June — A Food Stamp Challenge

by Katy on May 16, 2010 · 53 comments

Oregon uses a food stamp debit card, which is called the "Oregon Trail Card"

The headline in today’s Sunday Oregonian newspaper blared the headline of:

“Oregon food stamp use at record high”

Last time I paid attention, Oregon food stamp usage was already at an all time high, so this news grabbed my attention.

Oregon’s high food stamp rate gained national attention in 2007, when governor Kulongoski and his wife learned what it was like to eat for $21 apiece for a week, which was the average food stamp allotment at the time. The number of Oregonians receiving food stamps has since grown from 434,000 to 701,882, which means that nearly one in five Oregonians is facing hunger issues.

The article went on to state that “The maximum benefit for a family of four is $668 a month. The average benefit per household is $250.” This is a huge difference, as $668 is hundreds more than my family of four spends per month on food, (including eating out) yet $250 is hundreds less. (We spend approximately $450 per month on food.)

My family does not qualify for food stamps, (which I confirmed online) as my husband works full time and I work part time as an RN, which after 15 years in the same job is well compensated. We are lucky, as both of our health sector jobs are relatively secure despite the dismal Oregon economy. (10.6% at last count.)

The Oregonian’s FoodDay section ran an article titled  “Living on a limited income calls for smart choices at the market” a few months back that specifically outlined how a family of four can eat healthfully on $95.50, which was “the average weekly benefit for a family of four with young children.” (The author included the amount which would be added through WIC if the children were five or under. See details below.) This article stuck in my mind, as it was extremely practical and specific and absolutely non-gimmicky.

I want to propose a month of June food stamp challenge. The average benefit for a family of four is $250, which works out to $8.33 per day for the entire family. Because my children would qualify for reduced and free school lunches if this scenario were real, I am going to add $3 per school day for the homemade school lunches that we always pack for my 12 and 14-year-old sons. This brings the monthly total to $339.90.

I encourage all readers and fellow bloggers to take up the month of June food stamp challenge and to donate any money saved to your local food bank. I will be writing about the challenge throughout the month of June and invite you to share in my family’s experiences.

Are you in? Please add your name to the comments section below

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

“To be eligible for food stamp benefits (now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP), gross monthly income must be 130 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines ($2,389 monthly for a family of four in most places), along with other factors. For our hypothetical food stamp budget for a family of four, we took the average SNAP benefit per household — $250 a month or $62.50 a week — and added $11 for each of three people receiving Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits, a supplementary allowance for women and young children. The grand total was $95.50 for one week.”

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie Jones May 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I think this is a good exercise for folks to try.

We are a family of three (two adults and a 6yo who would not qualify for free or reduced lunches here in MO), so our monthly total would be $187.50, or $46.88 per week. Our current grocery budget is $55 a week and I often come in below budget. I recently blogged about cooking from our stockpiled pantry and freezer and was able to spend less than $40 a week for nine weeks straight. I know I can do this, and while I won’t write about it on my blog (since I just did something like this), I will participate here if you have update posts.

I’m very interested in seeing how well other families can do. 🙂

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Katy May 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Annie,

I invite you to be part of the challenge and bring your expertise to the experiment. You sound like you’ve got an interesting system for your family.

-Katy

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foo May 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I won’t be participating – been unemployed so long I already eat for less than that a week – tho on my own money, not on food stamps. Urgh.

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Katy May 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Foo,

I absolutely would love for you to participate. Your real life knowledge about eating on a true-to-life limited budget would be invaluable.

Thanks!

-Katy

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Kim May 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm

DO you know how to figure a benefit for a family of six? I’m interested in finding out how my spending compares and participating in your challenge. I have 3 school age children so I can figure the lunch benefit for the remainder of the school year , and 1 toddler.

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Katy May 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Kim,

I will figure out the different amounts before the challenge starts on June 1st.

-Katy

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Jennifer May 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm

If I wasn’t having a baby on or around June 1st I would really like to try this out. We’re also having 2 extra people in our house for mostly all of the summer. I think I will try this when things get settled down in September or so. I think I could make the weekly allotment fine if eating out wasn’t included–which isn’t a lot for us (1-2 meals per week) but that adds up fast. I will be really interested to follow along and see how you do and how your eating changes.

