I Lived Off Food Stamps For A Week And Now I’m Spearheading A Communist Revolution
Did you know that an estimated 42.6 million Americans are on food stamps? That’s crazy, right? We often ignore the struggles of this significant segment of American society, so I decided to live on the budget of an average food stamp-recipient for one whole week. My assumption was that, by living like a poor person for seven entire days, I would learn to empathize with their plight before I returned to eating Le Pain Quotidien three times a week and channeling most of my energy into videos where I react to Kayne West tweets.
To prepare for my challenge, I went to the grocery store and SNAPped (get it?!) up every deal I could find. From cheap bulk pasta, to day-old baked goods, to some weird foreign fruit that smells like feet, I cut every corner I could while still trying to assemble a basket of reasonably healthy groceries.
I soon realized that if I was going to make it through the week I would have to ration my food carefully. This meant smaller portions and no snacks, which in turn meant hunger pangs and distracting thoughts of luxurious food I could no longer afford. This challenge was turning out to be harder than I thought! By day two I was feeling inspired to donate to my local food bank once this experiment was over.
By midweek I was tired all the time, and I began to constantly worry about food. How long until I could eat again? If I splurged on a snack to keep myself from collapsing, would that doom me later in the week? Just how undernourished was I? How many handfuls of peanut butter constitute a meal? If this isn’t inspiring you to donate to some local food charities, I don’t know what will. Remember, your spare instant noodles can help make the world a better place!
On day six I seriously debated fighting a seagull for a discarded hot dog before I decided it would be both unsanitary and unbecoming. Then I seriously debated eating the seagull, but it was ultimately too hard to catch. Back home I ate spinach out of the bag, too tired to do anything else. My resolve to make more charitable donations when this experiment is over strengthened…but now that I think about it in-between crippling headaches, does donating unwanted scraps to the disenfranchised really make the necessary difference?
We may be helping them continue to exist, but are we really helping them live? And why are we relying on private charities to prop up shockingly insufficient government aid anyway? Maybe we should all look into food poverty activism campaigns that we can get involved in, and send some stern tweets to our representatives! At midnight I ate an almond I found under the fridge because I was too hungry to sleep.
My tweets went unanswered, and by the end of the week I was willing to look a wealthy man in the eyes as I strangled the life out of him if it meant that I got to eat a chocolate bar. What stopped me was not a feeling of common humanity, but a malnutrition-induced inability to clench my hands around his neck.
The fact that America’s underprivileged have soldiered on under these conditions for months, years, or even entire lifetimes is a testament to the iron will of the proletariat. Over the past seven days I have become increasingly convinced that this state of affairs cannot continue unabated, and that patchwork solutions are no solution at all. I therefore call for the overthrow of the American ruling class and a full redistribution of food resources so that all may have an equal share. If we cannot feast on the food you deny us, we will feast on your bones.
I am willing to die for my new cause. Can you say the same?