1.1 million Arizonans receive from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) each week.

By day four, Stanton noted that he was ďtiredĒ and ďitís hard to focusĒ after leaving the house for work without time to scramble eggs or eat a decent breakfast:

OK- ran out the door today with no time to scramble eggs or even make a sandwich. So Iím surviving on an apple and handful of peanuts, and the coffee I took to the office until dinner. Iím tired, and itís hard to focus. I canít go buy a sandwich because that would be cheating- even the dollar menu at Taco Bell is cheating. You canít use SNAP benefits at any restaurants, fast food or otherwise. Iím facing a long, hungry day and an even longer night getting dinner on the table, which requires making EVERYTHING from scratch on this budget. Itís only for a week, so Iíve got a decent attitude. If I were doing this with no end in sight, I probably wouldnít be so pleasant.

Watch a local news report about Stantonís challenge, via Huffington Postís Bonnie Kavoussi:

According to Stantonís Facebook page, the city he governs ranks 34th-worst among Americaís 100 largest metro areas in terms of hunger, and one-in-four Arizona children are food insecure. Across the nation, there are more than 46 million people receiving SNAP benefits.

Despite the challenges presented by poverty and hunger, Republicans have proposed cuts to the programs that help struggling families afford food. The House GOP budget could kick millions out of SNAP and hundreds of thousands of children out of school lunch programs, exacerbating the high rates of food insecurity Americaís families are already facing.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Photo: NCReedplayer/flickr


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Kimberly Gold
Larry G4 years ago

Its a vicious circle. Poor nutrition causes a host of physical problems and eventually leads to disease ... its UNACCEPTABLE that ANYONE in the USA (or anywhere for that matter) goes undernourished or hungry. The amount of food that is THROWN AWAY every single day in this country is appalling, yet we give those who need a hand pennies and expect them to work miracles with that. *Sigh* There is enough for everyone on this PLANET, its just mismanagement of resources by those in power ... this is what happens when a few own the vast majority of everything.

marc p.
Marc P4 years ago

The same Republicans that want to take a hungry person's $120.00 a month in food away from them have NO problem tossing that same person in prison for stealing food for their child. Please note that prison costs around $75.00 a day, or about $2300.00 a month for one person.

teresa floyd
teresa floyd4 years ago

I too am on food stamps,I get about $16.00 a month.I try not to use it so i can add more to my food stamps.Living on food stamps for a week is BS trying living on it for a month like the rest of us do.
As for as putting congress on food stamps they would not last 2 days.They would be crying to there mommies.
This Jerks think that living on food stamps is o.k.try living on $16 a month you morons

Mary Beth M.
Mary Beth M4 years ago

Be sure to let the twits at Fox News know...they want to lose weight.

Marianne B.
Marianne B4 years ago

The Mayor who did this, got only a taste of what it's like 365 days a year. I say put the Republicans on food stamps. They are the ones who want to cut this valuable need. What's the expression? Walk a mile in my shoes!!!

Gael M.
Gael M.4 years ago

The mayor will not continue his test long enough to run out of soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste and other necessities people usually buy at the grocery store. For those who really are poor - vinegar and baking soda are considered food and can be bought with food stamps. Both are good for cleaning. Baking soda substitutes for toothpaste, comet, even, in a pinch, laundry soap.
For the good Mayor: A - for Effort P - for Publicity

Gael M.
Gael M.4 years ago

Heck, I must move to AZ! Florida only assigns me $16 of foodstamps a month.

Beth M.
Beth M4 years ago

Vote Democrat and start worrying about the American people first.