Chicago Politician Takes Food Stamp Challenge

A Chicago alderman recently took a weeklong challenge to survive on food stamps to see firsthand how more than a million people in Illinois live from week to week.

"I don't see anything wrong with walking in somebody else's shoes," said Leslie Hairston, who represents more than 65,000 residents in the fifth ward.

Hairston would receive $21 per week in food stamps if she qualified for the program. She decided to try the program to help better understand what her constituents go through.

Taking the $21 to the grocery store, Hairston said she could only get one bag of groceries for the week.

"Sometimes I didn't even want to eat because I knew it was just so unhealthy," Hairston said.

Congress is reviewing legislation that would increase the number of people eligible for benefits.

Shakoor Hubbard, a food stamp recipient, said she needs them to eat. "If you've never spent a night at home with your stomach growling because your mother or your dad couldn't make ends meet, then you don't really know how it is."

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