Could you eat healthy on a food stamp budget?

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 29, 2014 6:06 p.m.

    "If you make minimum wage you live on $1,300 a month before taxes get taken out. Before tithe. Can you save anything? Can you afford to rent anything?"

    And if you do the math.... that comes out to a little less than $38 a day for food, shelter, transportation, insurance, clothing..... or about $265 a week. Tough to save for anything with those kind of wages.

  • Reader81 SLC, UT
    June 29, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    Thank you for creating a cookbook for those struggling with fewer resources. This is one more way to help people help themselves. When someone is struggling to make ends meet, time and energy are drained, which affects the ability to use limited food resources efficiently. I remember being poor as a kid, and we often turned to boxed food. It was cheap, and easy for my siblings and me to cook while Mom was working long hours. I wish that we had had this so help us create more nutritious meals.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 29, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    It does not really matter if the $4 a day is from the SNAP program or a persons wage. It is hard to eat for that.

    If you make minimum wage you live on $1,300 a month before taxes get taken out. Before tithe. Can you save anything? Can you afford to rent anything?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    @Tully Bascomb
    " Require those who receive govt. assistance for food to attend cooking classes"

    Over half of those on food stamps are children, seniors, or the disabled. The rest either are or should be working (while often being those raising kids too) and you want them to attend some arbitrary cooking class too?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 29, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    "It is not mere coincidence that this is also the term of Obama's presidency."

    I am sure it IS purely coincidence that these numbers exploded during the largest recession we have seen in 100 years.... I am sure that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Good grief, can we turn the radio head comments turned off, please. "hey are **always** doomed to be inefficient, insufficient and generally, ineffective." Yes, the FAA is a debacle. The Military, impotent. Coast Guard - dangerous. FDA - waste of time. CIA, FBI - contractors are better.

    In my ward, we have families that we know don't do all they can to help themselves. Is the bishops storehouse program a travesty because there are those who take advantage of the system?

    Tully... I really am impressed that you and your partner live on 4 dollars a day... that your entire food budget for a month is about $120 dollars, and you can afford to buy fresh produce on that.... I am very impressed. $28 a week for groceries is impressive. I hope you see that raising kids on $50 a week is a challenge for many.

    Why we must delve into politicizing everything...

  • nmjim SANDIA PARK, NM
    June 29, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    We were on food stamps while in college for a couple months back in the late 1970's when there was a lot LESS food assistance available, and we were blown away by the abundance of monetary value in our food stamps. They equaled almost more than TWICE what we were accustomed to spending on food.
    If food stamps are so sub-standard, why are so many users selling them for half of face value for cash? We are approached at least once a month by someone in a Wal-Mart parking lot offering to sell their EBT or SNAP card for half what they claim is the remaining balance on the card. We also have quasi-regular scandals involving stores and businesses who accept such cards in exchange for cash, even thought this is of course against the law.
    Not to mention the regular use by so many using food assistance cards in our friendly local gambling casinos.....
    I'm often confused with the alternating messages we get in the media: Most American children are overweight and then the next week we are informed that "38% (this varies of course) of American children go to bed hungry."

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 29, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    @ samhill

    Interesting theory. Here's an alternative: we have a socialist/ capitalist hybrid system that has worked to bolster the income and returns for the managerial and capital-owning class while keeping the working class underutilized and poor through among other things, a complicated tax code and unaccountable bureaucracy. It's cheap and low-rent to blame a particular president for a problem that has thirty+ years of momentum behind it, but hey, no one's ever accused Republicans of intellectual sophistication.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 29, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    @ samhill -- The reason why food assistance is the entire budget for some families is that they spend most of their income on rent and transportation. Some of the poor also live in "food deserts," something the article does not mention. It's one thing to shop for nutritious foods in your friendly, affordable, suburban store. It's another to live where no such businesses exist. If you only have public transportation and your feet, you're going to be limited.

