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The $21/week Food Stamp Challenge

24

Posts

  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Why is everyone putting fruit juices on these lists?



    It's early in the morning and people are thirsty.
    Also why not? you get some nutrients and it's relatively inexpensive for the volume.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    Aridhol wrote: »
    Why is everyone putting fruit juices on these lists?

    It's early in the morning and people are thirsty.
    Also why not? you get some nutrients and it's relatively inexpensive for the volume.

    Fruit juice is as bad as soft drinks for sugar. and aside from that, its terrible value for money on a budget like that. you'd get much more and better nutrition from a crapload of other things. A bulk bag of pulses, for instance. drink water instead.

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  • King KongKing Kong Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    21 a week is actually an easy thing to do, however it's also a shitty thing to have to do.

    Now some of you say that hey this is where it needs to be and maybe it does but coming from someone who has dealt with food stamps and other "social help" programs here's my 2 cents.

    1. Expand WIC. WIC for those that don't know basically gives you formula, juice, milk, cheese etc. It's a very set list and you can only get those items. If WIC was expanded and your WIC check was made out for 3 healthy meals a day based on family members you could eliminate unhealthy diet choices made using food stamps (work at a grocery store and you'll see what I mean) and the goverment could actually promote healthier eating.

    2. You need have a grace period for when you are cut off help. We were down on our luck and yes we got help. We were never un-employed, we just had to take DRASTIC pay cuts due to job out-sourcing and other things.
    We would get assistance but the minute we reported an income change all assistance was cut off. While on assitance we couldn't pay certain bills and fell behind on rent etc so we were behind. If we had had a 3-4 week period were we got at least 2 of our new checks to get things caught up people could actually stay off the goverment programs. It's to the point were you have to stay down in order to get ahead.

    Also, cut the fruit juice...at 3-4 bucks a jug you can invest 1.50 of it in a box of flavored tea bags for the week and take that remaining money and buy ground beef and bread and have 2-3 meals.

    21 dollars please...make it 10 and give me a challenge :P

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited September 2007
    Really, I don't even know why grape jelly is on this list. It's 14% of your budget, and it basically adds nothing but pure sugar. You could spend the same money on extra fruit or vegetables or something.
    Good point.

    What's the food bank situation like in the States? Is it an option for people living on welfare? I wouldn't expect people to live purely off of packages put together by a local food bank, but if something like that is available it could be extremely helpful.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    King Kong wrote: »
    We would get assistance but the minute we reported an income change all assistance was cut off. While on assitance we couldn't pay certain bills and fell behind on rent etc so we were behind. If we had had a 3-4 week period were we got at least 2 of our new checks to get things caught up people could actually stay off the goverment programs. It's to the point were you have to stay down in order to get ahead.

    This is my biggest problem with welfare in the US. It's less a safety net and more a web you get tangled up in. Many of the programs are difficult to get on, but if you ever show any signs of upward mobility, they'll cut you off. Or they'll make it harder on you to be upwardly mobile (my favorite example for this are homeless shelters that require you to check in at 3 in the afternoon - good luck finding a job).

    My problem with this thread, though, is that people assume that because they can sit behind their computers on their Internet connections and shop online for the best prices and do the math now that they'd be able to do it if the time ever came. It's a lot harder, a lot fucking harder, when you've got to actually do it.

    Maybe you don't have a car and you're walking home. Good luck buying in bulk.
    Maybe your fridge breaks or your power goes out and all your food gets spoiled. Guess you're going hungry for a week.
    Maybe you have a food allergy or a medical condition that limits your diet.
    Maybe it's just not nearly as easy to make healthy choices when you're actually standing in the supermarket aisle.

    When you're looking at eating a plain peanut butter sandwich for the fifth time this week, but there's a McDonald's around the corner where you can get a burger for 75 cents to break up the monotony, is it any wonder why poor people are more likely to end up obese?

