After I posted about “My Experience with Food Stamps” and commented on a CNN article that featured a woman who found it difficult to feed her and her baby on $280 a month in food stamps. I received a couple of long comments on that post that I want to spend more time on. The first was from B, a homeless man who detailed how hard it was for him to eat on food stamps and states that the woman in the article shouldn’t be criticized because she can’t get by on her food stamps. In response Skye shares her experience feeding her family of three, which included a baby, on less than $250 a month.
My response to B would be basically along the same line as Skye’s response. I’m not guessing that the woman should be able to make the $280 a month in food stamps last all month. I’m speaking from experience. I regularly spend about $100 a month on food. It shouldn’t cost a $180 more to feed a baby also. I don’t doubt that the woman was having difficulty getting by on the food stamps but that is more likely from her making poor choices on food purchases than the amount be insufficient. B does make a good point that his food costs are increased because he doesn’t have access to a refrigerator or a microwave. Reading through his comment though it appears some of his problem stem from making poor food purchases. First, he states that he drinks bottled water because he thinks tap water is unsafe. That is unlikely. Most bottled water actually comes from municipal water supplies. I seriously doubt that bottled water is much better for you than tap water. I normally drink tap water and only buy bottled water when I’m in a situation where I’m “forced” to buy it. If you’re homeless than you probably should forgo any marginal health benefits you would get from drinking only bottled water. Second, he states his alternative for cheap food is to buy food at the dollar store that is full of additives and preservatives. There are better choices at your local grocery store. Check out “20 Healthy Foods that Cost Less than a Buck” for some examples. With a little planning of your food purchases you should be able to eat on $100 a month without too much problem. People that are interested in helping to make a difference in people’s lives, and help those that are benefiting from food stamps, may also consider looking into online social work programs.