TPS Superintendent Accepts Food Stamp Challenge

Wednesday, December 19th 2012, 5:10 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard stepped up to take the food stamp challenge earlier this week.

It was inspired by Newark, New Jersey Mayor Corey Booker, who went a whole week eating only what he could buy with about $25. The challenge to Tulsans was made by the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which serves people who face the same challenge every day.

The goal was to raise awareness about the struggles of those who depend on food stamps to feed their families.

Ballard took the challenge for just two days and said it was a real eye-opener. He said the lack of nutrition from the food he was able to buy affected him physically after just one day.

"It became very clear to me - think about the stresses that are in people's lives that eat on $25 dollars a week. Think about their stresses are just as real as the stress I was feeling, only theirs continues all the time," he said.

Randy Macon of the TU Center for Applied Research for Nonprofits also took the challenge. He said it was nearly impossible to eat nutritiously on less than $5 per day.

During the 48-hour period, both Ballard and Macon used social media to post updates about their experiences. You can see Ballard's tweets here and Macon's tweets here.