This presidential election has resurfaced the public sentiment that politicians are out of touch with the struggles of average Americans a budget and those living in poverty.
Instead of simply expressing sympathy for those with limited income, one politician recently put his mouth where his money is. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton participated in the National Hunger Awareness Month challenge to live off of a “food stamp budget” or survive on $29 for the week’s worth of meals.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the number of Americans enrolled in federal assistance or food stamps reached a record high of 46.7 million in June, and a Gallup poll indicates that nearly one in five Americans did not have enough money for food last year.
Navigating the aisles of the grocery store with only $29, Stanton purchased items such as chicken, pasta and Ramen noodles, but reported having to skip meals to make it through the week. Stanton recorded his experience on Facebook.
“This is a terrible economy. A lot of people are living on food stamps that before were solidly middle class. There are a lot who have a job but are significantly underemployed than what they’re used to,” Stanton told the local Phoenix Fox news station . “I think [this experience] will make me a better policy maker.”