Are food stamps meant to cover 100% of food expenses or is it meant to supplement other money? Are the differences in benefits just in number in household or different qualifications.

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Sam Jones May 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I don’t know what the food stamp allotment would be for me and my husband, both in our 60’s. Katy, can you help me figure it out so that I can participate too?
Thanks,
Sam

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Katy May 17, 2010 at 7:24 am

Sam,

I’ll be researching the different amount and have that ready by June 1st. 🙂

-Katy

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Judy May 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Katy,
Good challenge. Although I won’t be participating in June due to vacation, I’m curious to read how it works for others. I started a similar thing last year but used the USDA thrifty amount as my goal and found over several months that we were usually under that. Since I shop ads and have some stockpile I couldn’t figure out the weekly food stamp amount such as does it change if it’s a 5wk month instead of 4wks ?
Good for an increased awareness though cuz their are a lot of hungry families out there.

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Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 7:57 am

Food stamp allotments are for the month, regardless of the number of days. Our amt of $79 for the month gets deposited to our account on the 9th of every month.

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Karen @ Abundance on a Dime May 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Our normal food budget is $300 per month (in Canadian dollars) for our family of four. That includes feeding one large dog and a cat as well. I’m actually planning to spend only $255 in June since I purposely overspent at the end of April to take advantage of some really great sale prices on a few things.
I think it would be great if people on food stamps were given the opportunity to take some type of food skills seminar where they were taught things like how to make bread and yogurt (which really aren’t hard to do – my kids know how to do both from helping me do it!). Making my own bread saves me about $40 per month!!

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WilliamB May 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I will not be joining in. I could eat from months from my cabinets so there’s no challenge to that, and working from scratch would take away too much of my time from other things.

But I hope everyone writes about their experiences because I’m very interested in reading about them.

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Laura May 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I will be participating. We had 2 unexpected items come up in June, and our food budget for for the month will only be $345. For our family of 5, I typically have an additional $100 budgeted ($440/month), so this will indeed be a challenge for us.

I am looking forward to learning from others who routinely spend less than we do to feed their families well, and being inspired to do better with our own food spending.

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Nancy May 17, 2010 at 12:51 am

I’m interested in what you have to say about the alloted dollars for Sam. Also, what would it be for one in her sixties? My husband has a job on the other side of the state, so I would be doing the single person thing. Do you or any of your readers buy from the Angel Food Ministries? They provide food at a very reasonable price and accept food stamps, so this would be a valid option for us to use.

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Tracy May 17, 2010 at 4:37 am

I’m not sure what my husband and I spend per month on food, but I’d estimate somewhere around $300 at the supermarket, and then I make frequent trips to the farm market two blocks away for a bunch of spinach here, a couple of avocados there. We don’t eat meat, so I feel no hesitation to “splurge” on high-quality grains and produce.

My four cats and one dog push up the food bill with their fancy schmancy, all-meat, no by-product food. 🙂

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Marie-Josée May 17, 2010 at 5:03 am

I won’t be participating, because we choose to buy mostly organic. Food is our biggest expense and we spend about $1000/$1200 per month, eating out factored in. We eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies and they are very expensive in the winter here in Canada.

I am looking forward to reading your readership’s experiences with the challenge.

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Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 6:14 am

That is an impressive food budget. My mortgage payment every month is about that!

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Jessica May 17, 2010 at 5:09 am

Unfortunately my foodie husband will never agree to this (I am the thrifty one in the family and he does his very best to thwart my efforts!) I figure that maybe I can come up with another number that will allow him his indulgences and keep track of them. At least we will see what we would miss if we were forced to do it for real.

I will however follow and cheer on everyone who does the challenge!

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Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 6:12 am

I’m in, although we are on food stamps already, we receive $79 dollars a month, we come in just under the top limit. That $79 supplements my cash amt of $210 for about $290 to feed a family of 5. So it isn’t reallly a challenge for me! Well, it is, but not a new one!

