BERKELEY, Calif. — With the budgets of the more than 30 million food stamp recipients in mind, Grocery Outlet here has developed a $3 per person, per day, eating plan.
Recipes for breakfast burritos, peanut butter and sliced apple wraps, and penne and broccoli pasta are part of the extreme-value retailer's seven-day menu that includes a daily snack. It's designed to feed a family of four for $84.
“More people are on food stamps than ever before and living on ridiculous sums of money,” said Melissa Porter, spokeswoman for the 130-store chain. The average food stamp household receives $239 per month, or $3 per person, per day.
To better understand their predicament, members of Grocery Outlet's executive team spent a week eating on a $3-a-day budget.
“We learned that it's hard to [afford] protein,” Porter said.
To keep within budget, the retailer included canned protein sources like chili, tuna, and garbanzo and pinto beans in its recipes, which were evaluated by a nutritionist.
Grocery Outlet's efforts come at a time when chains like King Kullen, Wegmans and Whole Foods are promoting meal recipes that can be prepared for several dollars per person, but none has dipped to the $1 per person range.
It's able to offer such an inexpensive eating plan because its prices are 40% to 60% below those of traditional retailers, Porter said.