CEO Eating on $4.50 a Day

In honor of National Hunger Action Month, Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich is challenging himself to eat on just $4.50 per day. He’s on day four of the week long experiment, and said on his LinkedIn live blog yesterday that he, “can’t stop thinking about food.”

Shaich has committed to the endeavor in order to raise awareness of how people on food stamps live. $4.50 is how much a person on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receives. And that  “nearly 48 million people receive food stamps and 16 million children go to bed hungry.”

Before Shaich even started his challenge he wrote, “I haven’t even felt the first pangs of hunger, and I’m already gaining a whole new perspective into challenges that so many people in this country face in dealing with food insecurity – from the embarrassment of having to leave items at the register to the diligence and ongoing calculation required to constantly prioritize and rank every purchase and potential purchase, big and small,” Shaich added.

This week the House is set to discuss a proposal that could see SNAP funding cut by $40 billion over the next 10 years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Shopping for the week on a $31.50 budget, Shaich says he’s attempting to have as healthy a diet as possible, but has found it difficult. Less expensive items were more carbohydrate heavy versus more healthy fruits and veggies.

Joining Shaich in the challenge is Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken. Newark, NY mayor Cory Booker undertook a similar challenge last year, spending just $29.78  for a week’s worth of food.