In case you missed it, Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich (founder) is taking the SNAP Challenge.
“in an effort to find out how the other half lives by limiting grocery purchases to the average benefit amount shelled out by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It’s not much. A typical food stamp recipient receives just $4.50 per day in food aid, according to Feeding America.“
The CEO and founder of Panera Bread,Ron Shaich has an income of over $4 million per year and can easily afford more than the supplemental $4.50 per day SNAP allots for food expenditures to single people. Shaich’s effort is to increase the awareness of hunger in the US. His efforts come as Congressional Republicans and state governors such as John Kasich of Ohio attempt to cut back on the Food Stamp program by forcing able-bodied-people to work even when no paying jobs exist. I am not going to say Ron Shaich has never gotten his hands dirty; but, I will pass on some of his comments on cutting back on his meals.
“Over the last few days, my thoughts have been consumed by food. When is my next meal? How much food is left in my cabinet? Will it get me through the week? What should I spend my remaining few dollars on? What would I eat if I had no budget at all?” he writes.
On top of the anxiety about food is actual hunger. Shaich notes that he opted to spend his budget on cereal and pasta, which has left him “feeling bloated . . . yet not really full.”
the feelings of anxiety and hunger led to another sensation: “an underlying sense of resentment.” For him, it was sparked by driving past restaurants he usually frequents. For a colleague trying the same challenge, resentment was triggered by “the price difference between branded and off-brand foods.”
One in seven people rely on the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program to supplement their food expenditures. 75% of all people on SNAP spend more on food than what SNAP allots to them under its guidelines. Ron Shaich goes on to note;
“Hunger is not synonymous with unemployed or homeless,” he writes. “The inability to put food on the table is not equivalent to lazy.”
And what about Ohio Governor John Kasich taking up the SNAP Challenge with Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich? I was dreaming; although, that suit John wears is beginning to look a bit tight. Republican Governors are good at making demands on people with little political power. Rather than forcing 130,000 people to work in a state where ~15,000 jobs exist according to the Ohio Jobs Office; maybe, Governor John Kasich should take up the SNAP challenge and see how some of his constituents are living. Or maybe Governor Kasich will accept a challenge from one of his constituents to do an honest day’s work and live off SNAP for food? Doubtful . . .