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Diabetic Takes MI Food Stamp Challenge

October 22, 2008

Lansing, MI – The "Food Stamp Challenge" can be dangerous to your health. Thousands of Michiganians have been taking that challenge to learn what it's like to live on a food budget of about six dollars a day.

Maxine Thome, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers - Michigan Chapter, is a Type One diabetic who took the challenge. She says her blood sugar was so difficult to control that she had to break into a supply of sugar outside the Food Stamp budget when her blood levels dipped dangerously low.

"What happens to people who are diabetic, on Food Stamps, that don't have adequate access to health care? People must be dying."

Thome says Food Stamps play an important role in getting food on the table for families in Michigan, but there needs to be more focus on the quality of that food, especially for people with medical conditions.

"There isn't enough focus on the problems of insufficient access to nutrition and healthful foods."

Thome chronicled her health during the challenge and is sharing the information with the University of Michigan. They are currently doing a study about diabetic health for people using Food Stamps.

More information about the Food Stamp Challenge is available online at

Deborah Smith/Steve Powers, Public News Service - MI