May 14, 2007: Congressman Tim Ryan Accepts the Food Stamp Challenge
Pledges to Live on $3 of Food per Day for One Week
(Washington, DC) Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17) will participate in the Food Stamp Challenge, an effort aimed to raise awareness of the hunger problem faced by 38 million Americans nationwide, including 13 million children. The Food Stamp Program provides over 25 million people living at or below the poverty line with a means to afford basic foodstuffs.
Congressman Ryan remarked, "I’m taking this challenge because of the 1,000,000 Ohioans who live day-to-day, unsure whether they’ll have the money to buy groceries, and still be able to pay the electric bill. The Food Stamp Program provides an essential service to these families, and helps to ensure that no family ever has to make that choice."
Food Stamp Program participation has skyrocketed. In 2000, 609,717 Ohioans received aid each month. By 2005, that number had increased to 1,007,172, an increase of 65.2 percent. Yet in the past decade, the value of food stamps has been stagnant and today has roughly the same amount of purchasing power as it did in 1996.
The average eligible Ohio family receives $617 per month, breaking down to $1.06 per person for every meal. The Food Stamp Challenge duplicates these figures, allotting each participant $3 worth of food every day for one week.
Congressman Ryan is joining with Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-03) and Congresswomen Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) and Janice Schakowsky (IL-09) to participate in the Food Stamp Challenge, which is being sponsored by the House Hunger Caucus.