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On being poor and eating...


Martin Fisher
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8 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

To those who are poor (able-bodied) and think they can't cook or don't have the time, at least get a CrockPot!!!

Taking advantage of the food bank here REQUIRES cooking!

Dry pinto beans, dry great north beans, dry red beans, split peas, lentils, rice, pasta, meat, raw potatoes, etc.

That stuff makes up at least 75%-80% of what's available at the food bank.

 

Some 40 years ago I remember standing behind people using food stamps in a neighborhood supermarket, agonizing that they were buying Prego and Hamburger Helper, wishing that I could somehow tap them on the shoulder, bring them home and teach them how to cook from scratch.    So much cheaper, so much more healthful for them, so much better for the planet.   Too inhibited then to do so.   Should have.

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eGullet member #80.

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Another way I save on SNAP is to almost never buy packaged drinks of any type.

I drink water, coffee, and tea, 99.9% of the time.

I installed a six-stage reverse osmosis water filtration system with a permeate pump (conserves water) in 2010 when I bought this place.

It's been an excellent investment — $200 — I've recouped that MANY times.

The water it produces is just like premium spring water.

The filtered water goes to the cats too! 😺

 

A friend drinks mostly Dr. Pepper — one+ 2 liter bottle(s) every day.

One of the reasons why his SNAP runs-out long before the end of the month!

 

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~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, DiggingDogFarm said:

I drink water, coffee, and tea, 99.9% of the time.

 

That's pretty much me as well, though I splurge on a couple of beers most weeks (which I'm pretty sure drops me from 99.9% to...98-point-something?) as well. Don't think of milk as a beverage, have no taste for fruit juice or sweet 'n' fizzy stuff.

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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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4 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

Another way I save on SNAP is to almost never buy packaged drinks of any type.

I drink water, coffee, and tea, 99.9% of the time.

I installed a six-stage reverse osmosis water filtration system with a permeate pump (conserves water) in 2010 when I bought this place.

It's been an excellent investment — $200 — I've recouped that MANY times.

The water it produces is just like premium spring water.

The filtered water goes to the cats too! 😺

 

A friend drinks mostly Dr. Pepper — one+ 2 liter bottle(s) every day.

One of the reasons why his SNAP runs-out long before the end of the month!

 

 

Sadly, I think your last 2 statements are what is wrong with the SNAP program. Or one of the things wrong with the program.  But that gets into a whole other political/socio-economic thing.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Most of what I see people using EBT/SNAP at the 99cent store for example are purchasing vegetables, and staples. Thankfully our Farmers Markets are on board as well. Also the luxury of living in a large city with many ethnic markets near major bus routes. Selection and stellar pricing PLUS access. 

Edited by heidih (log)
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Arkansas has a program where SNAP dollars get two-for-one at participating farmers' markets. The market processes the SNAP amount, gives the shopper twice the specified amount in tokens, which the shopper then spends at the individual booths. Helps the farmers, helps the shoppers, all around good deal.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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4 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

Sadly, I think your last 2 statements are what is wrong with the SNAP program. Or one of the things wrong with the program.  But that gets into a whole other political/socio-economic thing.

 

Tough to force healthier options. I get no cigarettes and alcohol but your gonna take the one thing that makes the poor guy happy?  But yeah, hear you.  

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That wasn't chicken

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39 minutes ago, Eatmywords said:

 

Tough to force healthier options. I get no cigarettes and alcohol but your gonna take the one thing that makes the poor guy happy?  But yeah, hear you.  

 

Well, you see I believe the government should pay for the soda and the healthy food. But then it also needs to pay for education and the health care when someone develops any number of diseases from poor diet..

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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The friend mentioned above is one of my ex-partners — so I'm tough on him!

The problem is that he drinks Dr. Pepper and complains loudly that he's getting fat and he doesn't have enough food.

I point out what a horrible choice it is and what a terrible money manager he is — tough love!!! LOL

Truth is, if SNAP didn't cover the Dr. Pepper, he'd pay for it with his SSI funds.

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~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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36 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

The friend mentioned above is one of my ex-partners — so I'm tough on him!

The problem is that he drinks Dr. Pepper and complains loudly that he's getting fat and he doesn't have enough food.