    And a big hearty "fuck you" to everybody who said, "If they want better, they should just get a job." There's already plenty of incentive for people on assistance to work if they can. If they want cable TV, or alcohol, or cosmetics, or they just want to go to the movies every once in a while - then yeah, those are good incentives to get a job. Keep in mind that none of this covers soap, vitamins, aspirin, band-aids, toilet paper, tampons, or any other household or toiletry items. You still need good old hard cash for those. Basic nutrition should not be used as an incentive.

    If people end up on government assistance, it's because they're either unable to work, have no marketable job skills, have no opportunities, or are ignorant of the opportunities they have. Nobody likes living in poverty a hair's breadth away from starvation, so to suggest that allowing the impoverished to buy spices is going to result in a bunch of welfare queens going, "Fuck it! I was gonna get a job but now that I can put some oregano on my spaghetti I'm set for life!" is stupid.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Oatmeal
    Black Beans
    Rice
    Raw produce

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The problem there, Feral, is that regardless of how much money you give someone for food, they are STILL quite likely to eat absolute crap, especially if they're depressed about their situation.

    Personally, I think they just need to have government stores with predetermined menus designed for proper nutrition, but without being quite as crappy as, say, School Lunches.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Aridhol wrote: »
    Why is everyone putting fruit juices on these lists?

    It's early in the morning and people are thirsty.
    Also why not? you get some nutrients and it's relatively inexpensive for the volume.

    Fruit juice is as bad as soft drinks for sugar. and aside from that, its terrible value for money on a budget like that. you'd get much more and better nutrition from a crapload of other things. A bulk bag of pulses, for instance. drink water instead.

    You need to provide a decent source of Vitamin C. OJ is probably the cheapest way.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Maybe you have a food allergy or a medical condition that limits your diet.

    I find this highly unlikely. Speaking from personal experiance, the range of allergies you'd have to have to limit your diet to out of the price range given would be crazy. Potatoes, rice and beans all provide good cheap sustanance whilst almost never being allergens.

    I agree with the rest of your post though.

  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The problem there, Feral, is that regardless of how much money you give someone for food, they are STILL quite likely to eat absolute crap, especially if they're depressed about their situation.

    Personally, I think they just need to have government stores with predetermined menus designed for proper nutrition, but without being quite as crappy as, say, School Lunches.

    Naw, you'd just get some asshat classifying ketchup as a vegetable and calling it a day. Giving people choice might lead some people to make bad choices, but at least it doesn't force a bad choice on everyone.

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    Naw, you'd just get some asshat classifying ketchup as a vegetable and calling it a day. Giving people choice might lead some people to make bad choices, but at least it doesn't force a bad choice on everyone.

    So put a nutritionist in charge of the menu.

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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The problem there, Feral, is that regardless of how much money you give someone for food, they are STILL quite likely to eat absolute crap, especially if they're depressed about their situation.

    Yes, I understand that. Lead a horse to water and all. You let somebody buy cheese and bread and butter and they're going grilled cheese sandwiches from now until the day they have a coronary.

    My blood pressure just gets elevated when smug educated middle-class people who have obviously never been truly poor in their lives go, "Well, Safeway.com says I can buy this and this and this so I guess I'd be okay. It might suck, but I'd survive." Yeah, you have no idea how much it would suck until you've actually been there.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Government appointees never ignore science because of political pressure. Never

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Yeah.

    I have family who live on welfare. Another of them has been trying to get on it recently so he can sit back and bum cigarettes for a living.

    They really don't try to get off of it. Because they can live with family or they're too drugged out to care where they live.

    So do keep in mind that while it's a stereotype, it's not entirely wrong.

    --

    Senj: Well shit then we'd better become an anarchy.

    Seriously though what political pressure is there to give people ketchup instead of broccoli?

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  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Yes. Bravo Incenj. You have correctly deduced that my support of government providing adequate funds to the poor so that they can make their own choices about what to eat is, in fact, a stealth call for libertarian anarchism.

