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Consider This: (The SNAP/"Food Stamp" Program)

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 It seems you can't log on to a news or social networking site these days without seeing a post about obesity, the healthcare crisis, welfare spending or complaints about schools' food restrictions (as they relate to obesity).

If the food stamp program operates through the Department of Agriculture, why aren't we giving food stamp recipients farm foods? Cartons of eggs, baskets of fruits and vegetables, fresh cuts of meat, blocks of cheese, gallons of milk, beans and nuts, jars of honey, etc? I realize some states have programs that allow food stamp recipients to use local farmers markets, but I think it would help the American people---the food stamp recipient, the taxpayer and the American farmer---much more if food stamps became food stamps again, something people use to buy healthy, American farm-raised food.

I don't think people would complain about food stamps if they could see the program's benefits. Instead, we're reminded that over 40 million Americans use food stamps while our farms are dwindling and obesity rates are rising, and meanwhile many food stamp recipients load up their carts with processed junk. When people are made to use their own money to buy junk food, they buy less of it. Nobody wll be telling people what they can and cannot eat, only that a program funded by the American taxpayer should be one that benefits all of American society. With the money a person earns, said person should be able to spend at his or her discretion.

Thoughts?


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Replies (31-40):
radioheid
by Libertarian on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:47 AM

 Eh, with all the food and soda bans going up these days, I think it is just a matter of time before food stamp restrictions start to appear.

I don't see the big fuss over suggesting the Department of Agriculture actually support agriculture. lol

Quoting KYLIEAARONMOMMY:

The United States is a very diverse country. Different cultures eat different types of food. Some don't eat meat, some only eat seafood. Some don't eat dairy. There are also millions of different types of allergies and medical conditions. That's a ton of special circumstances to adjust your food plan to account for. It costs money to create a computerized system that will know to give certain vouchers to certain families to account for their individual needs. People are individuals, not everyone can fit into a food plan like that. It is more cost effective to allow each family to chose their own food, then to try and keep track of it. Another problem, is the economy. Those food stamps provide revenue for the stores they buy them in. That revenue goes down, and they start laying people off. More lay offs, more people on fs. It makes more sense to just put restrictions on what they can buy. It will never happen, but it makes more sense.

Quoting radioheid:

 What "problems" would it cause?


Quoting KYLIEAARONMOMMY:

I agree. A plan like op idea would not work, and cause even more problems than it helps.


Quoting ReginaStar:


I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 


 

 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

illegallyblonde
by Lawyerupbeeches on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Awesome!

Quoting krysstizzle:


Quoting illegallyblonde:

Fortunately our local farmers market accepts food stamps. Further, if you shop at FM you actually get double value. A recipient of food stamps really has it made if they shop at FM. Many of our health food stores allow the card too. I would be interesting to see figures of how many people utilize the FM benefits. And I wonder if you could join a CSA with food stamps.


Here's a nifty story about a CSA accepting SNAP.

http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20080317/nf1

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moneysaver6
by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM
If someone else is footing the bill, then you make yourself (general you) subject to what that person says you can & cannot do with that money.

Quoting meriana:

That;s a great idea but I think it would be difficult to implement. Food stamp recipients shop at their local stores where people are basically bombarded with aisle upon aisle of processed foods, candy, chips, soda, etc. etc. The only way I can see something like that really working would be to set up specific stores where they can only purchase the kind of items mentioned in the OP and make it so other stores couldn't accept the food stamps.


Then, of course, there would have to be enough of them in enough locations that people could get to them easily with or without a vehicle. The regular grocery stores, of course, would be having a fit too. We'd be hearing tons of screaming about how the Gov is forcing people to shop in certain places, limiting their freedom and deciding for them what they can and cannot eat or purchase.

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KYLIEAARONMOMMY
by Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM
They have already tried, and failed! The Federal government stops it. The states don't have the power on their own to do it. It's a Federal program. The federal government won't allow the states to restrict foods.
Quoting radioheid:

 Eh, with all the food and soda bans going up these days, I think it is just a matter of time before food stamp restrictions start to appear.


I don't see the big fuss over suggesting the Department of Agriculture actually support agriculture. lol


Quoting KYLIEAARONMOMMY:

The United States is a very diverse country. Different cultures eat different types of food. Some don't eat meat, some only eat seafood. Some don't eat dairy. There are also millions of different types of allergies and medical conditions. That's a ton of special circumstances to adjust your food plan to account for. It costs money to create a computerized system that will know to give certain vouchers to certain families to account for their individual needs. People are individuals, not everyone can fit into a food plan like that. It is more cost effective to allow each family to chose their own food, then to try and keep track of it. Another problem, is the economy. Those food stamps provide revenue for the stores they buy them in. That revenue goes down, and they start laying people off. More lay offs, more people on fs. It makes more sense to just put restrictions on what they can buy. It will never happen, but it makes more sense.


Quoting radioheid:


 What "problems" would it cause?



Quoting KYLIEAARONMOMMY:

I agree. A plan like op idea would not work, and cause even more problems than it helps.



Quoting ReginaStar:



I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 



 


 

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kaffedrikke
by Bronze Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM
1 mom liked this
The entire program needs revamping. My neigbour down the block cant make 800$ last more than two.weeks.
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moneysaver6
by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:54 AM
That's just a matter of learning how to properly preserve those foods & learning what to eat first & what can wait a bit.

