SNAP Experience Another Perspective
9/11/2012 9:30:00 AM by
- Another perspective
Here are some insights from someone who is taking part in the SNAP Experience and lives in a rural area of Colorado.
She points out some interesting challenges that I am sure our rural residents also face.
Thank you Linda for particpating and for sharing your comments!
My daughter invited me to join this SNAP experience, to buy, prepare and eat all your meals for
5 days for $20.30. I am 75 years old. I drive everywhere and I'm somewhat computer savvy. I live in a very rural area in western Colorado. Though we have a fine local market here in Ridgway, it would be too expensive to shop there. Our closest big supermarket, the City Market, part of the Kroger chain, is 30 miles away. I used the City Market's online weekly ad to plan my meals around their specials. I tried to buy protein first --- 3 chicken breasts for $3.21, sausage for $2.97, 16 slices of cheese for $1.49 and 1/2 gallon of milk for $1.00. Using boxes of Rice-a-Roni for $1.00 each, cabbage ($.78), chicken broth ($1.98), a can of mixed vegetables ($.69) and noodles ($.75) I could make nutritious dinners combining the meat with the other choices.
Since I'm home for lunch, I planned grilled cheese sandwiches using the cheese + Oroweat bread ($2.49). Cheerios ($1.99) + milk would be breakfast.
My cart held no fruit and, most specially for me, no vegetables. That couldn't be.
Using as many on-special items as I could, a salad a day cost $4.74, 1# grapes were $1.99, 6 bananas were $1.37.
Using only the fruit put me $1.28 over my allotted funds. Using only the salad put me $2.66 over. Using both salads and fruit put me $6.02 over. So I put back the sausage, the chicken broth for my soup and the bananas to provide me with some protein, bare essential fruits and vegetables while still keeping my plans within limits.
These are difficult choices for anyone to make. Too often I think folks might choose the carbohydrate "fillers" like Rice-a-Roni and noodles + chicken broth to fill them up and not buy protein. Maybe more often people would buy "fillers" and protein and walk away from the produce section without any fruits or vegetables.
Experiences like this make you realize how important the food banks are that supply some meat each week, food banks that cooperate with community gardens and farmers markets as well as someone in the senior center who makes the weekly ad circular available, those wonderful folks who devote every Thursday to driving the senior van into town. . . . circles and circles and circles of folks creating potential safety nets for those in need.
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