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CT on $4 a Day?

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September 15, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. - Feeding yourself on $4 a day in Connecticut is no easy task.

This month during Hunger Action Month, groups which provide food assistance are urging those who are more fortunate to take the SNAP Challenge. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides $4 a day on average, and organizations such as Foodshare want people to see how difficult it is to feed oneself with such limited resources.

One of the people taking the SNAP Challenge is state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, R-Glastonbury.

"You read about it, you hear about it, you know about it - all of that is definitely important. But when you're physically there, it hits you. That's when it hit me."

Srinivasan says he is concerned about the nutritional fallout of eating on just $4 a day, which, out of necessity, tends to be a diet heavy on carbohydrates. In the greater Hartford area alone, more than 128,000 people are food insecure.

When he returns to the Capitol and budgets for food assistance are discussed, Srinivasan says he will have a first-hand story to tell.

"I want to make sure I can give them my life experience about how this has been, and how challenging it is for people to live on this budget."

Deb Heinrich, the nonprofit liaison to Gov. Dannel Malloy, is also taking the SNAP Challenge. She says food is a huge social connection for many people, and $4 a day can be a very lonely number.

"I imagine that if I were doing this longer than a week - months or years - that it would be very isolating as well."

More information on events during Hunger Action Month is online at Foodshare.org.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - CT