In the 1780s, the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette was honestly concerned about the peasantry of her adopted country. She had a replica peasant village constructed on the grounds of Versailles and watched real peasants try to function within it. New York liberal politicians channeled their inner Marie Antoinette and decided to live on the $31.50 per person, per week minimum amount granted for food stamps.
Conservatives, some of whom have actual experience shopping on a budget, satirically blasted the effort. They used the Twitter hashtag #SNAPchallenge originally set up so that the challenge acceptees could show how woebegone they were.
The hilarious results can be seen here.
If you click the link, you can see New Yorkers paying over $1 for a single egg! Another spent who knows how much on prepacked boca burgers. One genius sat at his desk eating half a loaf of white bread, washing it down with tap water.
Here's how to feed a family of four on $31.50 in a week. Remember that in SNAP, each person gets $31.50.
Collard greens: $1.50 for a large bunch
12 jumbo eggs: $2
2 lbs of chicken leg quarters: $5
2 lbs of rice: Maybe $2
Bag of dried split pea soup: $0.50
Bag of dried beans: $1
3 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix: $2 (Makes 18 corn muffins or a pretty huge batch of cornbread)
Gallon of milk $3.50
This equals $30.50. Remember that a family of four gets at minimum $126 per week. Obviously these are estimated prices. Some areas may be higher or lower, but a person shopping at a discount grocery like Aldi or Shop N Save will likely find prices lower than those listed.
Saving the drippings from the ham and the chicken can flavor the rice and beans and/or provide a fat to cook the collard greens in. The family will want to cut pieces of leftover ham to add to the bean soup and use the bone to flavor the split pea soup. Chicken leg quarters, thighs, and drumsticks are amazingly inexpensive and very good roasted in the oven.
Now this will not give a family the traditional variety of meals. But it can eat meals that offer nutritional balance. Also, it is enough food to fill a stomach, but not to gorge. As far as nutrition is concerned, collard greens and split peas are rich in vitamins. Obviously the meat, beans, and eggs provide protein.
And remember, this is how to keep a family of four fed on the amount provided for a single person.
Most who have known poverty for any length of time understand how to stretch food out. Common foods like meat loaf and meatballs emerged because poor people wanted to make a meager amount of meat feed an entire family.
Liberal politicians shopping at Whole Foods, unaware of how to meet a tight budget, and trying to look as if they understand the problems of the poor tell the rest of us all we need to know about their stewardship of government.