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Bureaucrats try food stamp diet


fresco
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Do BK and McD's take food stamps?  Wasn't assistance the issue?

some do actually - or used to in the early - mid 90s.

It depends on the state. NJ will not in IL they do...

Living hard will take its toll...
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Do BK and McD's take food stamps?  Wasn't assistance the issue?

some do actually - or used to in the early - mid 90s.

I think you are incorrect, on this. Restaurants, of any kind, have never been allowed to accept food stamps.

EDIT: See below for partial correction.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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From the FDA website:

The homeless (no kitchen) and the elderly or disabled (unable to cook on their own) may in some cases be able to exchange for prepared food. Otherwise, no.

To participate in the Food Stamp Program:

Households may have no more than $2,000 in countable resources, such as a bank account ($3,000 if at least one person in the household is age 60 or older, or is disabled). Certain resources are not counted, such as a home and lot. Special rules are used to determine the resource value of vehicles owned by household members.

The gross monthly income of most households must be 130 percent or less of the Federal poverty guidelines ($1,654 per month for a family of three in most places, effective Oct. 1, 2003 through Sept. 30, 2004). Gross income includes all cash payments to the household, with a few exceptions specified in the law or the program regulations.

Net monthly income must be 100 percent or less of Federal poverty guidelines ($1,272 per month for a household of three in most places, effective Oct. 1, 2003 through Sept. 30, 2004). Net income is figured by adding all of a household's gross income, and then taking a number of approved deductions for child care, some shelter costs and other expenses. Households with an elderly or disabled member are subject only to the net income test.

Most able-bodied adult applicants must meet certain work requirements.

All household members must provide a Social Security number or apply for one.

Federal poverty guidelines are established by the Office of Management and Budget, and are updated annually by the Department of Health and Human Services.

8. What is the average benefit from the Food Stamp Program?

The average monthly benefit was about $80 per person and almost $186 per household in FY 2002. See the chart below for a listing of maximum benefits available to households of various sizes.

9. What foods are eligible for purchase with food stamps?

Households CAN use food stamp benefits to buy:

Foods for the household to eat, such as:

breads and cereals;

fruits and vegetables;

meats, fish and poultry; and

dairy products.

Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.

Households CANNOT use food stamp benefits to buy:

Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco;

Any nonfood items, such as:

pet foods;

soaps, paper products; and

household supplies.

Vitamins and medicines.

Food that will be eaten in the store.

Hot foods

In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept food stamp benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals. Food stamp benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Hot foods

In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept food stamp benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals. Food stamp benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.

All well and good if properly done. But...

Living hard will take its toll...
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Juicy juice, by the way, is 100% juice, not from concentrate. Actually might qualify as having nutrition.

How many kids really grow up not knowing how to scramble an egg or make pasta/rice? That just seems unlikely to me, but I guess it must happen. How sad. I think the real issue here is that we as a political society tend to make mass generalizations about what "the poor" should do when what needs to happen is individual guidance. Take the opportunities you have in your life to make a difference and do it.

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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I find it amazing that there are so many people, poor or rich, that don't know how to cook.

Poeple argue that they don't have time to cook, well look at what they do have time for. It's a matter of priorities.

I know how to cook but seldom do. Is that a moral issue? I think not. Do you think it is?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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The poor in this country are better off than any place else.

Have you done a careful comparison with the situation poor people are in in more egalitarian countries - like most other industrialized countries - such that you can make this statement authoritatively? And, to get this back to the topic of food, how about the diets of poor people in Canada, Europe, and Japan? Are they better (more nutritious, less pesticide-laden, whatever) than the diets of poor people in the U.S., and if so (how would we establish that, though?), isn't that a measure of being "better off"? I think we'd all be better off not posting rhetoric and slogans and sticking to things that are quantifiable or at least qualifiable. Otherwise, we'll just have a "Yes it is!" "No it isn't!" shouting match, which will neither serve anyone nor be entertaining. :biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Seven city and county officials in the Portland, Oregon, area tried living on food stamps for the month of November, but not all of them were able to make it through the month.

Said one: "You have to make all of your food. You have to bring your lunch. You can't get your latte."

http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2003/...news/news10.txt

Every immigrant family I know cooks most everything from scratch, not surprisingly...

One of my tightwadding tips from my freelancing days was to buy from ethnic markets. Forced me to cook more meals from scratch, but also encouraged me to eat a lot of greens, and lay off the prepared foods. Learned a lot about cooking, looked and felt a lot better than I had in years, and of course, kept the bills down.

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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Juicy juice, by the way, is 100% juice, not from concentrate.  Actually might qualify as having nutrition.

How many kids really grow up not knowing how to scramble an egg or make pasta/rice?  That just seems unlikely to me, but I guess it must happen.  How sad.  I think the real issue here is that we as a political society tend to make mass generalizations about what "the poor" should do when what needs to happen is individual guidance.   Take the opportunities you have in your life to make a difference and do it.

Keep in mind that many poor, and the most problematic, extremely isolated physically, socially, and intellectually from the rest of the world. They have no role models, or bad role models. They attend substandard schools. They receive very little moral training. They don't know or understand alternatives, or they don't believe they have the brains or talent to move on. They rarely leave their neighborhood or see anyone different from themselves. They make bad choices and do dumb, or evil, things because they don't know any better and they get trapped by the decisions they made, and they pass their ignorance on to their children.

