Eric Gioia is about to get very skinny.
He just told NBC News that in order to raise awareness about the needs of food stamp recipients, he would limit himself to the same budget they get: about $28 a week.
Gioia told NBC "I had a cheese sandwich for dinner with water. For lunch I had peanut butter and jelly with water." Later, he added, "I was walking to the subway today, and I was walking pretty quickly. I said, `What a beautiful day.' And then I said to myself, `I better slow down because I'm burning calories right now."
At least one advocate for the poor is pleased with Gioia's publicity stunt.
"He has long been a leader in the fight against hunger in New York City," Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition against Hunger, wrote of Gioia on the coalition's blog. "He has long been a leader in the fight against hunger in New York City, but now he is going the extra mile by experiencing first-hand some of the difficulties faced by hard-pressed food stamp recipients."