Congressman Ellison Talks Food Stamp Challenge

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a sign of the times. A record 43 million Americans are on food stamps. About 9 percent of Minnesotans — nearly half a million people — depend on food stamps.

Food stamp recipients get $31.50 a week for food. A family of four will receive $126 a week for food stamps.

This week in Washington, D.C., Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison has been eating on a food stamp budget of $4.50 a day. He and some of his colleagues have been living on the food stamp budget to call attention to potential budget cuts in the program.

Watch Esme Murphy’s report above.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Timothy

    Why don’t reports like this ever say “Minnesota grocery store owners receive over 16.5 million dollars in weekly revenue from the government food stamp program that gives a half million Minnesotans vouchers for $31.50 in food.”

    • TellTheTruthKeith

      More exaggerated and extreme views from Ellison. Food stamps are meant to be assistance, not pay for all the food someone requires. But the liberal media just eats this stuff up and doesn’t bother reporting any facts.

  • Sandy Erdman

    Esme….Years ago we had to use the food program due to a family crisis, but I could feed a family of four. We ate chicken, ground beef and beef roast, fish, fruit, salads, eggs, breads, juice and not much pasta…As I used coupons clipped from the Sunday paper and the store coupons as well. I even had money left over to use the next month. I did rebates and refunding and was able to put in a new window in my sons’s room. We made homemade bread from frozen dough and even cinnamon rolls. We even had homemade soup…Yes, it can be done if you take the time and watch what you buy..

  • trading stamps for cigs

    Esme and Ellison, what a couple of hacks.

    • Change?

      obamas change is higher unemployment and more people on food stamps! How do you like that change?

  • Jim

    It’s important that the poor get food stamps so they can take the money they save and buy pull tabs and lottery tickets.

  • Tina

    My husband and I both work full-time at less than desirable wages (both $10-$12 per hour). We have one child (we can only afford to have one child, so that’s why we don’t have anymore….unlike most food stamp collectors).

    After rent, our car payment (we only have one car), insurance, utilities, and other household expenses (we never go out to eat or go to see movies, etc.) we don’t have much money left over for groceries.

    However, we have learned to stretch our grocery budget by cooking everything from scratch at home. For example, this story talks about Keith Ellison “only” having to live on $4.50 a day for food. Here is an example of how we stretch $8 worth of food for 3 days for a family of 3.:

    1 family pack of chicken legs (bought at Rainbow): $4.25
    1 dozen eggs (bought at the Dollar Tree): $1
    1 package of dried pasta (bought at the Dollar tree): $1
    1 loaf of bread (bought at Dollar General): $0.75
    1/2lb of whipped butter (homemade with heavy cream bought at Dollar General): $1

    I create chicken stock by simmering the chicken legs in water. Combined with the chicken meat and pasta, this makes for a LARGE quantity of chicken noodle soup. This provides dinner for 3 nights for all 3 of us (plus some leftovers).

    My husband and I go without lunch everyday.

    For breakfast i make scrambled eggs with toast and butter everyday. The 1 dozen eggs and bread actually can provide us 4 days worth of breakfast.

    Our son is on the free school lunch program (due to our low income) so his lunches at school are free.

    Let’s do the math: $8 worth of food which provides 3 days worth of meals. $8/3= $2.67 per day. $2.67/3 (for 3 people)=$0.89 per person per day. So I feed my family on $0.90 per day. And Keith wants us to feel sorry for him (and his voters…all welfare collectors) because they can “only” live on $4.50 a day?

    Mr. Ellison needs a reality check. Food stamp collectors are living better than us working people. And we are expected to feel sorry for them??


    • Dale Gribble

      That’s right, Tina! And you and your husband would have GOOD jobs if it weren’t for all the illegals and Muslim Somalis taking all the jobs that were meant for white people. Vote for Ron Paul!! Take back America for hard working, decent, white, Christian Americans!

