Millions of people are struggling to feed themselves on $3-$4 a day on our nation’s food stamp program.
I was on food stamps as a kid. Well. My entire family was.
If it were just me, $4 a day would have been SWEET! I could get a king’s ransom from the ice cream truck!
But not for a family of 5.
And when you walk into a grocery store with that amount of cash, you only look at one label; the price.
The nutritional label is not even considered.
But if families on food stamps were to attempt to look at the nutritional values of their cheapest food options, they would notice that not only does the government give them barely enough money for their nutritional survival but it also subsidizes products that are cheap to produce like soy beans, corn, and wheat rather than fresh produce. That means individuals and families on food stamps can only afford the cheapest food and the cheapest food is the worst for them. It is a system that traps millions across our country in a cycle of poor physical AND mental health.
My parents would try to cook in bulk. We would fill a giant pot with a concoction my mom so aptly named “Po’ Food.” This was comprised of tomato sauce, corn, brocolli, ground beef, and pasta noodles. We would have to make that batch last as long as we possibly could. If there were ever a deal, say a 24 pack of chicken wings for $10, my mom would buy that, throw the entire package in a garbage bag with flour, and fry them all up. And if there was some sort of special occasion? Fast food, of course.
All of that food was meant to fill me up. Not to fuel me. So, that is how I began to look at food. Something that is supposed to make me feel full. Something that is supposed to make me feel….”better.” When you are worrying about your family’s financial situation because you are living in a one bedroom motel and sleeping in one bed with your two sisters at 12 years old, a packet of Top Ramen is a welcomed comfort. Hell. They are $0.25 a packet. Have two!
I can tell you from experience, that this system is doing more harm then just making it difficult for families to feed themselves (…but I mean….isn’t that enough?). It perpetuates the extremely unhealthy relationship that Americans have with their food. “Of the approximately two thirds of adults in the United States who are overweight; more than half of them—more than 72 million—are considered obese. In the last decade alone, the rate of diabetes cases has nearly doubled. Most alarming is the increase in overweight and obese children. It is now estimated that one in five children in the U.S. is overweight. In the last 30 years, childhood obesity has doubled and is increasing among younger children, including preschoolers.”(Food Addiction Summit)
This cycle is creating and enabling generations of food addicts. I know. I am one them.
That is why today, April 8th, 2013, I have joined Food Bloggers Against Hunger.
“Okay Rebecca. That’s nice. What can I do?” <—- That’s you.
TAKE ACTION! Click here and take 30 seconds out of your Facebook browsing to write a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation (SNAP). Remember. Strength in numbers. The more letters written, the better.
For more information about Food Bloggers Against Hunger, visit GivingTable.org.