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WASHINGTON, DC (WNEM) -
Congressman Dan Kildee announced Tuesday that he will be living on an average food stamp budget for one week to raise awareness about billions of dollars in cuts House Republicans have proposed in programs for low-income families and children.
That amounts to about $31.50 per week -- or $4.50 each day.
"With these deep cuts to nutrition programs being proposed, it's important for elected officials to recognize the hardship millions of Americans face every day as they attempt to feed their families," Kildee said. "By living off such a limited budget, I hope to gain a better understanding of how difficult it is for many of my constituents to avoid hunger and try to meet nutritional needs."
Kildee says he will live on a food stamp budget from Sunday, June 16 through Saturday, June 22. All food purchased and eaten during the week will be included in the total spending.
As part of the broader farm bill, Republicans have proposed $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in addition to changes that would make it harder for people to qualify for food aid. The cuts would affect 47.5 million Americans, nearly half of whom are children. Eighty-three percent of all SNAP beneficiaries are children, seniors or disabled adults.
"I strongly oppose billions of dollars in cuts to nutrition programs for families and children," Kildee said.
Republicans have been attempting to reign in what they call "out of control" federal spending in an effort to reduce the federal deficit.
If implemented, these cuts would be in addition to cuts to SNAP that are set to take place in November 2013, when temporary increases approved in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire.
Kildee said he will also be sharing photographs of his meals and thoughts throughout the week on his Facebook and Twitter pages, using the hashtag #SNAPchallenge.
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