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Some SNAP facts

Some ground rules for my SNAP Challenge this week, which started Sunday (hey, it’s not too late to try it yourself, we will be blogging through the end of October)…Here’s what I have been eating (the things you can get on food stamps):

- Breads and cereals

- Fruits and vegetables

- Dairy products

- Meats, fish, poultry and eggs

- Other food items that are not prepared hot foods

Here’s the no-no list:

- Food in restaurants

- Prepared hot foods

- Food that will be eaten in the store

- Household supplies

- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco

Many people see poverty as nothing more than a choice or a result of poor personal decisions. Choice plays a part, but so too do luck and broader social conditions.

How else can you explain the massive 45% increase in food stamp program enrollment in 2009? If it’s all about bad choices, ‘stupid’ must be catching like the flu.

At the food bank, we see the whole person and seek to help individuals in making their choices, and the food stamp program plays a crucial role in dealing with some of the societal baggage.

Here are a few more bullet points:

- SNAP reduces the poverty rate by nearly 8 percent each year.

- 1 in 7 Washingtonians relies on SNAP.

- Half of all people on SNAP are kids.

- Most Washingtonians in poverty are working or actively looking for work.

- 1 in 5 Washingtonians relies on their local food bank.

My recipes and shopping cart coming next week.


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