billy mcguinness
the hunger project (day 1, day 365)
From October 2011 to October 2012, I kept myself hungry by limiting my food and drink budget to the average daily Food Stamp benefit of $4.40. Each day I took note of all I consumed, recording the dollar value and caloric content, maintaining daily totals and calculating cumulative amounts and averages. Over the 366 days of the project (it was a leap year), I averaged $3.93 and 2178 calories per day. Beginning at 186.6 pounds, my weight eventually hit a low of 138.4, a loss of over 25%. My initial reasons for undertaking the project—to make a statement, to acquire empathy, to keep my family from going deeper into debt—and the philosophical complexities of voluntarily going without enough food grew increasingly remote as the reality of constant hunger came to completely dominate my experience.