I point out what a horrible choice it is and what a terrible money manager he is — tough love!!! LOL

Truth is, if SNAP didn't cover the Dr. Pepper, he'd pay for it with his SSI funds.

Can I just say (from what I remember many years ago) Diet Dr Pepper is one of the better tasting diet sodas.

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That wasn't chicken

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  • 2 weeks later...

Someone had to give up their espresso machine on Freecycle because fixing it could come to $500.

 

I took a chance and picked it up.

 

Spent 1/2 a day and got it fixed. Interesting that I couldn't find any fix-it video on youtube.

 

It's a Pasquini Livietta T2. Adding shipping and tax, the thing could come to $1,200 buying new. It costed me $0.00.

 

dcarch

 

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Edited by dcarch (log)
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~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 year later...

I'm doing okay with SNAP, but as a whole things are a disaster for me.

SNAP is a needs based program that's based on your income.

In short, and in my case. SSI is my main source of income and used to pay part of my food bill.

Problem is, that SSI is a disaster that hasn't been much updated since it started in 1972.

I live well below the poverty level.

This is a very serious problem, and not the right way to treat disabled folks.

SSI and SNAP don't begin to keep up with inflation.

The way things work, when my SSI goes up a little at the first of the year, my SNAP goes down!!!

Well, I haven't got a lot of years left to worry about it.

 

And so it goes...

 

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~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 minutes ago, Martin Fisher said:

I'm doing okay with SNAP, but as a whole things are a disaster for me.

SNAP is a needs based program that's based on your income.

In short, and in my case. SSI is my main source of income and used to pay part of my food bill.

Problem is, that SSI is a disaster that hasn't been much updated since it started in 1972.

I live well below the poverty level.

This is a very serious problem, and not the right way to treat disabled folks.

SSI and SNAP don't begin to keep up with inflation.

The way things work, when my SSI goes up a little at the first of the year, my SNAP goes down!!!

Well, I haven't got a lot of years left to worry about it.

 

And so it goes...

 

 

That's terrible.

 

What can we do to help?

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19 minutes ago, gfweb said:

What can we do to help?

 

Thanks for caring...I'm sure I'll survive.

I may move this to the "How are you doing?" thread because there's related stuff going on.

~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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Martin, I don’t know that there’s a whole lot I can offer from the wilds of Arkansas except concern and prayers, but I’m more than willing to chip in on a letter writing campaign, if it will help.

 

Let me know if there’s anything I can do.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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@Martin Fisher yes our food pantries and kitchens are stressed out here. Our SNAP version is CalFresh and accepted at Farmers Markets. My son ran the market money for a while and was heartened that so many use it. Can't live in a healthy way on dented cans and cases of ramen.Volunteers connect with the regular farmers at Farmers Markets as they often have produce not worth hauling back to thier farms which can be hours away. I've also heard them at the meat counter asking if there are donations for the day. On meat I am not sure if they are bending rues a bit but...  

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This is such a multi-faceted problem everywhere. Our township had (pre-Covid,) a cool little program sponsored by Canadian Tire and staffed by volunteers. It was 1.5 hours once a week for 6 weeks and participants were taught to make one dish meals using budet ingredients and only an electric frying pan. There was a short shopping/nutrition talk, then the recipe was made and walked through and served to participants and their children (childcare was provided onsite by volunteers.) If one completed all 6 classes, they got an electric frying pan to keep. It was quite popular and I was looking forward to volunteering once I retired. Hopefully it can get up and running soon. I think this type of program along with financial aid (whatever it's called where you live) and food banks would be helpful to at least some of the people in need.

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47 minutes ago, MaryIsobel said:

This is such a multi-faceted problem everywhere. Our township had (pre-Covid,) a cool little program sponsored by Canadian Tire and staffed by volunteers. It was 1.5 hours once a week for 6 weeks and participants were taught to make one dish meals using budet ingredients and only an electric frying pan. There was a short shopping/nutrition talk, then the recipe was made and walked through and served to participants and their children (childcare was provided onsite by volunteers.) If one completed all 6 classes, they got an electric frying pan to keep. It was quite popular and I was looking forward to volunteering once I retired. Hopefully it can get up and running soon. I think this type of program along with financial aid (whatever it's called where you live) and food banks would be helpful to at least some of the people in need.