      • KM

        Gribble , how do you figure “GOOD” jobs were meant for “white christian Americans”? I am Caucasian, a constitutionalist and more importantly, a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I find your racism appalling and if Ron Paul’s camp is supported by the likes of you, I would never even consider voting for him. On the other hand, I have never heard Ron Paul spew the kind of racism that comes from you, and I do not believe he would agree w/you! Get a new life in Jesus “white Christian” and maybe then you’ll understand the error of your ways!

        • Dale Gribble

          If you believe in Christ Jesus, why do you betray his people? You sound more like a liberal traitor. God Bless America. Ron Paul in 2012.Take back America for white Christians like the Founding Fathers intended!

          • Dear Dale,

            Please revert back to writing under the general or the chairman or whatever it was. This junk just doesn’t cut it.

        • Tina

          If we were a Somali family, we would be getting food stamps whether we worked or not.

          • Dale Gribble

            Right!!! TIme to rid our nation of these vemin!!! They steal jobs from White Christians force their Satanic religion down our throats. Deportation is too good for them. They should be put in camps until they convert to Christianity and learn English. Their property should be redistributed to those they have stolen from, like Tina and her deserving family.

          • Tina

            I bet Esme Murphy dines on Tenderloin steaks prepared at Manny’s every night. $24.95, not including tip. My heart bleeds……………

            • Tina

              And how much did Esme Murphy’s designer dress cost? I bet she bought it at Macy’s on an expense account. And when she drives home in her Lexus to her lakeside-home in Wayzata, I am sure the only thing she thinks about “are my cooks going to over cook my fois gras? “

              • Dale Gribble

                Tina, you’re talking like a communist. Don’t be envious of your betters. Real Americans accept their lot in life and don’t engage in class warfare.

                • SO SAD

                  “My betters…..???” Really???? Just because someone might make more money than I doesn’t mean they are “better” than me.

  • Nancy Aleshire

    Years ago I used to get infriorated when I would see people buying junk food with food stamps. It was only after being on food stamps myself, that I learned the ugly truth. Healthy food such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish is so unaffordable when you are on food stamps. The only way we would have the money to buy chicken and cheap cuts of meat would come from my husband giving blood, otherwise it was Hamburger Helper, soup, and Ramen noodles. We would prefer eating healthy foods and we did not drink or smoke. Our bodies paid the price from the lack of fruits or vegetables. Something is very wrong here. By the way, we were an employed married couple with two kids that only paid minimum wagel

    • KM

      I know of a single mom w/one child who gets food stamps every month. She eats better than I do! She does eat healthy, eats lots of fruits & vegies, and can even afford to purchase alot of organic items!

  • Richard Head

    What about “priorities”? For years I’ve witnessed Mexicans in particular loading up two full carts of food at our small town Coborn’s store, paying with EBT (I know because I stand at the end of the cashiers line to check their method of payment), and loading it all into their Escalade. Gold jewelry, kids have cell phones, designer clothes, etc. So, I have to ask where are the priorities here? If they can afford all those things, why can’t they buy their own food. I’ve also seen them in the post office sending $400-600 dollars back to Mexico, then going to Coborn’s to load up using that EBT card. That money sent out of the country could have paid for their food!

    • SO SAD

      This is because the parents are not married, the mother is collecting welfare and food stamps while the boy toy is selling drugs and living off the mother in her section 8 housing.

    • Priorities

      I will tell you where our priorities are…first and foremost it is to not appear racist. Minorities can get assistance much easier, because if they are declined, then they will play the race card and cause a big stink.

      Drive by any section 8, assisted living housing in brooklyn park/center, and you will see escalades, bmw’s etc parked in the lot….and they get free/subsidized housing.

      The system needs to do a better job actually screening people to qualify for assistance.

