Eating well on food stamps isn't easy


Food stamps might pay enough to keep a single hipster in organic arugula and fine chocolates, but faddish stories about young yuppies living high on the government dime make it easy to forget the millions of Americans who have to make that money feed a whole family for a month. And that is not a simple task.

The average family of four gets $275.53 a month in food stamps. That's $68.88 a week. I've pulled that off just fine when I was single, but one adult with a middlin' appetite is a universe away from feeding multiple children. The Associated Press recently challenged two professional chefs and a food magazine editor to try making a week's worth of healthy meals for four on that budget—one pulled it off, another almost made it and the third went $20 over.

The story ended up with some handy tips for meal planning, shopping and eating on the cheap, but I think the thing to take out of this is a reminder that most people aren't on government assistance because it provides an awesome lifestyle for no work.

Hear AP food editor Jason Hirsch and chef Jose Garces talk to New Hampshire Public Radio's "Word of Mouth"

Image courtesy Flickr user clementine gallot, via cc