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Local Legislator to eat on $2.39 a Meal

FAIRBANKS – Representative Scott Kawasaki will spend one week learning firsthand the challenges faced by Alaskans who receive Food Stamps through the Food Stamp Challenge. The challenge is hosted by the Food Bank of Alaska and will take place from Monday, September 14 to Saturday, September 19, 2009.  The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness about the need for increased funding for Food Stamps.

“For many Alaskans the challenge doesn’t end in a week they struggle everyday to make ends meet and provide for their family.” said Rep. Scott Kawasaki "This will be a sobering first-hand experience to see how they live every day.”

One in nine Americans receive food stamps, including more than 70,000 Alaskans.  The national economic downturn has reached Alaska, and thousands of people have been added to the rolls, including many families with children. Representative Kawasaki will have to feed himself on the equivalent of one week of food stamps - $34.47, with an additional $15 for produce, dairy and other perishables. This equals approximately $2.30 per meal. During the seven day challenge, Kawasaki will only consume food purchased by the food stamps.

“It will be challenge eating a balanced diet for an entire week on less than $50,” said RepKawasaki. “I’m looking forward to participating in this challenge and helping to raise awareness about this issue.”

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