North Country News
Tue November 13, 2012
Mayor Accepts Challenge to Live on Food Stamp Budget for a Week
This is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Hunger-Free Vermont has challenged Vermonters to eat this week, nutritiously, on a food stamp budget. Among those who accepted is the mayor of Burlington and his family.
More than 88-thousand-500 Vermonters participate in Vermont’s food stamp program called 3SquaresVT. To raise awareness about food insecurity, Hunger-Free Vermont dared Vermonters to eat healthy meals this week on a food budget equal to the 3Squares program benefit. Hunger Free Vermont 3Squares Advocacy Manager Angela Smith-Dieng says their goal is for people to understand and bring hunger out of hiding.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger accepted the 3Squares challenge. He, his wife and daughter have a total food budget this week of 84-dollars, the food stamp benefit for a family of three.
Mayor Weinberger wants his participation in the challenge to raise public awareness about hunger in Burlington. He does admit that while he’s been tempted to cheat, he’s more determined to complete the challenge.
More then 18-thousand people, that’s more than 10-percent of the population of the county where Burlington is located, participate in the 3Squares food stamp program. The average benefit is about $1.80 per meal for a single person.