radioheid
Consider This: (The SNAP/"Food Stamp" Program)
October 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

 It seems you can't log on to a news or social networking site these days without seeing a post about obesity, the healthcare crisis, welfare spending or complaints about schools' food restrictions (as they relate to obesity).

If the food stamp program operates through the Department of Agriculture, why aren't we giving food stamp recipients farm foods? Cartons of eggs, baskets of fruits and vegetables, fresh cuts of meat, blocks of cheese, gallons of milk, beans and nuts, jars of honey, etc? I realize some states have programs that allow food stamp recipients to use local farmers markets, but I think it would help the American people---the food stamp recipient, the taxpayer and the American farmer---much more if food stamps became food stamps again, something people use to buy healthy, American farm-raised food.

I don't think people would complain about food stamps if they could see the program's benefits. Instead, we're reminded that over 40 million Americans use food stamps while our farms are dwindling and obesity rates are rising, and meanwhile many food stamp recipients load up their carts with processed junk. When people are made to use their own money to buy junk food, they buy less of it. Nobody wll be telling people what they can and cannot eat, only that a program funded by the American taxpayer should be one that benefits all of American society. With the money a person earns, said person should be able to spend at his or her discretion.

Thoughts?

Replies

  • ReginaStar
    October 9, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I don't believe people should be controlled by what they eat. Bottom line. Freedom. I'd rather people waste tax payer money on whatever food they will eat than waste it on the food in the trash b/c they were forced to buy stuff they don't eat or they it goes to waste b/c they can't eat it fast enough. I waste produce all the time so I know this is a problem. 

    Quoting radioheid:

     And yet you can't explain *why* its "BS".

    Don't worry, I know why you and others think its BS. You think its BS because people wouldn't be able to waste taxpayer money on garbage with no nutritional value anymore. It would mean people would have to use their own money to buy Cheetos and Debbie cakes. lol There is no other argument against reforming and *improving* the food stamp program to aid the economy and improve nutrition.

    Quoting ReginaStar:


    Quoting radioheid:

     Why not? Why wouldn't the government want to ensure that the program is being used for its intended purpose, which is to ensure adequate nutrition for the poor? This would have the added benefit of not only feeding the poor nutritious food, but helping the American farmer. I see it as win-win.

    Quoting ReginaStar:

    I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 

     

    Is your question is to why I don't think the recipients should be forced to buy certain products? B/c I think that is BS that is why. Different people have different diets and taste and should be able to choose what they want to eat even if it's food provided for by the government. Forcing certain foods only leads to a major waste in food. You also have to consider produce has a very short life span and people on assistance are the least likely to be able to get to the store often. 

     


  • kkrk1012
    October 9, 2012 at 11:16 AM
    I would go to the farmers market if I knew where one was in my area I'm trying go eat healthy w my kids just need meal ideas
  • radioheid
    October 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM

     Per your 7-11 comment: I'm sure this is very unpopular of an opinion, but I feel that at some point, people just have to figure shit out. Someone who is truly handicapped, that is one thing, and there are programs in place to help the handicapped with transportation. I know this because my dad drove the CATS bus for years. But American society as a whole has become a little bit lazy and entitled. If someone is giving you a ton of free food and that food is 2 miles away, you walk if you have to. My mother did it for years when you had to go to the food stamp office to pick up your stamps. I know because I sometimes walked with her as an 8, 9, 10-year old kid. Hell, we ran the one day because the office was about to close. And mom was overweight to boot. I also remember walking to the Salvation Army with her and carrying back bags of food. Didn't hurt us none, and the family got to eat. It was motivation for me to join the Air Force, and for my sisters to go to college. Too many people act like their feet don't work and a bit of a walk will kill them. I don't get it.

    As for the "food deserts": The food would have to be shipped in from elsewhere. I'm sure Iowa and Nebraska have a surplus of corn, just as Ohio has a surplus of soybeans, and Wisconsin has more than enough dairy. As it is, much of the world's garlic, broccoli, lettuce and artichokes come from the Salinas Valley in California.

     Quoting Sisteract:

    What about the poorer areas where food deserts already exist? How would these folks get the local fruits and veggies? A form of CSA for those in need?

    Many do not have the transportation needed to access either large stores or FMs- they eat the products that they can buy at 7-11.

     

  • Lizardannie1966
    October 9, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Aren't you Libertarian which, correct me if I am wrong, prefers limited government dictating on the private lives of citizens? or something to that effect?

    I don't believe that all SNAP recipients set out when they go grocery shopping, believing that they're getting the "free money" to buy boxes of Hamburger Helper and Yodels and aren't they lucky that they can still fill-up on crappy foods? IE...there are many on SNAP who want nutritional foods, too and many DO shop that way.