Quoting ReginaStar:


Quoting radioheid:

 Why not? Why wouldn't the government want to ensure that the program is being used for its intended purpose, which is to ensure adequate nutrition for the poor? This would have the added benefit of not only feeding the poor nutritious food, but helping the American farmer. I see it as win-win.


Quoting ReginaStar:


I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 


 

Is your question is to why I don't think the recipients should be forced to buy certain products? B/c I think that is BS that is why. Different people have different diets and taste and should be able to choose what they want to eat even if it's food provided for by the government. Forcing certain foods only leads to a major waste in food. You also have to consider produce has a very short life span and people on assistance are the least likely to be able to get to the store often. 

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romalove
by Roma on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:54 AM
3 moms liked this

 

Quoting ReginaStar:

I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 

 The recipients aren't controlled, the usage of federal money for food assistance is.  It's already being controlled.  If you don't believe me, try and buy a roll of toilet paper with it, you can't.  There is no reason if the government must aid people in feeding themselves that they can't then say what kind or type of food they can buy with the program.  It doesn't limit people to only those foods, they can use their own, separate, earned or gifted money to buy other foods if they choose.  If people on FS don't like that, they can consider it an incentive to get off FS.

radioheid
by Libertarian on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM

 Like I said, ship the food in. I'm not seeing the problem. Set up "shop" in library, school or gov't building parking lots. They already do that around here, though it is charity rather than government-funded. People don't let their pride get it the way. They line up for boxes of produce every weekend during the harvest season.

Quoting Sisteract:


Food deserts are actually areas in cities that are not serviced by grocery stores- Yes, in 2012 these still exist. 

 

A food desert is a district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants.

The concept of 'access' may be interpreted in three ways.

  • 'Physical access' to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, and the consumer has no car. Also, the shop may be across a busy road, difficult to cross with children or with underpasses that some fear to use because of a crime risk. For some, such as disabled people, the inside of the shop may be hard to access physically if there are steps up or the interior is cramped with no room for walking aids. Carrying fresh food home may also be hard for some.
  • 'Financial access' is difficult if the consumer lacks the money to buy healthful foods (generally more expensive, calorie for calorie, than less healthful, sugary, and fatty 'junk foods') or if the shopper cannot afford the bus fare to remote shops selling fresh foods and instead uses local fast food outlets. Other forms of financial access barriers may be inability to afford storage space for food, or for the very poor, living in temporary accommodation that does not offer good cooking facilities.
  • Mental attitude or food knowledge of the consumer may prevent them accessing fresh vegetables. They may lack cooking knowledge or have the idea that eating a healthful diet isn't important.

In some urban areas, grocery stores have withdrawn alongside residents that have fled to the suburbs (see urban sprawl). Low income earners and senior citizens who remain find healthy foods either unavailable or inaccessible as a result of high prices and/or unreachable locations.

In rural areas, local fresh food outlets have closed leaving shoppers without cars in these areas with difficult access to healthful foods, as rural bus services have also declined. Whilst the idea of 'food deserts' in the early 21st century has mainly an urban flavour, the first case studies into difficulties faced by consumers accessing healthy foods were made in rural English villages. The Women's Institute looked at the plight of elderly car-less widows left stranded by closure of village shops and withdrawal of bus services as far back as the 1970s, although recent use of the term seems to stem from its use by the Obama Administration, and in and around Chicago (see below).

Quoting radioheid:

 Per your 7-11 comment: I'm sure this is very unpopular of an opinion, but I feel that at some point, people just have to figure shit out. Someone who is truly handicapped, that is one thing, and there are programs in place to help the handicapped with transportation. I know this because my dad drove the CATS bus for years. But American society as a whole has become a little bit lazy and entitled. If someone is giving you a ton of free food and that food is 2 miles away, you walk if you have to. My mother did it for years when you had to go to the food stamp office to pick up your stamps. I know because I sometimes walked with her as an 8, 9, 10-year old kid. Hell, we ran the one day because the office was about to close. And mom was overweight to boot. I also remember walking to the Salvation Army with her and carrying back bags of food. Didn't hurt us none, and the family got to eat. It was motivation for me to join the Air Force, and for my sisters to go to college. Too many people act like their feet don't work and a bit of a walk will kill them. I don't get it.

As for the "food deserts": The food would have to be shipped in from elsewhere. I'm sure Iowa and Nebraska have a surplus of corn, just as Ohio has a surplus of soybeans, and Wisconsin has more than enough dairy. As it is, much of the world's garlic, broccoli, lettuce and artichokes come from the Salinas Valley in California.

 Quoting Sisteract:

What about the poorer areas where food deserts already exist? How would these folks get the local fruits and veggies? A form of CSA for those in need?

Many do not have the transportation needed to access either large stores or FMs- they eat the products that they can buy at 7-11.

 



 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

moneysaver6
by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM
It's not someone else's job to knock down her road blocks. If she wants to buy what she wants, then she can use her own money. No one is saying she can't have any food item that she wants.

Quoting ButterMeUp:

Take a step back and think about WHY people in general will pick starchy processed foods over making their own. 


For many, it's too time consuming. Why make my own chips when I can just buy a bag. Sure the ones I make would most likely be half of the fat, salts, and preservatives but it only takes me 5 second to rip open a bag vs. 20 minutes to make my own. 

For many it's hard to make fresh home cooked meals. If you're a poor single mom who has two jobs with little time to rest, do you honestly think she is going to want to cook? What if she just doesn't have the time or the know how? Forcing her to buy fresh things without first knocking down her road blocks is pointless. 

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moneysaver6
by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I agree, OP.
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