Food-Stamp Shopping Challenge Proves Difficulty Of Small Budget - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Food-Stamp Shopping Challenge Proves Difficulty Of Small Budget

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's a challenge for thousands of families in Tennessee every night to put dinner on the table at an affordable price.  For those on food stamps, it's even harder. Their budget is only $1.50 per meal.

Could you survive on $4 for food per day? Thousands of Tennesseans on food stamps do it every week, and now some local politicians are taking on the challenge in their own grocery cart.

Fifty people, including Metro Council members, took a challenge to go shopping on a food stamp budget to experience how difficult it really is. They filled their carts with Ramen Noodles, discount produce and generic brands Monday, all in an effort to experience how tough it is for the 440,000 Tennesseans living on food stamps.

"Normally when I walk into a grocery store, I have a list, and if something is not on the list I can see it and buy it. With food stamps and the $31.50 budget, I really have to be sure what I am buying is going to fit into that," said Judith Saks.

Participants and sponsors hope it will bring a new understanding of the challenge for those living on a food stamp budget. Participants want to bring awareness to just how hard it is and bring an end to talks of federal funding cuts to the program. A mother of five on food stamps said with the increased cost of food prices, she can barely put enough food on the table as is. A cut to the program could be devastating for families like hers.

"It's hard. You stretch. You worry. How am I going to have this have that, and you do whatever it takes," said Shae Johnson.

One out of every five Tennesseans is living on food stamps, and with food prices going up, they say it's crucial that federal funding for this program remains intact.

The sponsors of this challenge said if every member of Congress had to live on food stamps for just a week, there is little chance anyone would vote to cut funding to the program

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