Monday, June 6, 2011

Assemblymember Yamada Blogs About the Food Stamp Challenge

We are pleased to announce that this year Assemblymember Mariko Yamada will once again participate in the Food Stamp Challenge, spending the next 5 days eating on the average allotment received by a CalFresh recipient (the new name in California for Food Stamps). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture which administers the program, the average weekly food stamp benefit is $22 - that's $4.43 per day, or just $1.48 per meal. We welcome you to follow her progress here, share your thoughts, take up the challenge yourself, or learn more about taking action in the fight against hunger by visiting our website,

Day 1:

After speaking at Davis Community Meals 3rd Annual "Hand in Hand" Fundraiser, I went to my local Safeway armed with the grocery ads and a calculator.

Here is what I bought for this year's Hunger Challenge:

1 pound ground turkey - 3.99 (50% discount due to expiration date today)
1 extra firm Tofu Lite -1.99
1 can chicken corn chowder soup - 1.29
1 can black beans - .79
1 can tuna - .99
1 4pk yogurt - 1.49
1 6pk Top Ramen - .89
1 loaf 12-grain bread - 2.49
1 red leaf lettuce - .79
3 bananas - .62
2 tomatoes - .52
1 pk fresh green beans - 2.00
1 can organic coffee - 3.49

13 items total = $21.34

What is different from previous years is that I found in-store coupon deals through which I could afford COFFEE.  Since this is my beverage of choice, and practically one of my five basic food groups, the week ahead should be a little easier for everyone around me.

Going to cook the ground turkey now because it expires tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Member Yamada:

    This effort of yours to live off of $4.33 a day of food which brings hunger and starvation issues to the forefront is honorable...and I appreciate your efforts.

    While I do not receive food stamps, I did at one point in my life long ago (back when Pete Wilson was in the Gov's office) and the humiliation and stigmatization of food stamps was very humbling; and making the food stamp dollar stretch was hard...there were no luxurious like the general public at times, seems, to believe.

    Thank you.


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