    Edit: I mean, you do understand that ketchup reference, right? The government told the USDA to come up with recommendations for saving money on the school lunch program.

    The USDA, not some congessman, were the one's who proposed classifying ketchup, which is basically sugar and vinegar, a goddamn vegetable.

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    when I finished school I was unemployed and broke. I basically reverted to a caveman diet. Produce either fresh or canned is remarkably cheap. I lived for like 2 months off of little more than granola, fresh fruit and different salad combinations.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Seriously though what political pressure is there to give people ketchup instead of broccoli?

    Well, ketchup does have corn syrup in it...
    I'm kind reaching there, but I never pass up an opportunity to call out the corn industry.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Seriously though what political pressure is there to give people ketchup instead of broccoli?

    Cost cutting. You did know this really happened, right?

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Well, ketchup does have corn syrup in it...
    I'm kind reaching there, but I never pass up an opportunity to call out the corn industry.

    So you set up a "Constitution" for the program with parameters that must be set and which are reviewable by the public on a menu by menu basis.

    Yeah, sure, you'll have brands vying for contracts, but shit people buy that crap ANYWAYS.

    There's only so many Whole Foods enthusiasts on welfare.

    --

    Senj: So you make the program immune to food-based budget limits, and just expect the occassional bout of embezzling.

    --

    This really shouldn't be that difficult if you WANT to design it to work (Big if).

    You get ahold of the nutritional guidelines, by -nutrient-.

    You stipulate that "oh here take this vitamin supplement" is not an option.

    And then you make sure that, within a week's span, every fricking nutrient is present in proper quantities, with ~2000 calories per day (can't spread that out), depending on expected calorie burning of the individual.

    Then you stipulate a certain amount of variety and quality.

    The biggest issue would be someone going for a more expensive product to get kick backs, but shit, that's criminal activity anyways.

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  • Black IceBlack Ice Charlotte, NCRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Ant000 wrote: »
    Jimmy wrote: »
    Im a single 25yr old, so most of the meals I make will last me 2 days anyway. If I had it my way, people would be given 7 MRE's a week instead of food stamps. There are over 3000 calories per MRE and they cost roughly $3.50 a piece. If its good enough for us troops at war, why isnt it good enough for the people ?


    That's an intriguing idea ... or at least have MREs make up the bulk, with some supplemental food stamps for some occasional obscurity. Are they meant to be consumed over long periods of time though? Nutritionally (vitamins etc) speaking? Or are they just calorie bags until you can get back to base?
    Wikipedia wrote:
    Each meal provides approximately 1,200 Calories (1,200 kcal or 5,000 kJ). General contents include: a main course high in starch; crackers; a cheese, peanut butter, or jelly spread; a dessert or snack; powdered beverage mix; an accessory packet; a plastic spoon; a beverage bag; and a flameless ration heater (FRH). However, not every MRE contains all listed items. They are intended to be eaten for a maximum of twenty-one days, and have a shelf life of three years.[2]

    EDIT: Everything I've ever heard about MRE's starting from about the Vietnam era and moving forwards suggests that if you can get something else, do so (which is why the Australians were well liked because for a while we had dehydrated food which was a lot better apparently).

    I think this is a case where Wikipedia is wrong. MRE's have a shelf life of 15 years, according to my best friend at West Point. Maybe he was exaggerating..

    The army only eats them in the field. So, in other words, it isn't really a feasible meal to eat as the staple of your diet. I guess it's sort of like a cheaper, less tasty, more energetic version of a protein bar.

    My friend also says it's okay the first 100 times you eat it, and after that you get sick of it because you realize it's the same shit over, and over, and over. The different flavors apparently don't do much to spice up the food (pun unintended).

  • SenjutsuSenjutsu fiddy too Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Leaving aside the imposibility of making a food aide program immune to budget cuts, they'd just contract the operation out at $X amount to a company who would provide $Y amount of food, where $Y is strictly, and rather grotesquely, less than $X.