 

 

That sounds very useful! 

 

BC also has a Farmers' Market coupon program. Lower income, seniors and pregnant women can get a minimum of $21/week (in 2021, not sure what it will be this year) to spend at farmers' markets throughout the province. This is a bonus during the summer and Fall and is in addition to any other support received. I love it, because top-quality produce can be hard to find on a budget. We have a few excellent farmers' markets here and I shop them and the local farms and there is some great stuff growing here. Also, there are some downtown markets and more rural markets so accessibility shouldn't be too bad. 

Quote

 

Coupons can be spent at all BCAFM member farmers’ markets that participate in the FMNCP, and can be used to purchase vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, dairy, cut herbs, meat and fish.

Each household enrolled in the program is eligible to receive a minimum of $21/week in coupons. The program runs throughout the summer months when produce is most abundant across the province. In 2021, coupons can be used at any participating BC Farmers’ Market from June 12th – December 11th.

 

 

The Food Banks also get donations of produce, dairy and bakery items but I love this market program because it lets people choose the items they most want, and not just produce. And I think it is available to people who may not want/need to make use of the Food Bank. It simply helps lower income or vulnerable populations access fresh produce. 

 

For comparison, my CSA program delivers about $30 worth of produce each week and it's a lot for two people at times. 

Edited by FauxPas (log)
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12 hours ago, MaryIsobel said:

This is such a multi-faceted problem everywhere. Our township had (pre-Covid,) a cool little program sponsored by Canadian Tire and staffed by volunteers. It was 1.5 hours once a week for 6 weeks and participants were taught to make one dish meals using budet ingredients and only an electric frying pan. There was a short shopping/nutrition talk, then the recipe was made and walked through and served to participants and their children (childcare was provided onsite by volunteers.) If one completed all 6 classes, they got an electric frying pan to keep. It was quite popular and I was looking forward to volunteering once I retired. Hopefully it can get up and running soon. I think this type of program along with financial aid (whatever it's called where you live) and food banks would be helpful to at least some of the people in need.

 

Arkansas also has a branch of a national program similar to this: Cooking Matters, which comes with a cookbook, $20 worth of groceries a week, and provides instruction on how to make tasty, healthy meals on a SNAP budget. There are classes aimed specifically at latchkey kids that focus on healthy snacks, too.

 

But I submit this kind of thing is of little use to someone like Martin, who likely knows more about cooking than I do. Martin's problem appears to be the oft-repeated, "too much month atthe end of the money," which is a pitiful comment on the state of society and public assistance.

 

Hang in, friend. Let me know what I can do to help.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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6 hours ago, kayb said:

 

Arkansas also has a branch of a national program similar to this: Cooking Matters, which comes with a cookbook, $20 worth of groceries a week, and provides instruction on how to make tasty, healthy meals on a SNAP budget. There are classes aimed specifically at latchkey kids that focus on healthy snacks, too.

 

But I submit this kind of thing is of little use to someone like Martin, who likely knows more about cooking than I do. Martin's problem appears to be the oft-repeated, "too much month atthe end of the money," which is a pitiful comment on the state of society and public assistance.

 

Hang in, friend. Let me know what I can do to help.

 

 

6 hours ago, kayb said:

 

Arkansas also has a branch of a national program similar to this: Cooking Matters, which comes with a cookbook, $20 worth of groceries a week, and provides instruction on how to make tasty, healthy meals on a SNAP budget. There are classes aimed specifically at latchkey kids that focus on healthy snacks, too.

 

But I submit this kind of thing is of little use to someone like Martin, who likely knows more about cooking than I do. Martin's problem appears to be the oft-repeated, "too much month atthe end of the money," which is a pitiful comment on the state of society and public assistance.

 

Hang in, friend. Let me know what I can do to help.

 

Definitely not aimed at people like Martin, but there are so many that are two or three generations in of not being taught anything about budget cooking or nutrition. I do understand that buying crap is easier and cheaper than buying fresh food. Add to that suboptimal housing and equipped kitchens and therein lies the problem. That's why I love the idea of cooking a wholesome meal in a single electric frying pan/skillet. Even in a single occupancy room there is always an electrical oultet.

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