A lawmaker from Connecticut has pledged to live on less than $5 per day to better understand the food stamp budget.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy will live on $143.89 per month, which is $4.80 a day or $1.60 per meal. This exercise will allow him to understand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program "on a personal level," he said in a statement Monday.
The $143.89 per month is the average state food stamp benefit.
"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," Murphy said in a statement. "It's not easy, but it's important for people in Washington to understand what our constituents who rely on SNAP face every day."
Murphy started the exercise this week and already stated on Twitter that he skipped breakfast and had a bagel with no butter or cream cheese for lunch. The exercise is expected to continue all this week.
In the statement, Murphy said he is performing this exercise because other lawmakers have proposed "steep, damaging cuts to SNAP."
"We owe it our constituents to face up to the reality of those cuts," Murphy said.
As of January 2013, there were 427,000 Connecticut residents or 12 percent of the state's population are in the SNAP program. There are 61 percent of the people in the program at families with children and about 33 percent are working families.
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