Eating healthy on 21 dollars per week...

  1. "no organic foods, no fresh vegetables, we were looking for the cheapest of everything," mcgovern said in an interview with the washington post at a washington supermarket. "we got spaghetti and hamburger meat that was high in fat—the fattiest meat on the shelf. i have high cholesterol and always try to get the leanest, but it's expensive. it's almost impossible to make healthy choices on a food stamp diet."
    ...
    even for those people who are not seeing eroding benefits over time, the reality is “there are health consequences” to living on such a limited budget for more than a few days. people on food stamps are often forced to choose foods with higher fat, breads that are not whole grain and processed foods with unhealthy levels of sodium and sugar—a dangerous combination for people prone to diabetes, heart disease or other diet-related health problems. “living (on $21 a week) for a week is different from living on it for six months,” weill said.
    ...
    that is why more people should demand to know why—in a year in which we are projected to give the wealthiest 1 percent of the nation some $56.5 billion in tax breaks, just to cite one example of the national priorities set by president bush—we can’t do better than an average of $21 a week to ensure that our fellow americans can have three decent meals a day.
    http://www.tompaine.com/articles/200...1_question.php
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on May 20, '07
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    About HM2VikingRN

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 11,159; Likes: 11,316

    91 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    Yeah, there's a shock. Fruits and vegetables are expensive.

    I always wonder how people with children can afford to feed them.
  4. by   Cymy
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Yeah, there's a shock. Fruits and vegetables are expensive.

    I always wonder how people with children can afford to feed them.
    In my house fruit is a special treat, vegetables are from a can or frozen. If I go out and buy $25 worth of fruit my kids eat it all in two days and I'm lucky if I can get a single banana or apple!
  5. by   TexasPediRN
    I may stir something up, however..

    I am under the impression that food stamps are supposed to be a suppliment, not the means for a persons entire food for the week.

    With that being the case, the food stamps would buy most needed items for the week, with the receiver supplimenting their own money for the rest of the food.

    But yes, fruits and veggies are expensive. Organic is not necessary for those on a tight budget (IMO).
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    A family pays for food stamps according to income. The income must be at or below the poverty level.
    The amount is $80.00 a month per person.
    http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/faqs.htm

    I think it would be a good idea for items like sodas and chips to be disallowed. You can't buy a bar of soap with food stamps (now a debit card). Why should you be able to buy junk?

    Still it takes a brilliant nutritionist to provide healthy meals for the amount food stamps provises.
    I know a nursing assistant who supports her mother, daughter, and grand child. She pays $170.00 for $240.00 in food stamps. It is a big help to her.
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    I really hate to blow a hole in the myth that you can't eat decently on food stamps, but having been a recipient myself in the past, I know it's actually quite possible.............IF you know how and where to shop.

    As someone already said, food stamps were never meant to be the only means of feeding a family, but a supplement to whatever income is available for food. Yes, fresh fruits and veggies are expensive, but seeds to grow them are not (and yes, food stamps can be used to buy seeds). Frozen and canned veggies and fruits are acceptable substitutes for fresh, and far better for you than candy.

    Soda pop and potato chips are expensive too.......so you either buy the store brands, or don't buy them at all. Unsweetened Koolaid packets, on the other hand, are about 30 cents apiece, and when you put your own sugar or Splenda in, it makes an inexpensive treat for the kids.

    You also have to shop around for the best buys in meats and other protein foods. Chicken can be had for sometimes as low as 59 cents a pound; turkey is also often less than a dollar a pound, and of course beans are a wonderful source of lean protein which cost very little and are incredibly versatile.

    You also don't buy packaged bakery goods, for obvious reasons; if you've got to have cookies and cake, you make your own. You also stay away from the bright, sugary cereals and buy oatmeal and farina, or the big bags of rice crispies and puffed rice.

    No, it's not haute cuisine, but it's do-able on a tight budget AND you won't starve to death. Believe me, I've been there and done that; you just have to be creative and flexible, and you have to be willing to cook---convenience just isn't possible on a food-stamp budget, sorry!
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from MeghanRN
    I may stir something up, however..

    I am under the impression that food stamps are supposed to be a suppliment, not the means for a persons entire food for the week.

    With that being the case, the food stamps would buy most needed items for the week, with the receiver supplimenting their own money for the rest of the food.

