Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Journalists trying to live on $3 dollars a day

A number of journalists at making a go of living on $3 dollars a day, which is the poverty line in the US. The challenge is being issued by the SNAP Into Action Project, a group that fights hunger in America.

From the Hartford Couriant, columnist Melissa Pionzio explains her lack of success on living on $3 dollars a day.

It's been one week since I accepted a reader's challenge to try to live on $3 a day, which is the amount that people who live below the poverty line live on every single day.

Well, I made it to Sunday, and finally gave up. I had nearly run out of the $21 worth of food that I had purchased - plus my co-workers were pretty sick of hearing me whine about what I missed - that afternoon cup of coffee and sweet snack.

Need a reminder? The $3 a day initiative is part of the SNAP Into Action Against Hunger program. SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the new name for the Food Stamp Program, which helps feed millions of hungry Americans every month. Last week, I and dozens of other concerned Connecticut residents agreed to try to live on the minimum - some for the whole 40 days of Lent! (CNN correspondent Sean Callebs just finished a month long committment to the SNAP initiative, which he chronicled on his blog).

I hope they are more successful than I was.

I guess it wasn't so much the small amount of food I consumed each day - although I was often hungry and did think about food all the time. For me, it was the tedium of eating the same foods every day.

I know that sounds bratty, but it's the truth. I ate yogurt and bananas, English muffins and peanut butter and pasta or rice with either vegetables or sauce. I ate this every day for five days. I tried to vary it up. Sometimes I'd have an English muffin with peanut butter instead of yogurt for breakfast or I'd have an English muffin with tomato sauce - a kind of fake pizza - instead of pasta, pasta, pasta.

I'm not in love with pasta any more.

1 comment:

Imee said...

I think living on just $3 a day is highly possible, it's been proven by journalists who tried the food stamp budget challenge and by those on food stamps themselves. I may even try doing that one of these days just to see what it's like and get a hit on the head on how lucky I still might be.