    Time poverty also exists when people are holding down multiple jobs, are single parents, etc.

    It's not too difficult to figure this stuff out, if you exercise your compassion, instead of just venting your spleen.

    As for the rest of the political propaganda, I don't have the time to overcome intentional ignorance.

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    June 29, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    Sally--I think the time poverty comes from working two or three low paying jobs just to pay the rent. Also, a lot of people on food stamps are single mothers and you just don't have as much time with only one adult to do all the necessary things. However, I agree with you that much of this could be overcome with more training about cooking simple meals that don't take too much time but are also cheap and high in nutrients. It isn't the way the most people in our culture cook and the knowledge needs to be re-learned. I think that poor people 50 years ago probably knew how to do it but it somehow hasn't been passed on.

    Everyone I have personally known who was on food stamps said that they got more than their family really needed to eat. However, this was in lower cost-of-living areas and with people who had basic cooking skills. I think that if you live in a higher cost of living area it is harder. In any case, I would not be opposed to lowering the amount of money given out for food stamps.

  • E & EE Ann arbor, MI
    June 29, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    I'm skeptical about the $4 a day part. I know a family of four (mom, dad, and two young kids) who receive about $800 a month from food stamps. It's ridiculous! I spend about $240 a month for my (small) family and feel like we eat just fine. And we could definitely find ways to cut back if we needed to. Budgeting isn't really that hard.

  • Tully Bascomb Logan, UT
    June 29, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    $4 a day for food, huh? I assume that's per person, too. Well, that doesn't sound too bad. It's almost twice what we spend for food. My wife and I have wondered sometimes how difficult it would be to go on food stamps and almost double our food budget.

    In reality, one of the challenges that many on food stamps face is they do not know how to cook. Many times diets consist of prepared food that is both expensive and not the most nutritious (usually high in sodium, sugar, etc. . .). In this situation it is difficult to buy enough food on $4/day per person. Additionally, in a household where both parents work, and in single parent households, sometimes time to prepare food can be an issue.

    I suggest a partial solution: Require those who receive govt. assistance for food to attend cooking classes where they learn to prepare food that is both less expensive and more nutritious than what they might otherwise eat. Then the amount of food stamp assistance could be decreased (saving $$$), people would hopefully eat more healthily, and, uh, maybe a few jobs would be created (pay people to teach the cooking classes).

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    What utter nonsense!

    As mentioned, this is called the Nutritional Assistance Program because it is meant as just that. It is **not** intended to fund the entirety of someone's food expenses. Nor should it.

    Like all other "assistance" programs, of which there are many, SNAP has grown incredibly during the last few years. It is not mere coincidence that this is also the term of Obama's presidency.

    Observing the the continuous blossoming of these various forms of income/wealth redistributions, all part of the socialist formula for government administered "equality", I am increasingly convinced that, like so much else from our taxes that drip back on us from those all-wise and all-knowing government managerial types, they are **always** doomed to be inefficient, insufficient and generally, ineffective.

    More than anything else, these various programs are merely manifestations of the highest ideal of governmental agencies, of all organisms really. That is, of course, self-preservation.

    And, when it comes to governments, that is best done through continually increasing power and influence. Which, conversely, means a continually decreasing power and influence by those subjected by government. Namely, the people. More specifically, each one of us.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    June 29, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    Time poverty? We all have the same 24 hours per day. Many of us have learned to use crockpots so meals are ready when we need them. Prep time is the night before or on the weekends. Many of us live on tight budgets and time, so we learn to adjust our lives to meet the needs of our family. Great time for children to learn new skills in cooking and organization. It also helps in reading and math skills.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    June 29, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    A better question is why do we have 47 million people on food stamps and why do we have so many citizens putting up with a president and congress that are the main reasons for such. I find it it stunning at a minimum that so many otherwise intelligent human beings would act as if there is nothing that can be done about it. I want those 47 million eating like the kings that Americas, freed from government greed and a tyrant's joy should be experiencing!