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An aide to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) failed the so-called "SNAP Challenge" last week, just days after accusing Democrats of "intentionally buying overpriced food and shopping at high-priced chains."
The aide, Donny Ferguson, accepted the challenge in response to dozens of Democrats who lived off the program for a week to draw attention to the inadequacy of the average benefit of $4.50 per day.
In a press release issued by Stockman's office, Ferguson initially bragged that he "was able to buy enough food to eat well for a week on just $27.58, almost four dollars less than the $31.50 "SNAP Challenge" figure." The list, which is posted on Stockman's website, included prepared foods like red beans and rice, peanut butter, and even popsicles, but no vegetables.
"That is my diet for the week and I'm not eating outside of it. Feeling great and I've gained two pounds," Ferguson told ThinkProgress on Wednesday, adding,"Reality has a way of mocking liberalism."
But days later, it seems that the challenges of living on just a little more than $31.50 a week caught up with Ferguson.
The Dallas Morning News reported on Monday that the communications aide had to buy additional food after embarking on an unexpected trip. Since he was unable to carry his canned purchases onto the plane, "Ferguson limited himself to $9 in meals while traveling" and ended up "going about 14 percent over budget."
As the paper notes, "While it could be assumed most SNAP recipients don't have to worry about flying and carry-on charges, unexpected changes in plans can happen to anyone. Someone who relied on the program might not have had the cash to buy additional food if they faced a similar situation."