Thursday, August 1, 2013

I don't understand the Missouri Food Stamp Program....

English: Logo of the .
English: Logo of the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We all understand that tough times hit and fortunately our government has programs set up to help us all when we hit hard times.  I learned a bit about these programs over the past year while I was transitioning through life, the Missouri Food Stamp program was one I qualified for and was able to use.

While I am grateful for this program, believe me there may have been times my kids and I may have been a bit hungry without it, however, I do not understand some of the rules of program.  

The program is designed to help families purchase food, but what I have found it pays for all kinds of restrictions of fat, calories, or nutrition.   I use to stand in amazement watching people buy 20+ bottles of soda, cases of candy, and enough frozen pizzas to feed an army and then I would watch them slide their little blue card through the card machine.   I never knew what the little blue card was until I received mine in the mail and learned to use it.  

I am the first to say I am against the government telling me what I can eat, or even buy, but I see that the Missouri Food Stamp program could use a good examining.   I don't really have problem with it paying for soda, candy, or junk food....I will admit that I bought some junk food with my food money.  However, there are things I wish the program would pay for.......

The things that I feel the food stamp money should pay for would include product to help people preserve their foods, help them learn to cook healthier, and supplies that will lead us to be a healthier generation. 

Did you know that meat is cheaper if bought in bulk?  Yes you can often get mean for a dollar cheaper a pound if you buy the biggest quantity available, but how do you preserve 20 pounds of fresh meat if you can't afford to buy good freezer bags or even a freezer?  

Did you know that canned fruit is full of sugar, but if you buy fresh fruit and freeze it, that it is not only
healthier, but also cheaper in the long run?  

Many people on the food stamp program have a yard, why does the program not pay for garden seeds, or canning supplies so that people could grow and preserve their own food?  

You can buy bottled water on food stamps, but you can't buy a water filter....would it not be cheaper to pay for a $30 water filter than to pay for 6 cases of bottle of water a month? 

Many people thinks that you can use your food stamp money for cash and to buy whatever you want, but did you know that there are limited places that you can purchase things.  Many orchards, farmer's markets, and butcher shops are not equipped or set up to take food stamps.   

Food stamps do not pay for cleaning supplies, or dishes.....I understand the money is allotted to pay for food, but I ask how do you prepare and serve food if you have no dishes, pans, or soap to wash the things after you prepare your food.  I wonder why there is not a list of things that you can get at least once with your food stamp money. 

What if you don't know how to cook, why does food stamps not pay for cook books, or why does the program not mail each family on the program a cookbook with healthy easy recipes? 

I have a list of things that I know could make the program better, I suspect this is just one of those things that I will scratch my head and wonder about.  I personally see that we are raising a whole generation of people that don't know where I food comes from, how to prepare our food, or even worse how to cook for their families.   


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