Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
Financially challenged. IMHO this is an excuse now that I understand the true value of different foods and fasting.
Among my travels to food pantries, only a rare few are thin and trim. But all others are obese and could seriously limit food intake to low carb and IF.
SNAP is available to a limited few but it encourages purchasing fresh veg and fruit.
Food deserts are a real problem in some areas. Where I live cars are a must as it allows acess to real supermarkets.
The nearest to me, and the most expensive is 2.5 miles away. For my mother, 5 miles.
Making a car essential to having access to real food.
The minimarts unfortunately dont carry real food, just packaged ready to eat "food".
Any push to eating real food is a good thing.
( Always amazed by the long line of cars at local McDonalds for lunchtime rush......not real food. Across the street is a grocery store.)
Not to nit-pick, but just so you know, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also called food stamps), is available to anyone who meets the income requirements, and the SNAP money can be used to buy any grocery store food they want, except prepared hot food (such as rotisserie chickens and other hot bar foods).
It's WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) that is much more limited. Of course it's limited to low income, but further limited to pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of 6. The exact items, sizes, and brands they're allowed are specified on the WIC (all WIC eligible items are marked with a WIC sign on the store shelves), and they're allowed a certain amount of the specified items each month, depending on which family member(s) are on the program. It allows a certain dollar amount of fresh produce, frozen, or canned fruits (in juice or water) and veggies each month - when I worked in the store, it was most often either $7 or $10. There was a heavy emphasis on whole grains and legumes. Most families would be allowed a dozen regular eggs, a 15 or 16 oz jar of peanut butter, and an 8 or 16 oz package of cheese. Whole milk was only allowed for children under 2, and of course after age 2, they had to switch to reduced fat, low fat, or skim (exact size container and type specified on the WIC check). The only time any meats were allowed on WIC was for pregnant or fully breastfeeding women, who were allowed a couple of small cans of fish, and fully breastfed infants, who were allowed a few baby food jars of meat.
Aside from the fact that overall, the amount of supplemental food allowed is extremely low in protein, heavy on legumes, and almost devoid of any fats at all, it's not a bad program.
However, WIC customers were often the same ones spending almost all of their SNAP dollars (several times more money than the cost of the foods allowed by WIC) on sodas, chips, bread, donuts, pasta, jarred sauces, etc.
You're right that you can eat a much more nutritious diet for the same amount of money if you concentrate on meats and veggies, but most SNAP and WIC recipients don't realize this. Generally, they're looking purely at the sheer volume of non-perishable food they can buy to last until their next grocery trip (since they probably don't have much refrigerator or freezer space), and if they cut out anything to save money, it's the much smaller volume per dollar meats, which they don't have room for in the freezer, and when fresh, need to be used quickly. But also compare $5 worth of ground beef (you might get almost 2 lbs, if you buy the cheapest you can find), compared to $5 worth of cheap pasta (at least 4 or 5 one lb boxes) - those boxes of pasta are going to look like a lot more food, in the grocery cart, and on the plate. Yes, they're going to be hungry again in a couple of hours on the pasta meal, but if they've never done LC, they have no idea that a LC meal can keep you from feeling truly hungry for several hours longer.