    We'll call that the Aramark Food Plan approach to things.

    Look, it's a nice dream, but it would never happen in the real world. Too easily gamed by politicians, too easily a target of budget cuts, too easily a source of crooked contracts going to campaign donors, too inefficient compared to just giving $X directly to those in need.

    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    If efficiency rather than nutrition is the concern then all bets are off anyways.

    Then it just comes down to "What will make them shut the hell up."

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    MREs aren't exactly healthy in the long run especially for people who don't have a soldiers level of activity.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I've been keeping my recipts for groceries for the past few months, as well as keeping track of any food I buy elsewhere. I just computed the first set of numbers yesterday, and it turns out I spend about 100 bucks a month on food, which works out to about 23 per week. Now this is a tad low, because I occasionally get some food that I dont pay for, ie my parents or the people I live with.

    I was actually surprised at how high it was, I figure I'm going to try to cut back on some expendatures, like getting a brand of soy milk that is less expensive.

    The key is to load up on grain and vegetables. Both are dirt cheap. Eggs for protein.

    A typical day for me is:

    Oatmeal: (a bit more than a cup of oats, bunch of raisins, cinnamon and soy milk. plus a banana if I have em (banana's are also very cheap, I can get 3 for a dollar)

    2/3rds of a cup of rice, 3 eggs and some soya sauce (or any other sort of flavoring).

    Spagetti: Can of tomatoes (90cents - 1dollar), a green pepper, package of mushrooms, half an onion, some garlic, and assorted spices. Whatever pasta is on sale. This will make enough for at least two full sized, highly nutritious meals.

    I'll usually have a glass of juice in there, or alternately an orange or something.

    ragesig.jpg

  • The Muffin ManThe Muffin Man Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I'm going to try to do this. Not actually live for a week on $21 but maybe try a budget. Are there any sites other than Safeway that give actual prices? Just 'cause I'm pretty sure Safeway isn't the cheapest gorcery store out there.

    Well, a budgets a great idea regardless of living situation.

    shamanhealingwave.jpgabilitypaladinshieldofv.png
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Food seems awfully cheap in the US, even accounting for exchange rates

    Is it maybe that Australia has to import more items or the costs of domestic production are higher do to climate factors?

    Most of your food is imported too. I'm thinking subsidies, or something related to a more spatially compact consumer base.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Aridhol wrote: »
    Why is everyone putting fruit juices on these lists?

    It's early in the morning and people are thirsty.
    Also why not? you get some nutrients and it's relatively inexpensive for the volume.

    Fruit juice is as bad as soft drinks for sugar. and aside from that, its terrible value for money on a budget like that. you'd get much more and better nutrition from a crapload of other things. A bulk bag of pulses, for instance. drink water instead.

    You need to provide a decent source of Vitamin C. OJ is probably the cheapest way.

    You don't need a concentrated source so long as you're getting a decent amount of greens. C isn't difficult to come by, and there are far healthier ways to get it. But hey, at least this quote tree is a nice case in point demonstrating how poor nutritional education leads to bad food budget choices on the part of even 'normal', non-poor people.

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  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Food is pretty dirt-cheap overall. The only reason those dirt-cheap prices don't reach consumers is because the government keeps prices artificially high so that US farmers can actually make money off of it even when competing with foreign farmers. The justification for that is to keep the US food supply stable in case of war, and also the incredibly disproportionate strength of the US farming lobby in politics.

    Picture1-4.png
  • JeanJean Lonely québécois bear Gatineau, QuébecRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Personally, I think they just need to have government stores with predetermined menus designed for proper nutrition, but without being quite as crappy as, say, School Lunches.

    No, just no. I'm 110% opposed to letting the governement decide what people should eat.