I know, many, probably most, poor people are not like this. But a significant portion are. And when you're the semi-literate 16-year-old mother of two children; workign part-time for minimum wage at the Popeyes; worried about money, a roof, and maybe a little affection; and the most economically successful members of your extended family are the cousin in construction who moved far away from you as fast as she could, and the drug-dealing brother, lectures on nutrition aren't really going to have much affect on your life.

If we are going to claim the right to micromanage people's lives, you should at least understand something about them.

EDITED TO ADD: I think I'm mostly agreeing with Cusina (and Fresco), and taking issue with some of the other, more harshly judgemental posts earlier in the thread.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Busboy, I think we should be careful about implying that poverty is associated with dissolution and wealth isn't. I wouldn't want to compare the behavior or moral character of wealthy people with that of poor people, and I suggest that we might not want to go further down that road. All of which goes to show that even well-intentioned posts that make generalizations about poverty other than "poor people lack capital" or "poor people owe more than they earn and are having difficulty attempting to pay off their debts" are fraught with danger.

Let's get this back to food.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Busboy, I think we should be careful about implying that poverty is associated with dissolution and wealth isn't.  I wouldn't want to compare the behavior or moral character of wealthy people with that of poor people, and I suggest that we might not want to go further down that road. All of which goes to show that even well-intentioned posts that make generalizations about poverty other than "poor people lack capital" or "poor people owe more than they earn and are having difficulty attempting to pay off their debts" are fraught with danger.

Let's get this back to food.

I hope I did not imply that all poor people were stupid dissolute, and if I did, I apologized. People who lack capital, like people who do not, can be moral or immoral, hard-working or slothful etc, and are more good than bad. I see that every day.

Ignoring the many problems that face the most brutally impoverished communities -- which I was referring to -- is disingenuous, as well.

There is no question, however that certain behaviors are associated with poverty, particularly in entrenched poverty area. These include illegitimacy, which I will not call immoral, and violent crime, which I will.

The larger, food-oriented point was that people carping about bad eating eating habits, food stamp abuse etc. should understand that these things are part of a large and difficult cycle and needs to be seen and adressed as such, rather than taken as evidence of moral failure on the part some stereotypical welfare mom.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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actually those problems indicate a failure of the system in place.

if you can make welfare a lifestyle choice then that system is flawed. you can't really blame someone for working it for all it's worth.

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"...with some of the other, more harshly judgemental posts earlier in the thread."

May apply to some my my previous posts. In that I am a harsh, judgmental SOB, I can not apologize for what I am. However...

"Let's get this back to food." is probably a good idea. So if someone would care to swing this back to a food discussion, I will try to be less tempermental.

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Thank you fresco.

I will open with $125.00 per week. On the surface this seems low, but it averages out to $541.25 a month. Which should be more than sufficient to food a family of four for a month.

If this were to be done, I feel it is necessary to have a cooking and shopping class as well. Money for moneys sake is no good, you have to know what to do with it. And I think that if more people knew how to cook, at least some basics, than they would do better.

Once I started cooking for our family, I also took over the shopping. As you cook more, you learn more of what you can do. If you learn to shop better, than you will be able to buy better food. It's a vicious cycle.

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A household of two which meets eligibility requirements could receive up to $259 per month in assistance. Amy Dacyczyn, in her Tightwad Gazette, writes about how she feeds her family of eight on $180 per month. I've had friends who have purchased food for others with their leftover money because they never spent their allotment.

Throwing this up as a benchmark, both the public assistance and the tightwad gazette numbers. The $259 figure for two is close to GS Bravo's number, and may actually be based on a realistic calculation, though politics always has an influence.

I would run away from home if Amy Dacyczyn were my mom, or my wife.

Based on a rough claculation of what my family could live on, my guess is that anything $20/day ($140) for a family of four is pushing it, assuming you're not trying to impose a punitive diet and allowing a little variety, meat and "fun."

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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so question GSBravo - what does that $125.00 buy you?

Good, wholesome, food.

Oh, you want specifics. I'll have to think about this tonight and post an answer tommorrow. This will give me time to browse the food ads in todays paper and form a game plan.

So a menu for one week, family of four. What is the makeup of the family? Any particular likes/dislikes? What am I working with, other than $125.00? And what cooking skills do the adult members possess?

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The amount needed depends on where you live too. We live in the DC area and spend more than that, more along the lines of $8-900/month. Two adults, two kids, one 4 1/2 and one 19 months.

I typically shop 2-3 times per week. At the grocery store last night I spent $98.00. I got mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, cheddar cheese, milk, two loaves of bread, pita bread, some sliced turkey and swiss for sandwiches, calcium fortified OJ, and some tortilla chips. Subtract about $12 for diapers. No meat. I will probably go again this weekend and spend about the same.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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What about teaching people how to cook and shop? I agree these are important skills, and ones that people at all income levels don't necessarily have. Is it possible to offer classes like these without making them either punitive or mandatory?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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... without making them either punitive or mandatory?

That would be a trick. I really believe that with a little more knowledge, and a gentle push in the right direction, more people would cook for themselves.

I mean, on average, who cooks better- you or the guys/gals at the restaurant?

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