WASHINGTON—This week, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) will live on a food stamp budget in order to better understand how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) works on a personal level. For one week, starting today, Murphy will live on the average state food stamp benefit. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Food Stamp Program, the average monthly benefit in Connecticut is $143.89 per family member, which is $4.80 per day or $1.60 per meal.

“427,000 people in Connecticut rely on SNAP benefits to feed themselves and their families,”said Murphy. “Spending some time living on this budget gives policymakers a firsthand look at the realities of maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet on an extremely limited budget. It’s not easy, but it’s important for people in Washington to understand what our constituents who rely on SNAP face every day. Some lawmakers have proposed steep, damaging cuts to SNAP as part of the Farm Bill here in Congress, and we owe it our constituents  to face up to the reality of those cuts.”

SNAP is the country’s most important anti-hunger program. As of January of 2013, there were 427,000 Connecticut residents in the program, or 12 percent of the state’s population. Nearly 61 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children, and more than 33 percent of SNAP participants are in families with elderly or disabled members. About 33 percent of SNAP participants are in working families.  

Murphy will keep track of his meals and post observations throughout the week via Twitter and Facebook.