    It's that the government would be telling the recipients *what* they can buy that is perhaps her point and what she doesn't agree with?

    Quoting radioheid:

     And yet you can't explain *why* its "BS".

    Don't worry, I know why you and others think its BS. You think its BS because people wouldn't be able to waste taxpayer money on garbage with no nutritional value anymore. It would mean people would have to use their own money to buy Cheetos and Debbie cakes. lol There is no other argument against reforming and *improving* the food stamp program to aid the economy and improve nutrition.

    Quoting ReginaStar:



    I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 

     

    Is your question is to why I don't think the recipients should be forced to buy certain products? B/c I think that is BS that is why. Different people have different diets and taste and should be able to choose what they want to eat even if it's food provided for by the government. Forcing certain foods only leads to a major waste in food. You also have to consider produce has a very short life span and people on assistance are the least likely to be able to get to the store often. 

     


  • Lizardannie1966
    October 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    I think it would be a wonderful idea to somehow incorporate the ability of SNAP participants to get the healthier, farm-grown items and for the farmers to finally have something (and lots of someones) to grow FOR.

    A definite win-win.

    Will it happen? Would love to see it but it would face a lot of opposition.

  • Sisteract
    October 9, 2012 at 11:28 AM


    Food deserts are actually areas in cities that are not serviced by grocery stores- Yes, in 2012 these still exist. 


    A food desert is a district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants.

    The concept of 'access' may be interpreted in three ways.

    • 'Physical access' to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, and the consumer has no car. Also, the shop may be across a busy road, difficult to cross with children or with underpasses that some fear to use because of a crime risk. For some, such as disabled people, the inside of the shop may be hard to access physically if there are steps up or the interior is cramped with no room for walking aids. Carrying fresh food home may also be hard for some.
    • 'Financial access' is difficult if the consumer lacks the money to buy healthful foods (generally more expensive, calorie for calorie, than less healthful, sugary, and fatty 'junk foods') or if the shopper cannot afford the bus fare to remote shops selling fresh foods and instead uses local fast food outlets. Other forms of financial access barriers may be inability to afford storage space for food, or for the very poor, living in temporary accommodation that does not offer good cooking facilities.
    • Mental attitude or food knowledge of the consumer may prevent them accessing fresh vegetables. They may lack cooking knowledge or have the idea that eating a healthful diet isn't important.

    In some urban areas, grocery stores have withdrawn alongside residents that have fled to the suburbs (see urban sprawl). Low income earners and senior citizens who remain find healthy foods either unavailable or inaccessible as a result of high prices and/or unreachable locations.

    In rural areas, local fresh food outlets have closed leaving shoppers without cars in these areas with difficult access to healthful foods, as rural bus services have also declined. Whilst the idea of 'food deserts' in the early 21st century has mainly an urban flavour, the first case studies into difficulties faced by consumers accessing healthy foods were made in rural English villages. The Women's Institute looked at the plight of elderly car-less widows left stranded by closure of village shops and withdrawal of bus services as far back as the 1970s, although recent use of the term seems to stem from its use by the Obama Administration, and in and around Chicago (see below).

    Quoting radioheid:

     Per your 7-11 comment: I'm sure this is very unpopular of an opinion, but I feel that at some point, people just have to figure shit out. Someone who is truly handicapped, that is one thing, and there are programs in place to help the handicapped with transportation. I know this because my dad drove the CATS bus for years. But American society as a whole has become a little bit lazy and entitled. If someone is giving you a ton of free food and that food is 2 miles away, you walk if you have to. My mother did it for years when you had to go to the food stamp office to pick up your stamps. I know because I sometimes walked with her as an 8, 9, 10-year old kid. Hell, we ran the one day because the office was about to close. And mom was overweight to boot. I also remember walking to the Salvation Army with her and carrying back bags of food. Didn't hurt us none, and the family got to eat. It was motivation for me to join the Air Force, and for my sisters to go to college. Too many people act like their feet don't work and a bit of a walk will kill them. I don't get it.

    As for the "food deserts": The food would have to be shipped in from elsewhere. I'm sure Iowa and Nebraska have a surplus of corn, just as Ohio has a surplus of soybeans, and Wisconsin has more than enough dairy. As it is, much of the world's garlic, broccoli, lettuce and artichokes come from the Salinas Valley in California.

     Quoting Sisteract:

    What about the poorer areas where food deserts already exist? How would these folks get the local fruits and veggies? A form of CSA for those in need?

    Many do not have the transportation needed to access either large stores or FMs- they eat the products that they can buy at 7-11.

