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In The Bank

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Mario Batali

For millions of people across the country, the Supplemental Nurtition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is an invaluable resource, allowing those among us who struggle the most to make ends meet anf feed their families Lately however, these critical benefits have been under fire  In an effort to protest the recent proposal by Congress to severely cut funding for food assistance programs like SNAP, celebrity chef Mario Batali and the Food Bank for New York City have decided to issue a challenge to themselves and anyone else who is interested: spend a week eating on the equivalent of a food stamp budget

For the nearly 46 million Americans who currently rely on SNAP/food stamps, that comes out to about $31 per person for a week of food, or $1.48 per meal That’s less than many people spend on their morning sup of coffee. To truly understand the hardships faced by people throughout Massachusetts and the nation, you’d have to walk a mile in their shoes By subjecting yourself to a restricted food budget for just a single week, you can gain a wealth of knowledge about the trials that far too many of our neighbors face every day, just so they can eat

Exposure to this challenge could be is doubly important for those who find themselves with a cynical outlook towards assistance programs like SNAP, or people who believe that they will never find themselves on the receiving end of such benefits As Mario Batali put it: “For one week, walk in someone else’s shoes Knowledge is power, and by truly understanding what our friends and neighbors are going through, we will be better equipped to find solutions.”

We applaud Mr. Batali for making the decision to walk in someone else’s shoes.  How do you think a similar challenge would work locally? What leaders or personalities would you like to encourage to walk in the shoes of a neighbor in need?

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