Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton experienced what life would be like on food stamps as part of Hunger Awareness Month. It is estimated that 1.1 million people live on food stamps in Arizona, and throughout the United States in the month of June, 46.7 million Americans received food stamp benefits.

According to 10 Fox News in Phoenix, Mayor Stanton had to live of off $29 worth of food for a week. “So for the past week, I’ve lived on food stamps or at least the amount of money you get on food stamps,” Mayor Stanton said. In a message posted on his Facebook page, he explained the amount of benefits a family of four would receive:

In the weeklong SNAP Experience when we’ll limit total food purchases to the weekly budget of a typical SNAP participant: $4.16 a day. That’s about $29 a week for one person and $97 a week for a family of four.

“I lost a few pounds this week, I’m probably down about four pounds,” Mayor Stanton said. “Occasionally I’d have a cup of coffee and skip a meal in order to make it through.” Stanton chronicled his daily food intake and at the end of the challenge, he realized just how hard it is for families to survive:

Identifying, in a concrete way, with struggling families is an important exercise for any leader. By walking in the shoes of those who depend on the SNAP program, I certainly feel like I’ve gained critical perspective as a policymaker. From a broader perspective, I’m starting to think about all the other challenges families on food stamps (SNAP) must face at the same time they are stretching their food benefit. Census data in 2010 showed Arizona had the second highest poverty rate in the nation with 21.2% of its citizens living in poverty. The national figure was 14.3 percent. We’ve improved since then, but we’re still in the 10-poorest states category. Worse, women raising children alone here aren’t doing well. More than 45% of mothers raising children by themselves are in poverty. That’s why turning this economy around is so important. The best “program” for any struggling family is a job that pays a living wage. That’s what I’m focusing on for every Phoenix family.

When I look back on growing up, and seeing how my mother struggled with rationing food stamps every month, I can only imagine how hard it is now. I don’t think I know anyone that can live off of $29 a week, or a family that can make it on only $97.

Do you think you could live off of $29 as a single person, or $97 as a family of 4?

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  • cocochanel31

    $29 a month is not feasible for most who want three meals a day! AT ALL..it is totally unfair and ridicolous. My uncle who is paralyzed gets 30 or $40 a month and if it wasn’t for my mom his sister, who supplements that amount he would be hungry 24/7..this system is effed up man! Espcially for the peope like my uncle who really NEED it and not trying to scam the system!

    Groceries are high everywhere we all need subsidy for real!

    • edub

      And, who’s going to pay for this subsidy?

    • SS25

      The same people who pay for the wars and the personal spending accounts for Congress.

    • edub

      LOL, black folks waiting around for somebody else to feed them. My how the mighty have fallen.

    • Egypt

      And…Why is it whenever food stamps are mentioned the topic turns to Black folks using the system. Do white folks, not use food stamps?

      People have their own circumstances, who are we to judge..Honestly, in this economy it could very well be any one of us.

    • SS25

      Exactly!! Black people aren’t the only ones that use food stamps. I’ve seen plenty of white people use their EBT card in the store. Ebub is just an ignorant HOE!!

    • edub

      *Blushes* Why thank you!

  • Patience

    $29.00 is no where near enough when food prices have been increasing.

    These experiences mean nothing when the person knows that they can go back to their old life as soon as the experiment has completed.

    • Val

      I agree. Let him do this for three months and then I want to hear what he has to say.

  • jourdan

    I wish somebody would make Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan do this

  • This is silly.
    1) 29/weekfor food is definitely doable. In fact I am trying this myself for a MONTH

    2) if he’s being allotted 29/week, instead of the full 50/week you should get in Phoenix as a household of 1, this means he would have outside money that he could spend (this is AFTER rent and transportation costs). So he should either get $50 a week AND cash assistance OR be getting 29/week and have some outside cash to buy a burrito.

    This is an admirable undertaking that has been, essentially, ruined by them cooking the books to obtained a preset outcome.

  • I think this is something for Mitt Romney to try, then maybe he would have a bit more compassion for those who have unfortunate circumstances.