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Challenge: Do not pay for food this week

Jenna Johnson

Thirteen years ago, a Post intern tested the urban legend that free food is everywhere in Washington. Miraculously, he went an entire week without paying to eat.

Then-intern Michael Colton feasted on Costco samples and happy hour buffets. He attended an array of conventions, art gallery openings and even a breakfast for Illinois constituents.

"I really do think that article had a lasting effect on my psyche, and my waistline," Colton told me in an email. (These days, he is a television writer and VH1 commentator. Check out his bio.) "Whenever I'm around free food -- a party, a plate of free samples, leftover pizza in the writers' room -- I can't help stuffing my face... Even if I'm not hungry. Because who knows where my next meal is coming from? Must eat now while food in front of me!"

Thirteen years and a recession later, can the experiment be repeated? We are going to find out this week.

Whenever you locate free food, tell me about it on Twitter by using the hashtag, #InternDiet. Bonus points for photos. You can also email me,

Here are the rules, according to Colton's historic article: No soup kitchens. No stealing. No handouts. No flashing your badge. No misusing your stature as an intern.

The winner will be the intern who makes it through the entire work week without pulling out cash (or a debit card) to eat -- or who really blows me away with creativity and dedication to the cause. Prize is a free lunch.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all D.C. interns. So, make sure to bookmark You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  July 12, 2010; 8:57 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: #internDiet, Internships  
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Now go to a desert or jungle, and survive for a week.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 12, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

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