The Food Stamp Challenge is an event to preserve the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Earlier this year, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) proposed a budget plan that would transfer SNAP to the states using block grants.
Lee, who also participated in the challenge three years ago, started the challenge Thursday with a launch at a Washington, D.C., supermarket.
Lee warned that members of Congress should not consider making cuts to the food stamp program as part of ongoing efforts to balance the budget. Lee was one of 64 congressmen earlier this month to call on the deficit-reduction supercommittee to preserve entitlement programs, including food stamps benefits.
“I am again taking part in this challenge because I believe that it is unconscionable to make cuts to programs that feed America’s poor and our nation’s children during the height of an economic crisis,” Lee said in a statement released by her office.
“Day 2 of #foodstampchallenge so I can't drink Joe's coffee,” Lee tweeted Friday before her appearance on the MSNBC show "Morning Joe." “Had peanut butter and crackers for breakfast.”
Schakowsky has taken to Twitter, as well, seeking suggestions for nutritious meals under $1.50, the average limit per food stamp meal. She said she is also keeping a diary of everything she ate and will post it at week’s end.
Her followers tweeted suggestions ranging from wholegrain pasta and chickpeas to a peanut butter-and-banana sandwich.
Del. Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands) — who is also participating in the challenge — said she checked grocery store prices and found the challenge would be harder than expected.
“Ok this #foodstampchallenge is going to [be] really hard.,” Christensen tweeted Thursday. “Checked prices in Safeway and so easy to blow the whole week's allotment.”
According to FPF, other Democratic congressmen have taken the challenge, Including Reps. Joe Courtney (Conn.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Alcee Hastings (Fla.), Jim Moran (Va.), Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Jackie Speier (Calif.).
Additionally, senior Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett spoke at a press conference Thursday with members of Congress calling attention to the Food Stamp Challenge.