FLINT (WWJ/AP) – Michigan U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee is going to live for a week on a food stamp budget.
In a news release, the Flint Democrat says he wants to raise awareness about proposed cuts in nutrition programs for low-income families and children.
From Sunday through June 22, Kildee will live on an average food stamp budget, which is $31.50, or $4.50 a day.
All food purchased and eaten during the week will be included in the total spending.
“With these deep cuts to nutrition programs being proposed, it’s important for elected officials to recognize the hardship millions of Americans face every day as they attempt to feed their families,” Kildee said in a statement. “By living off such a limited budget, I hope to gain a better understanding of how difficult it is for many of my constituents to avoid hunger and try to meet nutritional needs.”
The debate over the food stamp funding is coming to a head as the House votes on its version of the five-year farm bill. The Senate approved its version late last month led by Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing.
The House version of the farm bill would cut $2 billion a year, or a little more than 3 percent, from the food aid program, which has more than doubled in cost since 2008.
Last year more than 47 million people used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The rolls rose rapidly because of the economic downturn, rising food prices and expanded eligibility under the 2009 economic stimulus law.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he was “deeply concerned” about the House food stamp cuts, which he said would “deny struggling families and their children access to food assistance.”
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