Congressman’s Staff Beats Liberal SNAP Challenge

WASHINGTON – The “SNAP Challenge,” a left-wing publicity stunt intended to make it appear proposed cuts to food stamps would leave families unable to feed themselves, has been debunked this week by the office of Congressman Steve Stockman.

About 30 House Democrats are participating in the “SNAP Challenge” in which someone must feed themselves on $31.50 a week, which Democrats claim is the level of benefits available to a person under the Farm Bill.  Democrats have been intentionally buying overpriced food and shopping at high-priced chains to make it appear the cuts go too far.

Donny Ferguson, who serves as Stockman’s communications director and agriculture policy advisor, was able to buy enough food to eat well for a week on just $27.58, almost four dollars less than the $31.50 “SNAP Challenge” figure.

“I wanted to personally experience the effects of the proposed cuts to food stamps.  I didn’t plan ahead or buy strategically, I just saw the publicity stunt and made a snap decision to drive down the street and try it myself.  I put my money where my mouth is, and the proposed food stamp cuts are still quite filling,” said Ferguson.

“We can cut the proposed benefits by an additional 12.4 percent and still be able to eat for a week,” said Ferguson.  “Not only am I feeding myself for less than the SNAP Challenge, I will probably have food left over.”

What food is left over at the end of the week will be donated to a food bank, along with the $3.92 Ferguson had left over from the $31.50 SNAP Challenge figure.

Ferguson did not pre-plan his shopping or use a shopping list.  He did not use coupons our other discount programs.  He simply drove to a nearby shopping center that is also served by the Metrobus system after seeing liberal members of Congress claim they couldn’t feed themselves on proposed SNAP benefits.

“Not only did I buy a week’s worth of food on what Democrats claim is too little, I have money left over.  Based on my personal experience with SNAP benefit limits we have room to cut about 12 percent more.”

“I didn’t use coupons, I didn’t compare prices and was buying for one, instead of a family. I could have bought even more food per person if I were splitting $126 four ways, instead of budgeting $31.50 to eat for one” said Ferguson.  “I could have bought cheaper vegetables instead of prepared red beans and rice, but I like red beans and rice.  Folks aren’t buying fast food instead of vegetables because of benefit limits, they’re buying fast food because fast food tastes great and vegetables taste like vegetables.”

Ferguson purchased his food at the Dollar Tree and Shopper’s Food Warehouse located in the 6100 block of Little River Turnpike in Alexandria.  It is served by Metrobus and within bike and walking distance of public housing.

For $21.55 Ferguson purchased at Dollar Tree:
Two boxes of Honeycomb cereal
Three cans of red beans and rice
Jar of peanut butter
Bottle of grape jelly
Loaf of whole wheat bread
Two cans of refried beans
Box of spaghetti
Large can of pasta sauce
Two liters of root beer
Large box of popsicles
24 servings of Wyler’s fruit drink mix
Eight cups of applesauce
Bag of pinto beans
Bag of rice
Bag of cookies

For $6.03 at the Shoppers Food Warehouse next door Ferguson bought a gallon of milk and a box of maple and brown sugar oatmeal.


A photograph of the receipts and menu are attached.


SNAP1 Congressmans staff beats liberal SNAP Challenge




SNAP2 Congressmans staff beats liberal SNAP Challenge



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  1. BarleyWheets says:

    NO meat, no chicken, no vegtables..Mostly pastas.. Not a healthy diet for sure. Soon a persons body would start to get sick.. after a few weeks of eating like he did! Heavy set people eating all that pasta would grow quickly in size… and die from malnurtirion!

    • Seeks_the_truth says:

      Well the peanut butter and wheat bread has just as much protein per serving as one chicken breast. The pasta is nutrient packed and has carbohydrates that convert easily into energy. For the malnourished, peanut butter, wheat bread and pasta are recommended.
      In fact, load up on pasta the night before any time you will be in a highly physical position the next day. (I.E. race, physical testing for employment with police or fire department, trail hiking)
      Rice is a great food. Rice is rich in carbohydrates, it acts as fuel for the body and aids in normal functioning of the brain. It's also cholesterol free.
      Don't forget he also had an extra $3.00. This would buy 2# of ground beef, when added to the rice, makes a great entrée that's high in protein and very filling. Even a dozen or so eggs would work well. Remember that eggs are high in Niacin. A vitamin that is known to lower cholesterol. (if you believe in the cholesterol bull)
      This was a great way to make a base of which to work off of. Don't forget he will have "left over" from this purchase when he would receive the next $30.00 in which he could then by some meats to add to this menu.
      Very healthy diet indeed.
      Only someone who relies on the government to tell them what is healthy and proper to eat would think otherwise.

  2. Paul Moore says:

    A smart shopper could do improve on this list. Anything processed, canned, or highly advertised costs more, tastes worse, and has less nutrition than fresh produce in season, staples, and raw food. Instead of cookies, buy flour, sugar, and oil. Instead of Honeycomb cereal, buy generic, (Or better yet- eggs) Instead of store bread, bake your own.
    I spend a bit more than that for groceries, but only if you count pet food, paper products, cleaning supplies, and toiletries.

  3. RacerJim says:

    Rare is the time when I go to my local Safeway and don't watch at least a couple Hispanics/Latinos pay with EBT cards and drive off in a fairly new full-size expensive SUV like a Toyota Highlander or Cadillac Escalade.

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