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Sen. Murphy to Live on Food Stamp Budget for a Week

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    Sen. Chris Murphy plans to live on the equivalent of a food stamp budget for a week.

    For the next week, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy plans to live on the equivalent of a food stamp budget to understand what it means to live on a food budget of $4.80 per day.

    Murphy said he is taking the Food Stamp Challenge to better understand how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program works on a personal level, according to a news release.

    The challenge started on Monday.

    “427,000 people in Connecticut rely on SNAP benefits to feed themselves and their families,” Murphy said in a statement. “Spending some time living on this budget gives policymakers a firsthand look at the realities of maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet on an extremely limited budget. It’s not easy, but it’s important for people in Washington to understand what our constituents who rely on SNAP face every day. Some lawmakers have proposed steep, damaging cuts to SNAP as part of the Farm Bill here in Congress, and we owe it our constituents  to face up to the reality of those cuts.”
    As of January of 2013, 12 percent of the state’s population participates in the program. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Food Stamp Program, the average monthly benefit in Connecticut is $143.89 per family member, which is $4.80 per day or $1.60 per meal, according to Murphy’s office.
    Murphy will keep track of his meals and post observations throughout the week via Twitter and Facebook.

    In 2011, U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney took the challenge. He and his wife are on $32 per week and he blogged about the experience.