Reporting Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s hard for many of us to imagine what it’s like to go to bed hungry every night. But for one in 10 people in Minnesota, that’s often is a reality.
A half million Minnesotans live on supplemental food assistance — or what we used to know as food stamps.
In Minnesota, a family of four can apply for food assistance if their monthly income after deductions is under $1,921. For a family of four, that means $472 a month or about $15.73 a day.
Just one person, on average, receives $118 a month — or $3.93 a day.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is raising awareness by living off of food stamps. Monday morning, he tweeted his $29.78 receipt for the week. Much of it was apples, beans and corn.
“I think most Americans don’t understand how dire it for people living on food support and making minimum wage,” said Community Emergency Assistance Program President Byron Laher.
Even something like a car repair or a medical problem or a cut in hours, can force a family to have to choose.
“It could be electricity, go without a phone bill for a month until you get the next paycheck,” said Deirdre, a mom who receives between $60 and $100 dollars a month of food assistance to help feed her 10 year old daughter.
The Mayor of Elk River John Dietz took on this challenge last year. He ended up spending about $32 for his week. He said he lived on things like Hamburger Helper, peanut butter sandwiches and canned vegetables.
Dietz said he got very hungry, to the point that all he’d think about was food and doesn’t take it for granted any longer.