As a foodie my self, I can say that we do eat fun, interesting, ethnic meals often, I make cookies and one dessert a week, and have special treats for special days, like Mother’s day and Birthdays. We do this by also having at least 2 basic, but healthy meals every week, rice and beans, eggs and toast, pancakes etc. These meals are super cheap, filling and comfort foods. We also eat meat only 2 days a week, and often use meat as a flavoring, less than a lb per meal to cut costs. We eat vegetarian the rest of the week and often have one or two vegan meals in there. Most of our meals are full of fresh fruit and veggies. Husb does request steak, a big one, for Father’s day!

I also make almost everything from scratch, cookies, bread, granola, etc. Processed foods are so much more expensive. You also watch the loss leaders, and use coupons if you can find them.

We are also putting in our garden this year so will have fresh produce to eat over the summer and can/ freeze for winter.

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Tammy May 17, 2010 at 7:02 am

There is a website called Cook for Good – if you google it you can find it, but I’d rather not link cause I’m not sure of blog etiquette (nor the spelling of that word). Anyway, the site looks as costs for organic, thrify and regular menues versus the food stamp averages in US. She gives menues and to some limited degree recipes along with the costs of such so the people on food stamps can truly eat well. I agree with the commentor regarding need for nutrition/cooking education for food stamp recipients – unfortunately, many people don’t learn these lessons @ home and by not knowing how to cook from scratch really aren’t able to eat the processed food on the budgeted amount. We’d all be winners. Anyway, it’s interesting and I may try this.

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Katy May 17, 2010 at 7:30 am

Tammy,

Here’s the link for “Cook for good.” Thanks for the info. And don’t worry about including helpful link in your comment. As long as it isn’t porn or Nigerian get rich quickly schemes, it doesn’t bother me. 😉

http://www.cookforgood.com/

I see that she was here in Portland last week. Oops.

-Katy

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Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 7:50 am

Although in WI you don’t get nutritional counseling with food stamps, it is a requirement of receiving WIC.

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Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 7:54 am

Another big part of being able to feed a family healthily on a small budget is meal planning. Even if you don’t plan out every meal in advance, you need to know that you have all the items you have on hand to make a weeks worth of meals, including breakfast and lunches because those extra trips back to the store add up. I usually keep a list of meals that I can make exclusively from pantry/deep freeze items as quick meals if I need them, assuming I have the ingredients on hand.

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Judy May 17, 2010 at 8:28 am

In response to Nancy regarding Angel Food Ministries. We did try it one month and I’ve checked their menus at other times. For us there were too many processed foods and some items that we were not interested in eating. Prior to that, we had used the Share Colorado program for about 1 yr. and were pretty happy with them. When food prices skyrocketed a few years ago and the local location had changes we discontinued.

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Jessica Wolk-Stanley May 17, 2010 at 9:40 am

Count me in. We do have a lot of food in the pantry and freezer, which I have been trying to use up, especially the frozen foods. I’m off now to pick up a 50 lb. bag of whole wheat flour and some oatmeal. Our problem with the homemade granola is that it is SO much better than store bought that we end up eating it up very quickly!

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Lisa May 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

We’re in the same boat as Rebecca…already receiving food stamps. We get $235 per month. This feeds our family of three (not counting three cats and two dogs that eat a good share of people food too). We actually have some leftover at the end of each month because I’m a miser (uh, careful shopper). Sharing on this topic will be interesting and educational.

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Kristina May 17, 2010 at 11:31 am

Is the challenge based on the OR amount for food stamps, or for the average in whatever state you live in? I have one adult child, so I think they don’t count any longer. Do you know what it would be for a family of 3? Also, would this be strictly food or toiletries, etc as well? I don’t know what food stamps allows you to buy.

I already shop for 4 people, 2 cats and a dog for about 400.00 but then I have a stocked pantry, and I stock up when things when I can, so I would have more variety to make meals.

Should the challenge be based on a fairly empty pantry vs one already well stocked? I think it would make a big difference in how much food you could buy and the quality of the meals depending on whether you have basics stocked already.

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Katy May 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

Kristina,

Great questions. I will research all these issues and post the answers.

