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SNAP (Food Stamp) soft drinks....


Martin Fisher
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14 minutes ago, kayb said:

It's not the child's fault he was born. If he's not capable of providing his own food, society ought to feed him, just because it's the humane thing to do.

 

 

It's not just the humane thing, it's the prudent long-term thing to do. Kids with full bellies learn better, focus better, behave better. Kids with full bellies are less likely to turn to illicit activities just to survive. There are lots of other moving parts there, too, but the old adage about the "ounce of prevention" still applies. 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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1 hour ago, chromedome said:

 

It's not just the humane thing, it's the prudent long-term thing to do. Kids with full bellies learn better, focus better, behave better. Kids with full bellies are less likely to turn to illicit activities just to survive. There are lots of other moving parts there, too, but the old adage about the "ounce of prevention" still applies. 

 

Even if one doesn't care about those kids, kids who behave better create a better learning environment for other kids at the school, too. Teachers and school staff who are having to manage unhappy and unruly kids all day are people who are not actually TEACHING.

 

I mean, I definitely fall into 'take care of them because it is the right thing to do' camp, but there really are a heck of a lot of practical points, too.

 

re: bottled water. I am glad you can get it on food stamps. I can see why someone would choose drinks with calories over bottled water if they are having to maximize the grocery budget, but bottled water seems like the sort of thing someone who has never had to worry about water quality would decide is a 'luxury' item and poor people don't need luxury items, because the only reason someone would buy bottled water is snobbery. It's ridiculous that people are in situations where they do have to buy bottled water to drink, but as long as they are in those situations, we should at least help them buy it. Safe water is a pretty basic need.

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1 hour ago, quiet1 said:

Safe water is a pretty basic need.

 

Yes it is.

e.g. Mixing infant formula and Coke doesn't strike me as a good idea.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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1 hour ago, cakewalk said:

I have not yet read the entire article, but I thought this might be of interest here:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/01/food-stamps-snap-soda-nyt

 

From the article: "No, low-income people aren't quaffing huge amounts of soda on the taxpayer dime."

 

Some folks certainly are. 

 

One of my friends is on SSI disability.

He receives about ~$140 in SNAP — $194 being the most a single person can receive.

He spends $50 to $60 per month on Coke and Dr. Pepper, as well as several dollars on junk food.

He's CONSTANTLY complaining about weight gain and limited funds for good food — and he does know how to cook!

 

 

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Also from the article:

"Wilde argues that soda restrictions in SNAP are worth considering—not in a knee-jerk way, but rather after seeing what happens in a carefully constructed pilot project. If the results suggest that soda restrictions end up reducing the quality of participants' diets by driving them out of the SNAP program, the idea should be scrapped, he says. And if it results in people making healthier purchases, then restrictions make sense—especially if packaged with incentives to buy more vegetables and fruit. (Early evidence suggests that soda taxes, another policy tool for improving diets, might be effective as well.)"

 

Seems reasonable.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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11 minutes ago, cdh said:

$60 in soda/month?  Your friend goes through a gallon a day?  2L bottles are regularly $0.99, so to blow $60, that is 2 2L bottles daily for a month.  Are you sure you're not exaggerating?

 

He lives in Florida.

He told me that a 2 liter bottle of Coke or Dr. Pepper usually costs him $2.00 to $2.50 per bottle but he does sometimes find them on sale — 3/$5.00 or 2/$3.50

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Yes it is.

e.g. Mixing infant formula and Coke doesn't strike me as a good idea.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if someone had tried mixing formula and some kind of juice, though. But the time that a kid needs formula is short compared to the time they need fluids and lots of calories in general, which is when I see stuff other than water seeming more cost effective. I've certainly had times when I grabbed a can of something like Coke or whatever was available in the vending machine and I needed SOME calories to keep me going - though that has usually been from access restrictions (waiting for someone at the hospital for example) not watching my pennies. Still, it does kind of work.

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3 minutes ago, quiet1 said:

But the time that a kid needs formula is short compared to the time they need fluids and lots of calories in general, which is when I see stuff other than water seeming more cost effective.

 

Yes, nutrient-dense calories — not empty calories.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Yes, nutrient-dense calories — not empty calories.

