WASHINGTON (JTA) — Eleven Congress members and a top adviser to President Obama are joining an interfaith challenge to live on food stamp money for a week.
Leaders of a number of faith organizations, including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the community’s public policy umbrella, met Thursday at a supermarket near Capitol Hill to buy $31.50 worth of groceries — the equivalent of what food stamp recipients get.
The event came as Congress is considering cutting subsidies in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, the formal name for food stamps.
"Understanding the challenges of feeding yourself — let alone providing healthy meals for kids, who make up over half of SNAP recipients — on just $31.50 for one week will help others know just how valuable SNAP is," said Rabbi Steve Gutow, JCPA’s president. "America is an abundant nation, but that abundance is not seen in the carts of the tens of millions who live on SNAP."
Among the 11 Congress members participating this week are Jewish Reps. Jan Schakowksy (D-Ill.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
One of the Obama administration participants is Valerie Jarrett, one of the president’s closest advisers.