-Katy

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Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Food stamps are for food only, no toiletries or other non food products, also no alcohol. For me, I still include all my toiletries and cleaning products, tp etc in my grocery budget.

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Heather May 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Admirable as I believe this to be, I am not in. I have a small kiddo with cow’s milk and gluten allergy, and I have learned how expensive feeding a toddler with food limitations can be. The crackers he can eat are $5.50 a box. Goat’s milk, which he can tolerate, is $14 a gallon. Yes, you read that correctly. Goat’s milk yogurt is $1.99 for 6 ounces. (I have tried and failed to make my own – made my own cow’s milk with no problem, but goat is just runny), goat cheese is $8 for a small block – the list goes on and on. The point of all this is that I really wonder how families with food allergies do feed their kids on a food stamp allotment.

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Rebecca May 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm

In our situation it is me with the food intolerances. I do without. If I am craving bread I make my own GF bread, but mostly I do without pasta, crackers etc because of the additional cost. If it were my kids, would eat beans and rice for every meal to get them what they need. It is what parents do, as I have no doubt you put your kids first and foremost. It is very challenging, I know.

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Heather June 3, 2010 at 9:49 am

Sorry, but I take issue with rice and beans for every meal “getting them what they need” – especially for a growing child. If I lived somewhere that this was all that was available, well then that’s a different story. But I don’t.

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Jenn H May 21, 2010 at 3:16 am

Heather-You should look around for a farmer who has goats. I have no idea where you are obviously, but you would be surprised how many people have goats with extra milk. I met a lady who I get goat’s milk from for free. I make cheese & give her half of what I make. It’s a win-win situation for us. No way I’m giving you my goat lady (lol) but I just met her at a farmer’s market and asked so you never know. Even if you don’t get it for free maybe set up a “goat share” program. If that term means nothing to you Google “cow share”. It’s how people get around selling raw milk.

The goat’s milk yogurt needs to be made differently than cow’s milk yogurt. I would recommend the book “Goats Produce Too! The Udder Real Thing Vol2” for lots of good goat milk recipes.

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Heather June 3, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thanks for the great tips – I will check out our farmers market, and also the cookbook.

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Susan May 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I used to receive food stamps and they are for human food only. So you will have to buy the pet food separately. As for school lunches, school is out in June and your food stamps wouldn’t increase so is it fair to add the $3.00?

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namastemama May 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Wow, we are in but would like to know a better $ figure. 2 adults, one kid would be on WIC and I guess me his mom? Although I’m not nursing or pregnant. My other child is school age but again I see the point in school being out. and what about stock piles of food? I don’t have much in the pantry these days but canning season is upon us. Have already put up strawberry jam and frozen some. Made your frittata and one hour bread this week. Traded some jam for lettuce, chard and cilantro today. Going to a neighbor’s for $4 a half gallon goat milk and eggs tomorrow. I think one can get pretty creative with food when you have too. We have been unemployed and on WIC before. I will have to figure out if I can still get my organic fair trade coffee beans…..

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The Saved Quarter May 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I get SNAP benefits (the new name for Food Stamps) and generally have money leftover at the end of the month because I’m frugal. My family of four gets $389, plus WIC for two kids under 5. Our gross monthly income is about $1,600 for a family of four.

I wrote about SNAP/food stamps recently on my blog here:
http://thesavedquarter.com/2010/05/03/snap-food-stamps-benefits/

You can use this calculator to determine how SNAP/food stamp benefits are determined:
http://www.foodstampguide.org/calculating-the-grant-how-much-do-you-get/

You can also get a general idea for the amount that is expected to be spent on food for your family size and composition by using this chart:
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodCost-Home.htm
Use the “Thrifty” plan. It looks like March is the most recent update.

For my family, it estimates that it would cost $510 to feed my family, so the difference between my SNAP allotment and $510 is what’s expected to come from my income.

I’m participating all year round, but am happy to check in and share what I’m doing. I post my menu each week on my blog, so you can see what kinds of things we eat. Right now, we’re doing an elimination diet for my toddler, who has a food intolerance to salicylates. It is definitely a challenge, but I don’t get extra money for having a kid with food issues, so I’m staying within the budget still.

