DarwinCatholic has a post on the Food Stamp Diet. The amount of money you get to feed yourself and your kids on food stamps doesn't sound like much, $33.04 per person per week, depending on which program you are talking about.
However, Darwin looked at the amount his family actually spends on food, and find that it is almost exactly what you would get with food stamps:
First off, it seemed like the challenge was designed for one adult to take, so I wanted to make sure that I was translating it to family terms right. Here's my formula: The 2011 San Francisco Food Bank challenge (based on average food stamp benefits in CA for that year) was based on $33 per person per week. The USDA thrifty plan budgets $41.50 per week for an adult male between 19 and 50. Based on that, I'm assuming a payout of 80% of the estimated thrifty plan cost. Now I need to figure out how much our family would be budgeted according to the thrifty plan:
1 male 19-50 at $41.50
1 female 19-50 at $36.80
1 child age 1 at $21.10
1 child age 2-3 at $23.10
1 child age 4-5 at $24.00
1 child age 6-8 at $30.70
1 child age 9-11 at $35.00
Now you discount by 10% because we're a family with 7 or more members: $190.98
Now you assume we only get 80% of that budget as a food stamp allotment: $152.78
They actually spend $100-$150 a week on food, including diapers. In order to do that, they do have to commit the cardinal sin of eating lots of carbs, and I'm guessing its not organic either.