     



  • Bookwormy
    October 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM
    Farmers markets are great. But often not accessable. Fresh food often spoils much quicker than frozen or canned. My single, poor, working mom didn't have time to can her own fruits & veggies, or vehicle to get to the strip district.

    WIC does designate what one can buy, right? How does that work?

    I would like the healthier food to be easily available at the convenient grocery store, and to cost just as little as the crap. The fact is that if the healthier food in a healthier portion at public schools is costing $.25/lunch more in massive bulk, I can only imagine how much more it costs the average family to eat a healthy meal! A lot more! No wonder my mother could only afford to feed the 2 of us crap! We spend a huge portion of our income on healthy groceries.

    I don't care how its done. But if we want the poor to eat heathier, which I do, & to use food stamps on healthy food, it needs to be sold in convenient places, where they can shop now, at the same cost they pay for crappy food now.
  • KYLIEAARONMOMMY
    October 9, 2012 at 11:40 AM
    The United States is a very diverse country. Different cultures eat different types of food. Some don't eat meat, some only eat seafood. Some don't eat dairy. There are also millions of different types of allergies and medical conditions. That's a ton of special circumstances to adjust your food plan to account for. It costs money to create a computerized system that will know to give certain vouchers to certain families to account for their individual needs. People are individuals, not everyone can fit into a food plan like that. It is more cost effective to allow each family to chose their own food, then to try and keep track of it. Another problem, is the economy. Those food stamps provide revenue for the stores they buy them in. That revenue goes down, and they start laying people off. More lay offs, more people on fs. It makes more sense to just put restrictions on what they can buy. It will never happen, but it makes more sense.

    Quoting radioheid:

     What "problems" would it cause?


    Quoting KYLIEAARONMOMMY:

    I agree. A plan like op idea would not work, and cause even more problems than it helps.


    Quoting ReginaStar:


    I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 


     

  • Sisteract
    October 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    I had totally negated the fact that good, healthy, wholesome, pure food has a shorter shelf life- that is a biggie.

    SO:

    Shorter shelf life

    More expensive

    Harder to obtain


  • radioheid
    October 9, 2012 at 11:43 AM

     Yes, I hold *mostly* Libertarian views.

    I don't consider food stamps to be a right. If they were a right, everyone would receive them, and we'd call the system "socialism". We do not. They are a "safety net program" intended to ensure poor people are getting adequate nutrition. 

    People are free to do whatever they want with their own money. I don't care if they gamble half away and use the rest on hookers. If they earned it, it is theirs. That is Libertarianism in government. Handing people part of someone else's paycheck, which was taken without their consent, and telling them they can eat themselves into a Hov-a-Round with it is NOT Libertarianism, it is a sick, lazy, bastardized form of Socialism, and one I do not and never will support. It is wasteful because we pay for it twice---once when we pay for the Ho-Hos and Doritos, and a second time when those people end up needing medical care for their diabetes, heart disease and other health issues associated with eating processed shit completely unchecked for years.

    If we must have these social welfare programs, they must be helpful and efficient. As it is now and has been for the last 40 years, they are NOT. They are a waste of tax dollars, and they keep people in poor health and poverty, and I think we should fix that. If we're going to spend the money on them, we'd might as well make sure they truly benefit their recipients AND the economy.

    Quoting Lizardannie1966:

    Aren't you Libertarian which, correct me if I am wrong, prefers limited government dictating on the private lives of citizens? or something to that effect?

    I don't believe that all SNAP recipients set out when they go grocery shopping, believing that they're getting the "free money" to buy boxes of Hamburger Helper and Yodels and aren't they lucky that they can still fill-up on crappy foods? IE...there are many on SNAP who want nutritional foods, too and many DO shop that way.

    It's that the government would be telling the recipients *what* they can buy that is perhaps her point and what she doesn't agree with?

    Quoting radioheid:

     And yet you can't explain *why* its "BS".

    Don't worry, I know why you and others think its BS. You think its BS because people wouldn't be able to waste taxpayer money on garbage with no nutritional value anymore. It would mean people would have to use their own money to buy Cheetos and Debbie cakes. lol There is no other argument against reforming and *improving* the food stamp program to aid the economy and improve nutrition.

    Quoting ReginaStar:



    I don't think Foods stamps recipients food should be controlled but I do think they should have the option of buying from farmers. 

     

    Is your question is to why I don't think the recipients should be forced to buy certain products? B/c I think that is BS that is why. Different people have different diets and taste and should be able to choose what they want to eat even if it's food provided for by the government. Forcing certain foods only leads to a major waste in food. You also have to consider produce has a very short life span and people on assistance are the least likely to be able to get to the store often.