Saturday, April 28, 2007

Living on Food Stamps?

This past week Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski decided to take a weeklong challenge of living off of food stamps. He would have $21 in food stamps for the entire week. Gov. Kulongoski is doing this to raise awareness of the difficulties of living off of food stamps. To raise awareness that government handouts were insuffiecient to feed a family on..

I have often said that it's very expensive to eat healthy, and this article showed that to be true. Gov. Kulongoski started out by heading to the organic foods, only to discover that they were much too pricy. Though he desired Progresso soup, it's cost was too prohibitive and thus instead he chose instant ramen noodles at 1/5 the price.

One wonders if he would have made out better if he had coupons to help? Also the woman helping him Mrs. Sigman-Davenport, who also lives on food stamps, suggested that he eat lots of filler foods like mac and cheese and beans. Not exactly a balanced healthy diet, but cheap. Even with coupons, many of the foods on sale were "filler" foods.

Also food stamps I think are not meant to be the sole source of food for a family. I think they are meant to supplement the income coming in to allow a family to have enough to eat. Of course the food they eat will not be healthy or condusive to losing weight. No the foods they are able to purchase will be full of empty calories, unhealthy, and most likely very processed. I guess there is a support of the idea that being thin goes hand in hand with being rich.


Debbie said...

It costs more to buy organic than not, but it costs less to make your own (low-sodium) chicken soup than to buy Progresso. So, I don't think it's necessarily more expensive to eat healthier.

My family was on food stamps once when I was a kid, and we actually spent more on food during that period because you couldn't use the food stamps for anything else. My mom told me we could afford steaks for the parents once a month, for example.

We had cereal and milk for breakfast (not as cheap as home-made oatmeal, or muffins, etc.) and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and regular inexpensive means for supper like spaghetti or tuna noodle casserole or chili. On weekends we had fancy brunches likes pancakes or French toast and eggs and sausage. It's really not that hard if you know what you're doing.

Seriously, look at the cost of pasta, raw beans, rice, eggs, flour, peanut butter, bananas, oranges. You really can buy a lot of food for $3 per day.

Living Almost Large said...

Yes that pasta, raw beans, rice and flour will all cost more than $3 debbie. More so if I had coupons for my not so good food I could walk out of the store with enough food to feed 10 people and have the store pay me!

It's been proven by super couponers that it's really easy to feed a family of 5 using coupons on less than $60/week! But these same couponers will admit to stockpiling and eating a lot of processed foods. Pretty much anything you can coupon for!

So yes I definitely still think and can prove that it's more expensive to eat healthy. I could easily feed DH and I on $25/week with coupons, but I wouldn't enjoy the food I was eating, that's for sure.