That is less than what many people spend on breakfast, less than some parents give their children to buy lunch. But it is the average daily budget for a person on food stamps.
To raise both consciousness and donations, Charter Oak Cultural Center and Center City Churches are challenging individuals or families to live on a food stamp budget for either a week or a month during March.
Participants must agree to buy and eat only what food stamps will provide, and not accept food at social gatherings or eat what's already in the house. Participants can, however, visit soup kitchens or food pantries. In other words, they will eat as many in Hartford do, hand to mouth.
If experience is the best teacher, this innovative exercise ought to produce a realistic understanding of hunger in the city. The program's organizers hope participants and their families and friends will donate 20 tons of food and $25,000 to support the Manna Basic Needs Programs, Center City Churches' menu of services that provides tens of thousands of meals and other assistance to people in the Sheldon/Charter Oak and Frog Hollow neighborhoods.
If you've ever wondered what it was like to live on the margin, here's your chance to find out. The program starts on Feb. 28. Information is at www.charteroakcenter.org.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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