TPS Superintendent Takes SNAP Challenge, Feels "Constant Pangs of Hunger"

Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard, and a research specialist took part in a 48-hour SNAP challenge, to see what it is like to eat on a food stamp budget.

"I wasn't my usual self, and I could tell," said Ballard. He ate inexpensive items, like peanut butter on bread for meals for the challenge.

He and Randy Macon tweeted about their respective experiences, eating for $4.23 a day.

Ballard said he was already stressed on Monday, dealing with school security concerns following last week's Newtown shooting. He said being hungry only exacerbated that.

"Being hungry really does have an impact on you," said Ballard. "It really does, and coupled with stressful situations, it really does affect your performance."

Ballard said he imagines eating on a SNAP budget is very stressful for those who do it everyday. He said 88 percent of TPS's 40,000 students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The Food Bank put them up to the task. The organization said the House of Representatives' discussion of Plan B to avoid the fiscal cliff, has food stamps in the spotlight.

The Food Bank said that since students will be on winter break and unable to receive school lunches, families may call 211 or visit the Food Bank's website to learn more about food help through partner programs.