The $500 billion, five-year Farm Bill passed by the Senate Monday would cut food stamps by $4 billion over the next 10 years, but House Republicans are hoping to secure a cut of at least $20 billion. House Democrats are having none of it, and are engaging in a high-profile SNAP Challenge, in which they limit their weekly food budget to the food stamp equivalent, to show the devastating effects the cuts could have on those dependent on food assistance. In practice, though, the publicity photos seem to show clueless adults who’ve never seen a grocery store before.

Meet John. While President Obama is preparing to take the first family on a $100 million trip to Africa, these heartbreaking photos show Rep. Conyers, a member of Congress since 1965, subsisting on scrambled eggs and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Rep. Jim McGovern ponders the vast emptiness of his shopping cart.

With life in the balance, Rep. Joe Crowley carefully weighed each banana.

Rep. Mark Pocan devoted some time to coupon research. According to his blog entry, it took him 45 minutes to spend $27. Could Congress try to maintain that pace?

After almost 45 minutes, I waited, somewhat anxiously, at the register for my items to be rung up. My final tally: $27.01. Right at my goal—I have $4.49 left to purchase items I may not realize I need yet. Here’s what I’ll be (mostly) subsisting on for the next week: Crunchy peanut butter, Mac & Cheese, cereal, Big Cup Noodles, Low fat milk, Boca Burgers, a loaf of bread, and oranges.

Stop! How much more of this horror do we have to see? Isn’t there any other way?


FreedomWorks’ Kristina Ribali: Weaning people off food stamps is real SNAP challenge

Berry’d Alive: Eleanor Holmes Norton shows how not to stretch your food stamp budget

Tweeter debunks Rep. Keith Ellison’s SNAP recipient statistic

Food stamps recipients double under Obama; Result? Selling food stamps for an iPhone 5 is all the rage