Also keep in mind that SNAP can only be used for food that is not hot or meant to be eaten in the store. Deli rotisserie chickens are a no-go, for example. Hot soup won’t work, either, but the same soup in cold containers to be heated at home are okay. Vitamins and supplements also aren’t allowed.

I hope that helps!

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The Saved Quarter May 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I like the article “Living on a limited income calls for smart choices at the market” and their shopping video! Winco is an excellent, inexpensive grocery store; there’s one near my parents and they always have great prices. And the bulk bins! Swoon!

For newbies to budget shopping, it’s a really great primer. She doesn’t use coupons and match sales, which could save some money, but she does plan meals on whole foods and skips the junk. Excellent!

I disagree with her on dry beans, which are at least half the cost once rehydrated and easy to make in large batches to freeze for convenience meals. A bean based meal would be cheaper than the $.88/lb chicken even!

One thing I wanted to note on their budget is that the way they estimated WIC doesn’t add up to my (California) experience.
“For our hypothetical food stamp budget for a family of four, we took the average SNAP benefit per household — $250 a month or $62.50 a week — and added $11 for each of three people receiving Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits, a supplementary allowance for women and young children. The grand total was $95.50 for one week.”

Here, you get a voucher for specific foods rather than the money itself, and unless she was pregnant with two children, she wouldn’t be receiving benefits for three. My understanding is that the woman could get benefits if she was breastfeeding, but the child wouldn’t in that case. Non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women don’t get WIC. That would cut their weekly budget by $11, which is still a little high for WIC in my experience.

If you’ve got children under 5 and wanted to budget in what you’d receive in WIC, here’s what I’m getting in California. I get $6 for produce for each child, which can be used for fresh, frozen, or canned 100% vegetable or fruit. I also get vouchers for each child to use for 3 gallons and 1 quart of milk, 1 dozen eggs, 1 lb. block cheese, 1 lb. dry beans, lentils, peas, or peanut butter, 1 lb. whole grains (barley, brown rice, corn tortillas, or 100% whole grain bread), 2 (64 oz.) bottled juice, and 36 oz. low-sugar cereal. (I also get dirty looks and snide comments, but those are priceless.)

I added it up a few months ago and it was about $80 worth of healthy food for two children, about $40 each, or $9.23/week. I love that they recently added fresh produce and whole grains!

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Karen B May 19, 2010 at 6:28 am

We are in! I am due to be induced on June 1st if our baby doesn’t come sooner. I will be taking off the months of June and July so budgeting is a huge deal for us! The main thought behind this is I would love to cut my hours down to part-time and stay home with the baby more. My husband is in construction and gets good pay most of the summer so we are blessed when he is able to do that, but we would live considerably leaner if he gets laid off during the winter (which hasn’t happened yet, but the company has gone through major changes this year). I am planning to breastfeed and use cloth diapers so hopefully keeping our costs down. We are working on getting debt-free so that when I have our 2nd child, I can stay home full-time.

This challenge is a great one for us! We already try to help our food bank out as much as possible, but this will show us how much more is possible. Thank you to all of you who are sharing your experiences! I appreciate those who are willing to share the hard times for us to learn from and hopefully we who are up can share hope and love with those who are in a down time.

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Annie Jones May 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

One thing I’d like to mention is that SNAP benefits can (in most states, if not all) be used to buy seeds and plants for vegetable gardening. I don’t think that a person could rely on that for the June Challenge, but I still wanted to pass along the info in case some recipients didn’t know. A garden could really stretch those SNAP dollars. 🙂

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Wanda May 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I won’t be taking part in this challenge because I’ve been down this road before and am pretty good at knowing how to make the money stretch. I wonder though for this challenge are you just doing it based on the amoount of money you get or will you be including everything about being on food stamps? Like buying certain foods, In Pa and Fl you cannot purchase cooked items(like roaster chickens) they must be uncooked,etc.

