I feel like a fool. The Congressional food stamp challenge.

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  1. Josak profile image61
    Josakposted 11 years ago

    I had always assumed that food stamps provided an adequate or perhaps even excessive amount of "money" for the food needs of those struggling to get by, today I found out I was wrong, something which is entirely my fault but was probably contributed to by listening to conservatives complain about excessive entitlement.
    The average food stamp allocation is $3 a day! Which means one dollar a meal and that potentially half of food stamp recipients are receiving even less than that. In my opinion it is impossible to eat a healthy diet on that amount of money, hard enough to get by, I am ashamed by my own ignorance and will be setting up a food drive in my community as soon as I get back.

    Was everyone aware of this? What do you think about getting by on $3 a day especially considering the rising food prices?

    1. profile image0
      Sophia Angeliqueposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The maximum an individual receives if they have no income whatsoever is $6 per day. From there it goes down. If one has a limited income, then it can be about $3 per day. I've known people to receive $1 per day which is hardly worth having. Maximum for one person when they have no income is $200 per month.

      1. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
        Patty Inglish, MSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That sounds about right overall; my retiree neighbor receives a bit over $1.50/day. I also know people receiving $1.00/day (they are SSDI recipients).

      2. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Wow!  That would a nice increase in my own food budget.  Maybe I'd better go on the dole.

    2. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Given all this information from hubbers I have to wonder if this does not contribute to our terrible national health, I don't know how healthily people can be living on this sort of amount. Apparently food stamp recipients suffer from all sorts of ailments caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption because that is cheap...

      1. Josak profile image61
        Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        So according to the UDSA active adults need and average daily:
        10 to 11 servings of grains, bread, pasta etc.
        5 servings of vegetables
        4 servings of fruit
        2 to 3 servings of dairy
        and 3 servings of meat

        what a serving is can be read below
        http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver … rticle.jsp

        I do not see how anyone can be doing this on even the maximum $6 allocation daily and the reality is most are on less.

        1. profile image0
          SassySue1963posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Simply put, you have to multiply quantities to really figure it out. One box of cereal or two for variety would cost around $2 - $3 a box but lasts way longer than one day. A loaf of bread, $1 - $2. Again, that is how many servings in that one loaf? A gallon of milk, $3 (less but we'll round up). Do you realize how many servings are in a gallon of milk? I can get an entire bag of chicken quarters (around 7 to 8 in a bag) for $2. Depending on who you're feeding (children or adults) that could even be 16 servings in that one bag. I think people are confusing the cost of putting dinner on the table with eating out.

          1. Josak profile image61
            Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Which misses the point I forgot to make where buying the cheapest stuff is incredibly unhealthy in and of itself.

            Where are you getting these prices btw, I need to start shopping elsewhere tongue.

            1. profile image0
              SassySue1963posted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Buying cheap only becomes unhealthy if one is talking about processed foods like TV dinners and such. Chicken quarters are chicken quarters. Cereal is cereal. Milk is milk. Actually, if one takes servings into account, what seems cheap, like the $1 TV dinners, is not cheap. And as you state, is unhealthy. It depends on what I am buying where I shop actually. I will go to a place that is a discount grocery store for things like paper goods, canned goods, cereals and breads. These things are pretty much the same just without the cute characters on the box and the brand name. For meat, however, I feel more secure purchasing from the bigger chain. Still, they have buy one get one free sales every week on meat. No doubt one has to be smart and keep an eye out for deals to stretch the dollar but I would think pretty much all of us try to do that anyway.

            2. habee profile image91
              habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Cheap stuff isn't always unhealthy: dried beans, brown rice, oatmeal, peanut butter, tilapia, cabbage, etc. Sue's prices are the same as the ones around here. I'm sure food prices vary significantly from region to region.

              I think poor people need some classes in nutrition and shopping for food. Some simply don't know much about either. Our state's Food Stamp Program also provides vouchers for farmer's markets from time to time, which I think is a GREAT idea. It helps the needy and the local farmers.

              In addition to their food stamps, GA households with small children can get WIC. It provides a way to get milk, cereal, peanut butter, cheese, and other foods for free. I like the WIC program.

          2. profile image0
            DMartelonlineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I want to know where you live smile  I can't purchase a box of any kind of cereal for $2 or $3 even hot oatmeal. A gallon of milk is closer to $5 and a loaf of bread is closer to $3.  I bought chicken last week for almost $2 a pound (whole not split)  I live alone, I don't eat out and I can barely get by with $200 a month on basic food and veggies.  I work every day and don't get any benefits but to think that anyone can reasonably feed their families for $1 a meal is ludicrous.

