Monday, August 13, 2007

Legislators Try Living on Food Stamps

Twenty-two state legislators have agreed to spend just $3 a day for food over a three-day period this week to raise awareness of hunger and low benefits for food stamp recipients, mostly single mothers and their children. The average monthly food stamp benefit in Arkansas is just under $90 a month, or about $3 a day, and the Food Stamp Program helps more than 380,000 low-income Arkansans purchase food for themselves and their families.

The Arkansas Hunger Challenge will allow state lawmakers to understand how the state food stamp program works. "We're hoping that this activity helps state officials to understand the importance of the program so they can urge their federal counterparts to strengthen it," said Hope Coulter, executive director of the Arkansas Hunger Coalition.

Among the 21 Democratic lawmakers planning to participate in the three-day hunger challenge, which begins Monday, include: House Speaker Benny Petrus, D-Stuttgart, and Reps. Pam Adcock, D-Little Rock; Fred Allen, D-Little Rock; Linda Chesterfield, D-Little Rock; David Cook, D-Williford; Monty Davenport, D-Yellville; David Dunn, D-Forrest City; Stephanie Flowers, D-Pine Bluff; Steve Harrelson, D-Texarkana; David Johnson, D-Little Rock; Janet Johnson, D-Bryant; Buddy Lovell, D-Marked Tree; Bruce Maloch, D-Magnolia; Tracy Pennartz, D-Fort Smith; Sandra Prater, D-Jacksonville; Johnnie Roebuck, D-Arkadelphia; Lindsley Smith, D-Fayetteville; Charlotte Wagner,, D-Manila; and Kathy Webb, D-Little Rock. State senators include Sen. Mary Anne Salmon, D-North Little Rock, and Hank Wilkins IV, D-Pine Bluff. The only Republican legislator participating is Rep. Rick Green of Van Buren.

Congratulations to Rep. Lindsley Smith, D-Fayetteville. Of the 14 Representatives and 6 Senators from Northwest Arkansas, she is the only legislator from the 4-county area participating in the Food Stamp Challenge.

No comments: