Friday, October 17, 2008

Taking the food stamp challenge

It was a bit off-putting for me that an unmarried couple took the food stamp challenge and was featured in the Feb. 2008 of The Lutheran. But maybe they were just eating together, not sharing a bed. When a guy and gal are listed as engaged, and they're eating a food stamp challenge diet, your imagination takes over.

Anyway, it was only 5 days, and he is a chef making omelets, fresh-baked bread, stir-fry dishes and homemade soups. Yet they were complaining by the end of the week. Seems they do know the beauty of buying 5 lbs of potatoes and 2 lbs of onions, and 3 lbs of carrots but yearned for yogurt, shakes, and bars.
    "Jason Mendoza and his fiancee, Krista Oppie, like many other Lutherans, took the Food Stamp Challenge to learn firsthand about the hardships that millions of low-income Americans face in obtaining a healthy diet under current food stamp benefit levels. At presstime, Congress was in the process of reauthorizing or writing a new U.S. Farm Bill, which includes the Food Stamp Program. The ELCA Washington Office has encouraged Lutherans to call or write their member of Congress to ask that the per-meal benefit for the Food Stamp Program be raised."
Qualifying for food stamps does not mean you have no income or resources, but it is not intended for you to eat high on the hog, as we used to say back in the days when my dad thought crumbled crackers with sugar in a dish of cold stewed tomatoes was "dessert."

The article says they grew tired physically and mentally--you know the routine, stress at work, busy schedules, and sameness in the diet. Oppie says she now has more sympathy for the 35,000,000 who are hungry. No Oppie, they are not hungry on this plan--they may be bored, cranky and ungrateful, but they certainly aren't hungry. They are allowed to have income, and savings and a car and still qualify. They can go to the food pantry and get 3 days of food each month. Also, most people get out of their difficult circumstances quickly, unless someone, or some agency makes it easier to stay put and give up. And if they are married, they have very little chance of being poor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maggie Thurber writes on the food stamp challenge.