Wednesday, May 7, 2014

OHHHH SNAP!!!


...formerly known as FOOD STAMPS! 

SNAP, the new and improved food stamps program, helps those who have little to no money purchase food. Hmmmm... I am a college student and I have no money so let's just see if I could qualify.

Qualification:
1. Are you a U.S. citizen?
YES
2. Are you between the ages of 16-60 and willing to accept work?
YES
3. Do you have more than $2,000 in cash or bank assets?
NO
4. How many people are in your household and what is your household income?
JUST ME, ummm $0 since I don't have a post-grad job lined up

OH SNAP!!! I AM ELIGIBLE FOR S.N.A.P!!! 

So now we question: Why are 30% of families facing food insecurity? 

I had to do some outside research, but I figured out why 1 in 6 Americans do not have enough to eat and why even on a "good day" the nutrition is at a minimal
(A Place at the Table 2013).



 A few months after this movie was released in March, the Recovery Boost Act that was put in place to support the SNAP program was cut due to economic hardships within our country. Without this program in place, families supported by SNAP will have an average for $1.40 to spend per person per meal within the fiscal year of 2014. One dollar and forty cents is not even enough to buy a real meal. Hell, it's not even enough to buy a "fake" meal from McDonald's or any other fast food restaurant. As seen above, I am actually eligible for an EBT (electronic benefit transfer--I actually did not know what EBT stood for until TODAY, Wednesday, May 7, 2014) .

Here's a preview of what some of the EBT cards look like--ever seen one?



Some people around the States claim that the EBT card is the new form of currency (<-- you all should watch this clip about the gold card in Rhode Island). According to that video, each household gets on average $274 (or 180 lbs) of food stamps each month. Because of this $5 billion budget cut, I would lose approximately $11 each month if I received SNAP benefits. For someone who doesn't have a lot of money allotted to only food, $11 could be crucial. For larger households, the cut is even greater. For example, households of four lose about $36 every month. Before such cuts were made many families had to rely on food banks and soup kitchens to get them through the end of every month, but now we will see an increase in that number as around 50 million Americans receive assistance. As soon as I saw this figure and thought about how much money families were losing each month, I went immediately to my Pinterest account and looked at a site I had pinned called #surviveon35 which I feel has helped me realize exactly how far you can make your money stretch. This blogger, Lindsay, outlines a grocery list that is within a $35 budget and also gives directions on what to cook from the ingredients you bought. I thought that was pretty cool. I would like to eventually take on the challenge of trying to live that life and actually see if I could make it.

At the end of the day, the sad part is that I do not have a solution and as a single person, I cannot change the world. I have found the reasons why 1 in 6 Americans do not have enough to eat, but I hope to get some comments back regarding ways that we can help decrease this number. I'm interested to hear your thought about the cut in the Recovery Boost Act too and how you would live if you were in this situation.       

2 comments:

  1. This is a very difficult topic you bring up. While we have such a high percentage of people who do not have enough to eat, we have more than enough food to feed everyone. This type of dichotomy needs to be addressed. The main problem we have is too many people don't have access to healthy, nutritious food. If we could make access to healthy food more accessible, we would have less problems with hunger in America. One way to do this is to make urban farming more common. If we could empower communities to grow some of their own fruits and vegetables, we could drastically affect some of the problems we see with food in America. If our government is trying to take food out of the mouths of poor people, we need to step up to give it back to them.

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  2. I like this comment a lot, Cara. Gardening today at Robyn's really opened my eyes to what a small garden in your backyard could do. Pretty cool!

    In Frankfort, KY we have a small community garden, but I'm not sure it produces as much as it could or as we would like it to. Wonder how we could make the program more successful (and involve more of the community) as well as yield more food?

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