 

What liquids are nutrient dense and shelf stable, though? Sodas and fruit juices are pretty tolerable even at room temp, but shelf stable dairy is nasty, assuming it is even available. I suspect most people buying junk food on food stamps know it isn't great food, but it seems the best purchase for other reasons, like calories per dollar and how long it will keep and how reliably it is consumed. If bottled water and soda or juice blends are pretty close in cost (which they often are) then you do get more for your money with the sweet drink because empty calories are still calories, your body will run on them and it might be enough that kids are able to sleep because their stomachs aren't hurting from hunger.

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1 minute ago, quiet1 said:

What liquids are nutrient dense and shelf stable, though?

 

I think nutrient dense foods are best but there are some shelf stable beverages that provide more nutrition that soda pop and the like, e.g. powdered milk which can be mixed with good water, shelf stable almond milk such as Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, shelf stable soy milk such as WestSoy or Silk, shelf stable cows milk such as Parmalat or Borden, etc.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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2 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

I think nutrient dense foods are best but there are some shelf stable beverages that provide more nutrition that soda pop and the like, e.g. powdered milk which can be mixed with good water, shelf stable almond milk such as Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, shelf stable soy milk such as WestSoy or Silk, shelf stable cows milk such as Parmalat or Borden, etc.

 

Like I said, all the shelf stable milk I've tried has been pretty gross, especially at room temp. I can see that being a factor, since food no one will eat doesn't do anyone any good. (And I know the theory is if they're hungry enough, they will eat it, but if I imagine an over worked single parent shopping and trying to get a meal into the kids before collapsing for desperately needed sleep, I can't help but think the temptation would be to avoid setting yourself up for a battle over if the kids will actually eat.)

 

I wonder what the actual percentages are for people on food stamps with unsafe water, and how much purchasing habits would shift in those areas if potable water was available easily and free.

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8 minutes ago, quiet1 said:

I wonder what the actual percentages are for people on food stamps with unsafe water, and how much purchasing habits would shift in those areas if potable water was available easily and free.

 

I don't know but almost any good church or the like is happy to provide good water — around here anyway.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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1 minute ago, quiet1 said:

 

Like I said, all the shelf stable milk I've tried has been pretty gross, especially at room temp. I can see that being a factor, since food no one will eat doesn't do anyone any good. (And I know the theory is if they're hungry enough, they will eat it, but if I imagine an over worked single parent shopping and trying to get a meal into the kids before collapsing for desperately needed sleep, I can't help but think the temptation would be to avoid setting yourself up for a battle over if the kids will actually eat.)

 

I wonder what the actual percentages are for people on food stamps with unsafe water, and how much purchasing habits would shift in those areas if potable water was available easily and free.

 

A lot of times it's a function of urban vs. rural (rural water users are subject to having longer pipe runs, or even shallow wells, and also subject to surface pollution from livestock waste, fertilizer, pesticide, etc.). In urban areas, the question depends on how old the water system is, how old the area of town is, how old the individual house is; the older any of the above, the more likely there are problems, like in Flint's case.

 

Here in Arkansas, it's estimated that more than half the small-town water systems and wastewater treatment systems are of an age they will begin to experience major failure incidences in the next five years. And half the small towns in Arkansas is a big part of Arkansas, given that we've got damn few big towns.

 

Someone pointed out earlier that bottled water can be purchased with SNAP. That needs to remain in place.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

A lot of times it's a function of urban vs. rural (rural water users are subject to having longer pipe runs, or even shallow wells, and also subject to surface pollution from livestock waste, fertilizer, pesticide, etc.). In urban areas, the question depends on how old the water system is, how old the area of town is, how old the individual house is; the older any of the above, the more likely there are problems, like in Flint's case.

 

Here in Arkansas, it's estimated that more than half the small-town water systems and wastewater treatment systems are of an age they will begin to experience major failure incidences in the next five years. And half the small towns in Arkansas is a big part of Arkansas, given that we've got damn few big towns.

 

Someone pointed out earlier that bottled water can be purchased with SNAP. That needs to remain in place.