    "You won't destroy us, You won't destroy our democracy. We are a small but proud nation. No one can bomb us to silence. No one can scare us from being Norway. This evening and tonight, we'll take care of each other. That's what we do best when attacked'' - Jens Stoltenberg
  • TDLTDL ClubPA, __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2007
    Jean wrote: »
    Personally, I think they just need to have government stores with predetermined menus designed for proper nutrition, but without being quite as crappy as, say, School Lunches.
    No, just no. I'm 110% opposed to letting the governement decide what people should eat.

    Even if that food is being purchased with government funds?

    Meet me on my vast veranda
    My sweet, untouched Miranda
    And while the seagulls are crying
    We fall but our souls are flying
  • JeanJean Lonely québécois bear Gatineau, QuébecRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    TDL wrote: »
    Jean wrote: »
    Personally, I think they just need to have government stores with predetermined menus designed for proper nutrition, but without being quite as crappy as, say, School Lunches.
    No, just no. I'm 110% opposed to letting the governement decide what people should eat.

    Even if that food is being purchased with government funds?


    Even then, yes. It's already humiliating enough to have to use welfare, having decided for you what to eat just add insult to injury.

    "You won't destroy us, You won't destroy our democracy. We are a small but proud nation. No one can bomb us to silence. No one can scare us from being Norway. This evening and tonight, we'll take care of each other. That's what we do best when attacked'' - Jens Stoltenberg
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Maybe the space thing. But I'm pretty sure that while we do import out of season produce and whatnot, most of the basic grains and whatnot are grown here.

    Googling and quick calculations tell me that about 4% of the money spend by Americans on food goes to the purchase of imported food.

    Honestly, that doesn't sound right. I mean, even people who shop at overpriced places like Whole Foods will whine about how too many of their products come from China (Where they don't have the same food safety laws as the US). There's also the simple fact that most food is only in season a few months a year, which means that it has to be shipped from all over the world to compensate.

    How did you calculate this? For instance, are you trying to say that 4% of the money that consumers spend on food goes to foreign companies, or that 4% of the food that actually eat is sourced on foreign soil?

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    I've split this, might want to repost in the new thread.

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  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2007
    I survived on less than the $21 set out by the thread for about three weeks because I didn't have the luxury of food stamps (I'm technically eligible, but have never applied)-- I went in on a multivitamin ASAP, and then went to canned fish for fats/proteins. Making up the calorie bulk ended up being the biggest problem; fortunately, Gatorade was on sale (calories largely from carbs) and I supplemented with empty calories from Halloween candy on sale.

    Sometimes it was very easy to spend very little, and I'd be very proud-- later that day, though, I'd realize that I lack something really simple like paper towels or toilet paper and I'd have to go run and pick it up ASAP. Stuff like that was the real cost-- I think that if I went to a dollar store or something I could get plastic silverware and other stuff like that at, well, around the dollar mark, but I'd need it ASAP and I didn't always have transportation.

    And yeah, what was said about getting sick of the same ol' same ol' definitely holds true-- having the same family of tastes constantly, plus feeling fenced in, I would occasionally just have to splurge on whatever I wanted at the moment; especially when I was depressed, as people would expect.

    If you have all of the infrastructure and the supporting cast, $21 is reasonable-- $21 spent solely on food. Of course, when you factor in transportation and all of the other costs not covered in our hypothetical $21, it really does get sort of silly.

    If I've been eating 300 calories a day (my diet last year, and most of this summer) for several weeks/months running, I have no motivation to spend more money on food. Even if it's not smart, surpluses and credit do nothing but roll up into wasteful purchases that make me feel like I have more money than I do-- not to upward mobility.

    I couldn't go to the career fair because I couldn't make the dress code and, if I wanted to type up a resume, I needed to wait for an opening at the library computers and punch it out-- and then pay to print it at $0.25 per page. When I'm surviving on a handful of dollars of food a week, it's much more enticing to blow $8 on a single meal of sushi, or buying a month of WoW.

