County Leaders, Residents Try Living On $5 Worth Of Food A Day

by BethesdaNow.com — February 4, 2013 at 10:50 am 1 Comment

Montgomery County leaders and residents today began a week of living on a $5-a-day food budget to draw attention to the daily struggle of 65,000 county residents who get assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.

Almost 27,000 county households were on SNAP assistance in fiscal year 2012, a 138 percent increase from fiscal year 2007, according to the county’s Department of Health and Human Services. Families that qualify for SNAP get an average daily benefit per person of $4.28, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Program.

So Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) and a number of her colleagues, MCPS officials, nonprofit workers and residents went grocery store shopping this morning for $25 worth of food to last them the whole week.

The SNAP the Silence Challenge is meant to focus efforts on improving options for the county’s neediest who eat on only $5 per day.

“We all know how expensive it is to live in Montgomery County,” Ervin said in a press release. Ervin and others, including Somerset mayor and philanthropist Jeffrey Slavin, shopped at a Rockville grocery store Monday morning before holding a press conference. “What many people may not know is how many working families struggle to put food on the table every day. The current economic crisis has forced more people than ever to ask for public assistance. This experience will give all of us a better understanding of what so many people in our nation — and many in our County — go through on a daily basis.”

The Challenge will conclude with a discussion of the issue on Friday in Silver Spring.

Photos via @ValerieErvin and Joshua Starr (@mcpssuper)

  • http://www.SaveBurtonsville.com Tom Norris

    While there is nothing wrong for the local politicians to focus on “poverty,” the irony of this stunt should not be overlooked. After all, it was these same politicians on the County Council that turned their backs on the economic devastation and poverty in Burtonsville caused by the Rt 29 bypass. The facts are in the public domain for all to see.


    The outrageous and incompetent action to deny residential housing on the 40-acre tract next to the Burtonsville shopping center has created great hardship and poverty for scores of merchants and landowners. It has also left this town looking like an embarrassing eyesore.

    But these leaders don’t care, there is not enough votes up County for them to pay attention to the Eastern Gateway for the County.

    They figure whatever revenues are lost by their failure to promote smart growth in Burtonsville will be made up by raising taxes on everyone else. These are the games that are being played.

    Let all understand that the very same politicians that are showboating about “poverty” in one part of the MoCo have actually created great poverty and blight in another location.

    No one should be fooled about what has taken place. These same politicians that pretend to care about poverty, are the sponsors of poverty, having turned their backs on creating jobs and increasing the tax based through new development.

    Something is very wrong. The County needs new smart growth leadership. Not stunts about poverty.

    Tom Norris for the Committee to Save Burtonsville


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