Can you live on $4.80 a day for food? That’s what U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is doing this week to gain a better understanding how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) works on a personal level. Starting today, Senator Murphy will live on the average state food stamp benefit.
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. Nearly 61 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children, and more than 33 percent of SNAP participants are in families with elderly or disabled members. About 33 percent of SNAP participants are in working families.
“427,000 people in Connecticut rely on SNAP benefits to feed themselves and their families,” said Murphy. “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.”