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Panera Bread Chief Executive Ron Shaich decided to take on an interesting challenge – living on just $4.50 for as a daily food budget. The millionaire will see what it's like for people living on food stamps for one week.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Shaich is taking part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) challenge. He can only purchase what a family on food stamps would receive.
Shaich is making a statement in response to the proposal to decrease SNAP funding. But only a few days in, he started getting hungry.
"I can't stop thinking about food," he blogged. "You probably think I'm joking (or think that must be normal for me since I work for a food company after all), but I promise you it's not."
One thing that Shaich noticed was that healthy options weren't really an option on his budget – the cheap foods tend to be the carb-heavy foods. "I was forced to choose foods that were filling -- items that my Italian mother-in-law would have said will 'stick to my ribs,'" he wrote. "But it isn't lost on me that I wasn't able to afford the fruits, vegetables and meats that most would say belong in a balanced diet."
"Over the last few days, my thoughts have been consumed with food. When is my next meal? How much food is left in my cabinet? Will it get me through the week? What should I spend my remaining few dollars on?"
The stress even put a strain on his relationships, especially with his wife, reports the Inquisitr. “A few nights ago, my wife, Nancy, and I had a tense back and forth after I snapped at her for over-portioning my spaghetti,” he wrote. “I felt so much anxiety about the possibility of running out of pasta that I completely overlooked my wife’s good intentions in helping to prepare my dinner. I have to imagine that this is a common source of conflict in households marked by food insecurity.”
Over 47 million people know what Shaich is going through, and the decision about cutting SNAP funding will affect all of them this week.