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Assemblyman Leno Takes “Food Stamp Challenge” This Week

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Aired 4/19/09

Six cans of soup, two boxes of cereal and a quart of milk. That's what Democratic state Assemblyman Mark Leno is eating this week as part of the “food stamp challenge.” He's following in the footsteps of some Congress members who have also tried out the national average food stamp budget of $21 a week, per person.

Leno says he's hungry.

Leno : To imagine we're expecting food stamp recipients to live on so precious little indicates to policy makers that we don't have a clue as to the severity of hunger in our society.

The San Francisco lawmaker accepted the challenge to observe Hunger Awareness Day on Tuesday. In a related measure, Leno's bill that would lift the requirement for food stamp recipients to be fingerprinted was approved in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

Proponents say the fingerprinting helps to fight fraud. But Leno says it's a deterrent for people eligible for the help.

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