Congressman Steve Stockman

Representing the 36th District of Texas

Stockman staff beating ‘SNAP Challenge’

Jun 18, 2013
Press Release
Liberal stunt backfires, proves food stamp cuts can go even further

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.

 



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