    3. rrhistorian profile image57
      rrhistorianposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      smart people can turn $3 per day into thousands if they learn to use coupons correctly.
      but most just take the lazy way out because chasing coupons is too much work.

  2. profile image0
    SassySue1963posted 11 years ago

    Do you have some sort of source for this information because it is just simply stated incorrect.
    Here is a link of a chart for the maximum allotment of food stamps:
    http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_ … ts/ben.htm

    You'll see that it is higher than $3 a day. Also please remember that this is to purchase food, not eat out. It is affected by income, naturally, and is adjusted accordingly. It even explains how they have determined the amount. No idea where you've come up with that $3 a day because just for one person it is just over twice that amount.

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      You are right I forgot to post my source

      What you are posting is the maximum food allotment I believe the figures I am using are the average food allotment per person, I notice the amount received goes down the more people are in the household (which makes sense).

      Mind you $2 a meal still sounds pretty terrible and that is the maximum.

    2. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
      Patty Inglish, MSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I have neighbor who is 82 years old and receives only $47.00/month in Food Stamps from SNAP to supplement $800/month Social Security. I think that retirees that receive Food Stamp help receive lesser dollar amounts than the families with dependent children receive.

      1. profile image0
        SassySue1963posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Again, do not know where those average figures are coming from because they simply are not accurate. Here are the income guidelines.
        http://www.savingtoinvest.com/2012/01/2 … ments.html

        I spend less than $200 a month to feed 2 adults currently and while we do not dine on steak and caviar every meal, we eat quite well. Bear in mind, that averaging such a thing is not accurate either. There will be those making the high end who receive way less but that is because of the income they have coming in.

        1. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Did you you read the source I posted, apparently it's the estimate for the average SNAP benefit for people relying primarily or exclusively on food stamps by the Congressional Research Service.

          As for two adults getting by on $200 dollars a month I have no idea how you're doing it, not counting eating out and we eat healthy and it costs me several times that for myself and my wife in groceries even when supplemented by on the go lunches and eating out etc.

          What you are doing still breaks down to less than $1 dollar a meal per person...

        2. Conservative Lady profile image72
          Conservative Ladyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          We currenty have 5 people - 4 adults and 1 child living in our home and we spend and average of $500.00 per month on food and we too eat well - even steak on occasion......

      2. rebekahELLE profile image88
        rebekahELLEposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        sad  Sad.

        1. Conservative Lady profile image72
          Conservative Ladyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          That is sad - maybe if we could get the scammers and lazy folks off of Government Assistance your -  elderly neighbor could get more to help her...... Nobody minds helping the elderly, frail, ill, and truly disabled but we all know there are a whole bunch of bottom feeders taking advantage of the taxpayers too - that is what needs to be fixed.

          1. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
            Patty Inglish, MSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I agree. One such person in my town was just caught and must repay the entire amount of SSI he received and all the Food Stamp dollar value. This is thousands of dollars that someone else really needs.

          2. Josak profile image61
            Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I think everyone agrees with this.

            1. profile image0
              SassySue1963posted 11 years agoin reply to this

              There is something I know I heard about those on SS and food stamps. Not sure what it is though or even if it is still a rule but I know at one time their food stamp share was figured differently.

  3. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    I think the average has risen to $4.00 a day.  The original challenge was in 2006 and it averaged about $3.00 a day.

    There are numerous SNAP Challenges that take place around the country.  The maximum amount is just that, it doesn't mean every person or family receives the max.  Averages are computed by statistics, not the maximum amount allowed.

    Regardless - it's not a lot of money with the current price of food.

    1. profile image0
      SassySue1963posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It is figured that you spend 30% of your income on food. That is what they go by. They take your income, minus allowable deductions, and then figure what your receive. The reason that I said an average was deceiving is twofold. The larger your family, the more you receive and it does not really cost you that much more to add one more mouth. Plus, you could have someone making close to the maximum that is only receiving $20 or so a month which brings the average down. My point is that the average person on food stamps is not receiving $3 a day or $4 or whichever the average is currently. I know I'm not explaining it very well but it is very clear in my head lol

  4. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    I think what may be fuzzy here is that the average amount is per person, not household.

  5. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
    Patty Inglish, MSposted 11 years ago

    I posted a link to this topic on my related Hub. The discussion here is pretty interesting.

  6. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    I found this site last night with a video of a chef who put together a day's worth of nutritional food on the average $4.00/day allotment.  I think the point is to know what foods are healthy and figure out ways to put a meal together. 
    Also a point made on the video is that there are usually food banks that often supply free food.  Some share programs require some sort of community service to receive a box of food.

    http://fdshr.convio.net/site/PageServer … _Challenge


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