1,700 students in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls will reach for a white plastic bag this weekend when others are sitting down to dinner. Find out how you can help.More >>
1,700 students in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls will reach for a white plastic bag this weekend when others are sitting down to dinner. Find out how you can help. More >>
Eau Claire (WQOW)- Take a moment and think about the amount of food you eat in a single day. Now try and put a price on all that food. Was it less than $5.00? Probably not. But that's the budget many people deal with daily. Some right here in our community.
Sometimes, to talk about a solution, you have to first understand the problem. Andrea Albers set out to get an idea of what life is like for low income families facing hunger and relying on federal assistance. She allowed herself to spend just $4.50 a day on food for an entire week. Why $4.50? The average amount of federal food assistance per person, per month was $133.41 in 2012. Break that down and it works out to about $1.50 per person, per meal. So eating three meals day would mean $4.50 to spend on food, drinks... everything. That's how Andrea arrived at her weekly budget of $31.50. It's meant to represent an average federal food benefit.
You cannot use FoodShare benefits to buy: *Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco *Nonfood items, such as like pet food, paper products or diapers *Vitamins or medicines *Food that will be eaten inside the store
That does not mean the system is not abused. Suspected cases of FoodShare fraud are tracked in Eau Claire County. The county investigates anywhere from 200 to 300 cases per year, not all of which end up being fraudulent.
With a camera and shopping list in hand Andrea headed for the grocery store. She also kept a video diary while the week wore on and the food dwindled. Follow that journey by watching the videos attached to this story.