    Extravagant purchases banish the feeling of poverty, and spending extravagantly around others works just the same. Anyway, most of this was off-topic, so back in my first few paragraphs you'll find my diet that I was working on-- if the multivitamin is banned, I don't know what I'd do. :P

    words
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Someone needs to start a think tank on the PA D&D forums, because we debate a new serious issue every other day. Aside from the fact we seem to suffer from severe ADD we do a lot of good debating.. Anyway, back on topic.

    I agree that the mre/pre made meal plan is a bad idea, and food stamps are better. It's bad enough you have to go on assistance, but being told what you're going to eat every day in my opinion would lead to some serious depression pretty quickly. Also, MRE's, while they do have their good features, would be horrible for long term use. I eat them from time to time when I'm camping and I swear my digestive system is off for about a week afterwards.

    I think the $21 dollars is perfectly reasonable. It's enough to get by, while still giving incentive to get a job. And there's always a job available. Unemployment rates might have their little spikes from time to time like anything else, but they're always dropping, the problem is that while a lot of people arent to proud to ask for help (which is a good thing) they are too proud to work at a burger king for $5.65 an hour. Work is work. I've had over a dozen jobs from the time I was 14 working summer jobs, throughout college, and now in the "real world", but I always worked, regardless of the pay. I don't think "it's harder than you think to get a job" is a good excuse. If you speak english, have a tenth grade education, can read and write, and have at least two different outfits, you can fit in perfectly with the working world. Even most of those requirements are extremely flexible. If people in Mexico, who have a horrible economy, can come over here and immediately find work, and manage to live on next to nothing, and still save money to send to their families every month, there's no reason some guy on welfare can't do the same. I don't think they need more money though.

    Also, the argument of "you talk a big game when you can search prices online, but try it when you don't have internet, or the fridge fails, or you get sick, or blah, or blah" Seriously? Why not just say "try doing that when a meteor falls and you have to get by zombies to buy potato chips..." There's always going to be some kind of difficulty, but don't make it an excuse. I think it would be great though if along with the food stamps, the government did research prices in specific areas, and the local agents found the stores in your area and gave you a list of the cheapest goods. You should also get a tax free discount, since you're not exactly paying taxes anyway if you're not working, and you're technically a charity.

    One last thing, food stamps should not be used for cigarettes or alcohol, period. And anyone caught buying food stamps and selling them, like some of these leeches and loan sharks do, should be sent to prison for a very long time.

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2007
    t amateurhour-- it's not an excuse, it's a true difficulty. It'd be cool if the government supplied some information along with food stamps, but the information might not be completely applicable anyway. It was almost impossible to bring two bags of grocery with me down one street to my hotel room because I didn't own any sort of wagon and liquids take up an enormous amount of space. Also, they're heavy.

    words
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The problem with foodstamps, from my experience as a store clerk, is what people end up purchasing with them. The government decides what is categorized inside the store as 'food.' I worked at this store for a little over a year and it was a low income area. Very common for people with their EBT card (food stamps for those that do not know) to come in. Some people spend there money very well surprisingly. Many, many others did not. It really bothered me because these people get their free money and come to my store to purchase four 20 oz. cokes and some Slim Jims.

    Hey lady, that ain't food.

  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Shogun wrote: »
    The problem with foodstamps, from my experience as a store clerk, is what people end up purchasing with them. The government decides what is categorized inside the store as 'food.' I worked at this store for a little over a year and it was a low income area. Very common for people with their EBT card (food stamps for those that do not know) to come in. Some people spend there money very well surprisingly. Many, many others did not. It really bothered me because these people get their free money and come to my store to purchase four 20 oz. cokes and some Slim Jims.

    Hey lady, that ain't food.
    Some years back I worked at a convenience store.


    It was not uncommon for, on the first of the month, people to come in and spend $15-$20 in foodstamps on candy bars.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I'll be honest, it looks like someone who would blow food stamps on things like that are probably abusing the system and don't actually need the stamps.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    While anecdotal, this does summarize why the "MRE" idea is kind of appealing in that regard. Let's just assume for arguments sake that these things can somehow be made palatable.

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