February 22, 2013
Itty Bitty Blog rant…I will apologize in advance…
As I am having a heck of a time staying on a $112/week grocery budget for a family of seven, I went on the SNAP (food stamps) website to see if we qualified and how much they would give us/how much they expect a family of seven with our income to spend on groceries.
If we were on Government Assistance, which we qualify for, by a large margin, our family would be receiving $180/week for groceries. Keep in mind, this is ONLY for foodstuff, while our budget includes toilet paper, diapers, etc.
Now I see the overwhelming draw to be on government assistance. This upsets me for many reasons.
First, the penny pincher in me WANTS to be on government assistance so we don’t have to keep quite a tight budget and we could spend my husband’s income on some wants instead of only on needs.
Second, the fact that we CAN live on this much, though I know everyone’s circumstances are different (different states, living in the city vs the country, etc. mean various levels of income needed), tells me that the SNAP program is taking TOO much taxpayer money and A LOT of taxes that go to the SNAP program could be used to diminish some federal debt.
As of September 2012, over 47million Americans were receiving federal assistance for groceries to the tune of over $74 billion. I realize the national debt is more than 16.5 trillion but I also know that every little bit counts when paying down debt.
We could easily keep a budget of $100/week for food alone. (Take note that we rarely eat anything processed, so there goes so many people’s theories about how much more eating healthy costs than eating things out of a box…)
Another thing I don’t realize is how so many children go without food on the weekend and during the summer because the schools are not feeding them. SNAP should MORE than cover feeding these precious children! What are their parents doing with this money?!?!
Anyway, if we were on the SNAP program and saved the government $80/week, that is over $4,000 savings per year per family. Again, I realize each family is a different size, with a different income level. But cutting some funding to the SNAP program could save $30 billion easily each year, I would think.
I also realize a BIG stink would be raised about how horrible that is and what about the children, etc. So, what if ½ of that savings was spent on educating parents about eating REAL food, like mainly fruits, vegetables, and grains, whole and fresh?
Oh wait, that would mean the government would have to stand against all of their big Agra financial backers… It is sad when our financial future and health looks so dim but what is even more sad is that it will never change from the top down. I guess all we can do is educate our children and try to interest others about our ‘weird’ eating habits so they are open to learning and changing. I hope that one day our community (which is a POOR, country community) and yours will be better informed and will desire to eat things that really FEED their bodies and minds.
Okay, rant over. Sorry again. That was more than itty-bitty…so I’ll leave the post about how our grocery budget is coming along for tomorrow. Anyone know of any cities actually educating people about eating whole (non-processed) foods instead of what is being taught currently in the schools (that french fries are a vegetable, among other things)?