Students try out food stamps in experiment

Students try out food stamps in experiment

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Late night pizza runs and early morning coffee breaks are out the window.

Five students from the College of Charleston are marking Hunger and Homelessness Week by attempting to live on $4.40 per day.  That's the average amount allotted to people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The students say it is difficult to balance price with nutrition.

"That really doesn't leave much room to make healthy choices," Senior Molli Judd says.  "For me, that's been really important.  When I go grocery shopping, I look for fruits and vegetables and wheat bread, and yesterday when I had $4.40, I wasn't able to do that."

Senior Leni Phan also notes that a smaller budget limits her healthy options, like apples.

"They cost around $1.99 a pound and an apple usually weighs about half of a pound so that's already a dollar for an apple – almost," she says.

Phan did apples to her basket during a trip to the grocery store.  She also bought pasta, rice, margarine, parmesan cheese, eggs, bananas, instant coffee and ice cream.  The purchase must last her until the end of the week-long experiment.

"That was just one day, but having to do that week after week, I'm sure it's hard," Judd says.

According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, 100,000 households in our state are currently enrolled in SNAP.

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