 

 

 

Yeah, around here it is an age of the pipes thing, and of course in cheaper housing no one is paying to replace it all any time soon. But we are urban.

 

I actually think it'd be better if the water WASN'T deducted from the SNAP benefits. Water should really be free. I can't see how you'd do that practically, of course, but as a principle - people shouldn't be deciding between spending money on water and money on food. I know there are some distribution systems, but anything that requires an extra stop adds complexity and takes time, which means more people are tempted to just buy everything at the store even if it isn't the best option rather than making the extra trip or extra stop. (I've done that, and I do not have the time management issues that someone would who is working multiple jobs and being a single parent.)

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3 hours ago, quiet1 said:

I actually think it'd be better if the water WASN'T deducted from the SNAP benefits. Water should really be free. I can't see how you'd do that practically, of course,

 

Oh, it's quite possible. Easy, in fact. The 2% food tax is forgiven on SNAP purchases in this state, and the computer programs have no problem with charging the higher  6-3/4% tax rate on toilet paper and such, sorting them out and making benefits recipients pay cash for such items. Water would be no different.

 

Interestingly, some groceries around here disallow bread from the deli and allow Big Ag bread on the program, and others allow the deli bread. I put that down to bad programming on the part of the ones that prohibit it. It's easier to not allow everything from the deli, but it's not right either. Then to add insult to injury, they also charge tax on top of something that should legally be covered by the program.

 

 

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 

Oh, it's quite possible. Easy, in fact. The 2% food tax is forgiven on SNAP purchases in this state, and the computer programs have no problem with charging the higher  6-3/4% tax rate on toilet paper and such, sorting them out and making benefits recipients pay cash for such items. Water would be no different.

 

Interestingly, some groceries around here disallow bread from the deli and allow Big Ag bread on the program, and others allow the deli bread. I put that down to bad programming on the part of the ones that prohibit it. It's easier to not allow everything from the deli, but it's not right either. Then to add insult to injury, they also charge tax on top of something that should legally be covered by the program.

 

 

 

A former governor, James Florio, tried taxing toilet paper in this state.  He was not reelected.  And with few exceptions we do not pay tax on food at all.

 

I can't think of a more regressive tax than toilet paper.  Monarchs have gone to the guillotine for less.

 

 

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Actually, why not allow stuff from the deli? The deli here usually has way better products for sandwiches than you can buy on the shelf (like actual roasted turkey that isn't pumped full of flavoring and sodium) and a sandwich with decent meat is not a bad meal, particularly compared to a lot of packaged off the shelf stuff.

 

Plus often the heat-and-go foods are classed as deli, and those are still, again, way more nutritious than many similarly easy to prepare alternatives. If we want people to eat better they need to be able to do so easily.

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4 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I can't think of a more regressive tax than toilet paper.

 

8% sales tax in this county of NY.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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4 hours ago, quiet1 said:

Actually, why not allow stuff from the deli?

 

If it's cold/unheated, it's permitted.

If it's hot or intended to be eaten in the store, it's not.

In most states, anyway.

 

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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On 1/15/2017 at 5:02 PM, cdh said:

SNAP is an agricultural subsidy program as much as it is a feeding people program.  USA  agricultural policy incentivizes and rewards massive overproduction of corn and soy, and the subsidies are there to help move engineered corn and soy byproducts in the market.  You're not going to get restrictions on SNAP card users, when the other beneficiaries are counting on them to buy the HFCS laden stuff that you're characterizing as junk.  If you want less junk in the system, move the incentives and subsidies away from rewarding farmers for growing so much stuff that gets turned into it.

 

CDH? thank you, this gives me the final puzzle piece

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19 hours ago, GlorifiedRice said:

Here is the Pa WIC list, click to enlarge

 

Some of the restrictions on that are dumb. Why no nuts allowed in bread or cereals? Umm...good source of protein & calories? And many of the restrictions make it harder to send with a child going to daycare or a mother going to work (no single serving yogurts, chunks of cheese, individual servings of cereal). Sure, you can buy containers or ziploc bags to make portions, but that requires an initial outlay of those bags/containers and those can get up there in price, stretching a budget. That thing reads like a subsidy list.

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"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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