  • pebbles

    I believe the system would be in better shape if there was some discretion used in who collects these food stamps. I was working one day when a girl who is single, 22 years old and was going to pay with her credit card. She gets a card out and says, oh, sorry, thats not my credit card, it’s my food stamps card. Why on earth is a 22 year old single person getting food stamps? She also is dying to have a baby. Guess what? If she succeeds, the first thing she will do is put her hand out for the welfare. If she cannot even figure out how to support herself she should be sterilized. The program would have money if only the people that need them get them!

    • obv.

      Earth to you, if she was single that doesn’t mean she didn’t have children. You know nothing about her or anyone that comes into your checkout line you understand cashier? I hope your man has a decent job or your on welfare also

  • See BS

    If Esme wants to make this more realistic — this story should be showing Esme buying some blunt wraps with an EBT card.

    And then you’ll understand why people who use them to buy food have a hard time.

  • Reality sucks

    To satisfy some of the posters here, I guess we will need to hit rock bottom—one that commercializes hunger in America to the rest of the world (China) like the late night ads soliciting donations, showing kids with flies nesting on their eyeballs while gumming porridge—for you to differentiate fraud from true need. Nah, you probably still wouldn’t feel compassion—just embarrassment. Americans hating Americans—-that is rock bottom. Hunger is not political.

    • reality does suck

      @sucks,it’s all political. Democrats like Ellison will try any stunt for a vote. I wonder if he’s paid his taxes and tickets.

      • Reality sucks

        Well, get all political on it then. Go to the DHS site, study up on the application process, conditions, time limit, and then complete the experiment for your own family. Eat only within that budget. Good practice for that shameful day you may find yourself in need. I find it hard to believe people can curse the hungry. Chicken soup Tina up there would be better off with a little assitance but pride is the factor. I would much rather tax dollars feed a “condition” not a polictical pocket. But, jese I must be some crazy lib. NOT! And yes, reality does suck, my 2 basset hounds had rib eye last night.

        • reality does suck

          @sucks.My friends, neighbors, kids have been on and off welfare. You go study the application and wise up. We ride on his boat and your tax money pays for our cookouts.

          • Reality sucks

            Then, it is your duty to turn that particular abuser in….or ride his wave like a dolt. I don’t care.

            • reality does suck

              Sure you don’t care. Ha, youv’e been scammed.

  • Citizen

    @Reality. So the class warfare continues. The instances of welfare fraud are so minuscule compared to the corporate welfare fraud. GE’s billions of dollars in tax breaks from the government and, thus, paying NO federal income taxes. I find it so sad to read these comments regarding people in need, especially, as obv says above, we know nothing about the people we see every day. Just like healthy-looking people who park in handicapped places with their stickers–we just don’t know about their health.

    • wrong again

      We want “people in need” to be fed. Foodstamps and welfare have become a lifestyle for most of these people.

      • Reality sucks

        Yes, yes. It must be Citizen that is wrong. All the facts she stated are sooo off base and twisted. Citizen is way out of line to throw out some simple facts. COME ON! Wake up! or… shall we just…”let them eat cake”.

  • bobby

    Hey Esme- One thing you could have done is try buying store/generic brands. How about canned fruits and veggies, rather than fresh produce.

    I wonder if Esme has ever done her own shopping.

    Horrible story.

  • Citizen

    @wrong. You might be amazed at the number of people out there who are essentially unemployable and need to be fed. I stand by what I said that individual, human welfare fraud is minuscule compared to corporate welfare fraud. I assume from your comment that you are pro corporate welfare and that fraud and waste? The bigot in each of us now hates the poor and needy since it is no longer politically correct to hate persons of race and color–oh, wait, that bigotry is sustained every days on these posts, too.

  • just sayin'

    all republicans suck.

    • Kevin

      yes, i agree

      • Kevin

        They all suck….but dems swollo*….

  • Kevin

    Muslims suc_…..this guy is a POS…who cares…..

  • Auntie Venom

    Strange…he doesn’t look any leaner. What’s he complaining about?

  • l

    i was behind a food stamp mom in the grocery line one time, she had baby food that didnt qualify for the hand out, and making a stink about it holding up the line. ungreatful twit.

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