[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/01/30/am.callebs.foodstamps.blog/Callebs.foodstamps.cnn.art.jpg caption="CNN's Sean Callebs reports on what it's like to live off food stamps for a month."]
Monday Feb. 2, 2009
10:40 PM ET – I thought the story about living on food stamps would generate a healthy amount of interest, but I was surprised by number of e-mails and calls I received . First things first. For breakfast I had a bowl of cereal, a banana, and tea. An hour later I was starving. I wondered if this was what the future held. Lunch, and a peanut butter sandwich, and iced tea did the trick, hunger pangs gone. Dinner was spaghetti and meat sauce made from lean ground beef. So far, so good. A lot of the folks who contacted me thought it was going to be hard to make it 28 days on food stamps. Others questioned my shopping habits. One person wrote that I was "whining" about not buying enough fruits and vegetables and basically blistered me for not doing a better job. Come on, I am trying! Rutgers University called about a program they have to fight hunger in America. The USDA, which oversees the food stamp program, also contacted me. They commended CNN for focusing on the problem of hunger in America. USDA officials say I am exactly right in saying the sour economy has pushed some people who never thought they would need government assistance into welfare lines. I will definitely talk more with them over the next four weeks. No running on Monday. We did reports from 6am, through 8pm. I will shoot for a long run on Tuesday. On a lighter note, anyone who watched the live shots Monday on American Morning may have noticed the Elvis magnets on the fridge. One of the PR Directors from Elvis Presley Enterprises sent me a message on Facebook. He got a kick out of the magnets, but also said the story was a reality check.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with