Queens Pol Discovers Cheap Eats

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Beginning today, Queens Councilman Eric Gioia will spend the next week trying to live on a 28-dollar food budget—a publicity stunt to raise awareness about the sad state of food stamps (and see, it's working!). As part of the National Food Stamp Challenge, Gioia will eat only meals that can be bought with a standard weekly allotment of food stamps, which works out to be [$1.30 per meal] on average. Officials figures reveal that a [million New Yorkers](http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=local&id=5291676) currently collect food stamps, allowing individuals an average of $113 a month and families $200.

Gioia wisely points out, “Often the cheapest food [isn’t the healthiest].”

He and other participants in the nation’s first “food stamp challenge,” including anti-poverty advocates, politicians and clergy, are calling on Congress to increase the federal food stamp budget by $20 billion over five years.

Photo courtesy of [phototram on Flickr

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