Local Leaders Live On Food Stamp Budget To Protest Farm Bill Cuts
DETROIT (WWJ) Pasta, peanut butter, hot dogs and a whole lot of tuna — That’s what Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter and Congressman Sander Levin will be eating for the next week.
Is it a crazy new diet trend? No. The pair say they’ll live on a food stamp budget to draw attention to the plight of Michigan’s needy and protest the federal farm bill that would cut $20 billion from food assistance.
Coulter admits he’s dreading the next week.
“It’s a little intimidating to see the few amount of bags that I was able to get and figure out how I’m going to do this for an entire week,” Coulter said, “It’s important to me to try to understand what it is people on food assistance have to go through on a daily basis.”
Coulter says it’s difficult to eat nutritious meals on $31.50 a week, especially as the only fruits and vegetables he could afford are green beans and peaches.
The Farm Bill, a $955 billion, five-year bill, is scheduled for a Senate vote Monday. The Senate version includes a $4 billion cut, and the House version, $20 billion. The Washington Post reports federal food aid comprises 80 percent of the bill.