State Rep Takes SNAP Challenge--Can He Eat On $22.80 A Week?

groceries grocery store supermarket checkout

(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Highlighting the problem of hunger, several state representatives are taking part this week in the Snap Challenge.

The Greater Boston Food Bank issued the challenge, which sees those taking part trying to feed themselves on just $22.80 a week--or, $4.56 a day. That's how much the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides the average recipient.

That $4.56 a day is what Rep. Jim Hawkins of Attleboro tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker he will be trying to feed himself on.

"I'm a little nervous about that," he said. "I'm concerned for my health, because you can't buy the healthy food, and you can't buy a lot of food with that money ... one of my group had to go shopping yesterday, so I went with them. The things that you can divide up and have add up to $22.80 aren't the things I would buy."

Hawkins said a lot of what can be bought with that small amount of money isn't healthy--and that that can pose even bigger problems for those in need.

"Those are also the people who probably don't have very good healthcare coverage," he said. "So if they get sick, it's just a downward spiral."

He said he wants to buy coffee, bread, and peanut butter and jelly--but probably won't have much left after that.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports

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