Panera CEO learns to live off food budget of $4.50 a day

In this May, 2002 file photo Panera Bread Co. CEO Ron Shaich stands behind a counter in a St. Louis cafe. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam, File)

September 19, 2013 12:33:40 PM PDT
The CEO of Panera Bread Co. made headlines when he announced plans to live off a food budget of $4.50 a day to call attention to proposed cuts to the federal food stamp program. Now he admits that it's not going so well.

Ron Shaich tells The Wall Street Journal living off a strict budget of $31.50 a week is harder than he first thought.

He says he's been eating a lot of carbs and drinking a lot of water, noting that he can't even go into a Panera because one sandwich alone would blow his daily budget.

Shaich's typical breakfast is dry cereal. Lunch and dinner are soup.

$4.50 is the average daily benefit provided by food stamps.