business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe reports on Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Worcester) and his efforts to demonstrate that the food stamp allocation in the US “is inadequate and forces the poor to make impossible choices among food, rent, heat, gasoline, and healthcare.” To do so, McGovern existed last week on the same amount of money that food stamp recipients do.

“From breakfast last Tuesday morning (a banana and tap water) to dinner Monday night (whatever he has left), the Democrat from Worcester is eating on a total of $21, or $1 per meal,” the Globe writes. “Nationally, the average monthly food stamp benefit in fiscal 2005 was $94.05, or about $3 a day, according to the US Department of Agriculture. (It ranged geographically from $76.39 in Wisconsin to $163.85 in the US territory of Guam.)”

"Our point in doing this was to get attention, to get people talking, and to raise awareness," he told the Globe. "It was also for us to learn. That's happening."
KC's View:
We have long felt that the nation’s representatives aren’t very good at representing us since they don’t have to deal with the same sorts of issues in supermarkets and airports, to name just two places, that the rest of us do. We applaud Rep. McGovern’s experiment…and hope the empathy extends past the time when he returns to a more privileged lifestyle.