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Panera Bread CEO on Living on $4.50 a Day: 'Food Dominates My Life' (TEXT and VIDEO)

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Hardball, Chris Matthews, Ron Shaich, Americans, SNAP, congress, ethics, hunger, families, children, economy, corruption, abuse, dishonesty, government, politics, republicans )

- 1708 days ago -
Panera Bread founder and CEO Ron Shaich shared his experience living on the equivalent of the federal "food stamps" program with MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Thursday, following House Republicans' move to slash it.

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Carrie B (306)
Friday September 20, 2013, 3:29 am
VIDEO is on left side of page below article.

Friday September 20, 2013, 3:41 am
Thanks for posting Carrie.

Danuta W (1249)
Friday September 20, 2013, 3:59 am

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Friday September 20, 2013, 8:53 am
Thank you for sharing this post. The Rethuglicans are evil. Taking food from the children, the elderly, the disabled, and the unemployed is inhuman.

Elizabeth M (65)
Friday September 20, 2013, 12:47 pm
Thank you for sharing this story and video Carrie. Thank You to Chris Matthews for featuring this on the news and my hat is off to Ron Shaich of Panera Bread for having the intestinal fortitude to try living on $4.50 a day!!!!!
Seems he learned a lot of about the reality so many are facing. Also he gives back to the community!!!
“It’s not exactly a bragging right, either, when you have to go into the store and use food stamps, but added to that, sometimes [it's an] indignity, although it shouldn’t be,” Matthews argued. “But people are hard-up, in bad shape, they may have lost their job, their home, they’re relying on this. It just seems like [Cantor's] real name should be Ebenezer.”

Kit B (276)
Friday September 20, 2013, 1:09 pm

When food is not immediately available it dominates your thoughts. When we are used to spending $5.00 on a cheap sandwich we have trouble understanding that was the whole day of food blow on one sandwich. If every Congressional representative were forced to do the shopping personally, cook the meals and not eat anything not purchased on the tiny food budget allowed, things just might change.

I read on another thread that some still think that SNAP can be used for alcohol - This is from the SNAP Site.

(I do think that because the only food store in some neighborhoods also sells alcohol some maybe confused.)

How to Use Food Stamps (the SNAP Card)

By Pierre Lehu

The federal Food Stamp Program is now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); and instead of issuing paper food stamp coupons, SNAP recipients get an EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card to use in participating stores. When paying for groceries, you just swipe the EBT card in the same card reader that's used for credit and debit cards, put in your PIN number, and that's it!

Whether you call it food stamps, a SNAP card, or the EBT card, here are some pointers to remember for using it:

• At the end of your purchase transaction, you should be able to see how much money is left in your account.

• You can't debit a higher amount than the cash register total and get cash back.

• Most participating stores indicate that they are SNAP members by displaying a sign in their window, but if you're not sure, ask at the service counter or one of the cashiers. (The sign might say something like "We Accept Food Stamps, EBT, or SNAP Benefits.")

• You can buy most types of edible items in categories that you'd find in a supermarket: dairy, meats, produce, and so on. (Seeds that will be used to grow edible foods are also eligible.)

*****Items that you can't buy with food stamps include:

• Alcoholic beverages and cigarettes

• Vitamins and medicines

• Any food that will be eaten in the store

• Any hot food

• Non-edible items like laundry supplies, paper products, and pet foods.

• Your EBT card is good in all 50 states, even though you may have enrolled in one particular state. (The card doesn't work in Puerto Rico but does in the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

• Any food stamp benefits that you don't use in one month will be carried over to the next month. However, if you don't use your SNAP card for a year, you will no longer be entitled to receive benefits.

While SNAP is a federal program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eligibility is handled by each state — and each state has its own set of rules.

I hope that helps clear things up. One person is allowed on the average $ 200 a month., 4 people $668. a month. There really is not much room for scams and cheating.

Kit B (276)
Friday September 20, 2013, 1:15 pm

Kudos to Shaish for trying walk a mile in someone's shoes. On Thursday a friend and I have dinner out, or we cook in and watch a movie on Netflix. Last night we were less than careful, and just the two of us, no alcohol, spent nearly $30.00, nearly one quarter of the monthly allowance for a single person on SNAP. That leaves me shaking my head. What devilish tricks to pretend these people are living the high life.

Carrie B (306)
Friday September 20, 2013, 1:47 pm
Barry and I live on a very strict budget since we only receive Social Security. Even though we had to apply for social security benefits at 62 and we receive much less than we would have, had we been able to wait until 65, ~ (it was a necessity) we do not qualify for SNAP ~ and we live in the most expensive city in New Mexico. We own our mobile home free and clear, but pay a small fortune to rent a lot in a reasonably clean and safe large mobile home community, and we pay all of our own utilities. We have not been out to a restaurant in over five years. I make much of our bread, and make almost everything from scratch. Fortunately, I'm a reasonably good cook and know how to stretch a dollar or we would be eating beans and franks on a daily basis. Convenience foods are generally more expensive and not very healthy, so we don't buy them. I clip or print coupons for really good deals, but most of the time it's just more economical to buy generic. All meat is is bought on sale and we do not eat meat on a daily basis. I make all of our dog food because we want them to have the best nutrition possible and it is more economical to make than buy the designer pet food which will probably be recalled next week anyway.

My point is that many people do not understand how difficult it is to just survive in our society. Buying food is a necessity ~ not a luxury. Parents should never have to worry about feeding their children ~ and children should not have to wonder if they will have food to eat tomorrow. Once you reach my age, life should become easier ~ not more difficult.

When our elected members of congress show no compassion or empathy for those who elected them ~ it is time to toss them out on their collective asses and elect new ones. Sorry, but that's how I feel.

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 3:39 am
Not quite right Kit, it's a prorated program, an individual can receive 200, but the second person does not. I think many people forget it is "Supplemental" not primary, and that there are other programs that provide additional funds, without restrictions on where the money is spent. So a cash assistance would help with some personal products. Why many people don't really have the ability to shop at different stores, those that can should shop the sale items and they could really stretch the money (if it really is that dire). The problem is, and what too many people don't see, is that too many get it, and those that need it don't get enough. By the way, when I traveled as a consultant, I could live on $5 a day and save my per diem for the weekends (and I was staying in hotels).

The problem is when you take someone who is use to spending $20-$30 a day, and expect them to live on $4, they will have a problem. Find a cheap bastard like me, and I see a challenge.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Saturday September 21, 2013, 8:48 am
Don't forget those "EBT" cards carry fees, fees which go straight to the issuing bank. Banks are doing very well on SNAP. They are the true "Welfare Queens."
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