What Food Stamps Will Get You, Now and After the Looming Cuts

Anti-hunger advocate Joel Berg spent a week eating on the food stamp budget and took pictures to show what cuts to the program will mean.

It looks like Congress is about to pay for a bill aimed at improving child nutrition by cutting food stamp benefits. To illustrate the impact that would have on people, Joel Berg, the executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, spent a week eating on the current food stamp budget, and then showed what he would have to exclude if the cuts go through.

Here's five days worth of food under the current benefits.

Here's what five days of food looks like after the proposed cuts.

And here's the difference—what Berg wouldn't be able to buy with a post-cut food stamp budget.

For those of us who haven't lived on food stamps, it's interesting to see exactly what kind of diet it translates into. It's spartan already, and if these cuts go through it will no longer include luxuries like dry pasta and desiccated lentils.

To put this in context, by the way, there are about 40 million people in the food stamp program and (irony!) half of beneficiaries are children. I'm sure the nutrition bill is great, but this seems like the wrong trade-off.

You can read an interview with Berg at The Washington Independent.