KLTV 7's Molly Reuter talks about her food stamp challenge experience - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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KLTV 7's Molly Reuter talks about her food stamp challenge experience

For seven days, KLTV 7's Molly Reuter ate on just three dollars a day, one dollar a meal.

She took on the East Texas Food Bank's food stamp challenge and kept track of every dollar she spent and every meal she ate along the way.


Noodles and butter, macaroni and cheese and whole lot of peanut butter toast.

That's what my diet consisted of for seven days.

Don't believe me? Just check out my blog, because it's all there.

So...what did I learn? A lot. The strange thing is I never felt hungry, but I did get sick of eating the same things over and over again. I also learned how much people living on food stamps really have to think about what they are going to eat, and if the food they bought will make it through the end of the week.

Many of you noticed my concerns on my blog and sent some advice.

One of you wrote: "I am a single mom on food stamps. If you buy coffee now you will have it all month long. If you buy instant, you can fix just one cup a day for the rest of the month."

Then there are the comments from a family of five that can barely make ends meet that really kept me going.

"It's been an insightful experience for me," said Robert Bush.

The East Texas Food Bank not only wants people to understand what it's like to live on food stamps, but to learn more about the program itself.

Bush, the Food Bank's executive director, says there are a lot of myths.

"One of them is the chronic situation that people are on food stamps forever, and that's not true. The average duration is 9 months," said Bush. "The other part is that they don't have a job, or aren't educated and as a matter of fact most of the recipients of food stamps, the adults have 12 or more years of education and around 40 percent have jobs."

And the biggest statistic of them all: 50% of food stamp recipients are children.

"The food stamp when it really works right and well is making sure those families don't go hungry," said Bush.

So, what else did I learn? Not only does my job make it difficult to have a social life, but imagine not being able to have people over for dinner, or even go out to dinner with friends.

Much of our society revolves around food.

And, many people have asked if I lost weight. I wish, but how many fruits and vegetables did you see me eating? They just cost too much, so eating healthy was definitely difficult.

You can still read my blog by going to the "Food Stamps Challege Blog" - just click here!

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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