    But yes, fruits and veggies are expensive. Organic is not necessary for those on a tight budget (IMO).
    Even non organic produce is expensive.
  9. by   southernatheart
    My hat is SOOOOO off to you!!
  10. by   HM2VikingRN
    I think the larger issue is that we have billions to spend on tax breaks for the most affluent in our society while 25% of our children are growing up in poverty......
  11. by   Jolie
    Quote from HM2Viking
    I think the larger issue is that we have billions to spend on tax breaks for the most affluent in our society while 25% of our children are growing up in poverty......
    We don't spend money on tax breaks! The federal government has no money of its own to spend. It collects money from US taxpayers and re-allocates those funds to pay for programs, including food stamps.

    Tax cuts allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn, and have been proven time and time again to actually increase revenues to the federal government, because individuals are capable of spending and investing their OWN money more wisely than the federal government. It is out of control federal spending that damages our economy, not tax cuts.

    Entitlement programs have done precious little to reverse poverty. Trillions of dollars have been spent since the advent of the "Great Society" social programs without any decrease in the percentage of American families living in poverty. Pouring more money into a failing system will not fix it.
  12. by   TexasPediRN
    Quote from ingelein
    Even non organic produce is expensive.
    Yes, but also some stores have a "quick sale" section, which bruised fruit(or other fruit that needs to be sold quickly) is sold for very cheap - you just have to use it quickly and cut off the bad part.

    Its hard, but as previously said, its doable.
  13. by   VIXEN007
    Ditto on the above post! I am sorry that some people refuse to accept responsibility for their actions and produce children that they are unable to properly care for. I work and make a decent living, however, 45% of my income is deducted for taxes and social programs.
    Fresh vegetables can be grown in coffee cans and sawed off milk cartons. Dried beans are cheap and nutritious. You can make bean soup, hummus, cassoulet and even chipatis with cooked, dried beans. You can also take the fatty hamburger and boil the grease out of it and stir it into a pot of black beans and onions. You can eat that for days. I do. Bottom line, I do not mind helping my fellow americans. I give food and cash to the local pantry and homeless shelters. Everyone has their limits. I grew up in the worst projects imaginable. If I could make it, anyone can. This is the greatest country in the world. All you have to do is take advantage of the library system and the free and compulsory education and you can make something of yourself!
  14. by   HM2VikingRN
    i was not clear enough in my post. what i was saying was that tax breaks for the upper 1% of the economy wage earners are neither justifiable (or moral) when 25% of our children are growing up in poverty. tax cuts in the form of amt reform are most certainly justifiable for the middle class.

    the war on poverty was working. in the 70's poverty was at about 9% of the populace as a whole. since the early 80"s with cuts in the social safety net we have actually seen poverty creep up to about 12-13%.

    the bush tax "cuts" are harmful to the economy. (to pay for the cuts we are borrowing billions from the chinese every year.) an inconvenient truth:



    evidence fails to support administration claims
    that its tax cuts are critical for the economy

    the president's new budget claims that his tax cuts should be made permanent for the sake of both the economy and the budget. this claim is belied by the evidence.
    the years following the president's tax cuts have seen unexceptional economic growth and unusually weak revenue growth. despite the large tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, government data show that the current economic expansion is weaker than the average post-world war ii economic recovery with respect to an array of critical measures, including economic growth, investment, employment, wages and salaries, and net worth. employment growth has been slower during the current recovery than during any previous expansion since the end of world war ii. moreover, median income for non-elderly households has fallen for five straight years. in fact, the economy's overall performance has been somewhat weaker than in the recovery of the 1990s when taxes were increased.
    revenues, meanwhile, have declined slightly over the current business cycle (i.e., between the peak of the last business cycle in march 2001 and 2006), after adjusting for inflation and population growth. in previous business cycles, revenues (adjusted for inflation and population growth) have risen an average of 10 percent. the poor revenue performance in the current business cycle is a major reason why the nation's budgetary position worsened by a greater amount between 2000 and 2006 than in all but one other six-year period since world war ii, going from a surplus of 2.4 percent of gdp in 2000 to a deficit of 1.9 percent of gdp in 2006. (the largest six-year deterioration occurred between 1998 and 2004 and also reflected the impact of the tax cuts, as well as other factors.)


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