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Re: “Guest Commentary

As a single mom who has lived with supplemental SNAP benefits for many years now I have to say we eat very healthy. The $4/day number must strictly be for individuals because if my math is correct, my daughter and I receive about $12/ day ($6 each). I do make a ton of things from scratch (bread, jam, and cookies if we want iem I make 'em). But we also almost exclusively buy organic produce. We eat very little meat and hardly any processed garbage. I know we are probably an exception rather than the rule, but it is not impossible to eat healthy for a few dollars a day. It makes me angry when people say that because then instead of trying, people just parrot, "oh it's impossible!"
The trick is you can't shop like an American consumer. You can't buy prepakaged convenient crap. You have to plan a little. You have to buy seasonal fruit. You can't just buy strawberries because you want them, you have to buy them on sale. Buy spices in bulk (they are way cheaper! the amount of Bay that is in a dollar store jar is about 34 cents bulk).
I work and my SNAP benefits ebb and flow (if I'm getting "full time" hours I get less than the full benefit) and I do have the "luxury" of spending some cash should I fall short or want to shop at a Farmers Market that doesn't accept SNAP but I was unemployed last year for about 6 mons. And we lived exclusively off my benefits and we were fine.
I know the $4 a day would be harder and it's probably elderly widows and widowers that receive that amount, and that's really not fair (nor is even the amount I receive easy for say someone located in a food desert and unable to shop around for bargains).
I know the point of the exercise is to show the "entitlement" slinging crowd that this is no walk in the park, but every time you say it is "impossible" to eat healthy on SNAP you are stopping a whole bunch of people from even trying.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by BBT on 10/04/2012 at 8:58 AM

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