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Dena May 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Hello.I’m new here.I was just thinking that it’s not really a true challenge if the participants are using items from their stockpiles.I wouldn’t imagine someone who is trying to survive month to month would have anything left over to even begin a stockpile.It’s just my opinion.But,I do look forward to seeing how everyone does.

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Katy May 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Dena,

I would hardly call the food in my cupboards a “stockpile.” I try to always have a couple extra 5-lb bags of flour and sugar; plus beans, canned tomatoes and pasta. I stock up when there are loss leaders, (I’m currently flush with Tillamook cheese!) and am curious to see whether I’ll have enough money during June to take advantage of whatever it is that’s on sale then. There’s no way to do this perfectly, but I will do my best.

Almost one in five Oregonians is currently receiving food stamps, so this is an issue very dear to my heart.

Thanks for your comment, everyone’s feedback is truly helpful.

-Katy

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Rebecca May 21, 2010 at 6:41 am

Actually, you can have a small pantry stacked with staples, esp with loss leaders and double coupons. We do, and it is those items that help us get through the month. Also, we use our deep freezer to stock up on meats and cheese when it gets really cheap. Right now I have about 10 lbs of cheese in the freezer, it was $2 a lb.

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Monroe on a Budget May 21, 2010 at 4:45 am

I would have suggested Angel Food Ministries, but you’ve answered that. AF now allows you to buy any box from its selections instead of a “mandatory” box, so that may give you more options.

A similar program with a different menu is Great Food for All but I don’t know what states that’s available in.

Another tip: check with your county extension service for cookbooks or recipe web sites they recommend to clients who are on low budget / food stamps / commodity programs.

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araskiss May 21, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Since my job is to process food stamp applications in the state of AZ I find articles like interesting.

Very, very rarely do we get households where people are actually employed and really NEED help. 99% of my clients live rent free with relatives or friends or are under the age of 25 and still live with their parents. They feel they are entitled to food stamps.

Food stamps are supposed to be a supplement not the entire food budget. You can use food stamp at Whole Foods and can buy custom bakery cakes and prime cuts of meat at the butcher counter.

Food stamps is a federal program and the income guidelines are set by the feds. Be sure to remember that selling your food stamps on criagslist is a crime but that WIC and food stamps generally go for about 90 cents on the dollar. If you are trading them for drugs or sex they are worth about 50 cent on the dollar.

Judging by the comments here I think you will all do well with the challenge. Intelligent and self sufficient people rarely need more than a quick hand up from a major set back.

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My Roman Apartment May 24, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Wow! What a great challenge Katy! Count me in. I’m going to try and convince Mr. Foxypants to do this with me.

I don’t know if this is cheating, but can you glean produce from public areas or do some urban foraging as part of sticking to the food bank budget? Here in sunny Los Angeles, I haven’t had to pay for fruit since the beginning of the year, since there is so much fruit to be legally picked from city property and I’m a member of a backyard produce co-op. (May is loquat and artichoke month).

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Dan May 25, 2010 at 10:37 am

Good concept. From my experiences the difference is in what you eat for food. If you eat the cheap, unhealthy, highly processed foods, candy, soda, that most Americans eat, then the food stamp limits will work well. If you eat the healthy, whole foods, fresh foods, chemical free foods, then it is a tough road. We were on FS recently and had the full limit of $668 but we eat a healthy diet hence it was tough. Farmers and farmers markets don’t take food stamps. Because we had a freezer full of meat, cheese, veggies,ect. we were able to stay under the $600; barely. Now that we found employment (working 4 jobs) we are just barely over the income limit. The stress and time away from the kids make us wonder if killing ourselves off is worth it. Easy to see why people stay unemployed to get benefits… Realistically for those who eat healthy food, it is almost impossible. Those who eat the processed (crap) foods the amount works well.

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teri September 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm

the average of 250.00 per month is because they have an income that should allow them to buy some of their own. so $250 is just to supplement their grocery budget. 668. is a good amount for a family of 4. with no income i guess. a single homeless person no income gets $200 per month. now where do you get toilet paper soap toothpaste etc.????

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John September 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I get 1,082 dollars a month in retirement benefits here in Tennessee. I have a wife and two children. I get 391 dollars a month in food allotment. I cannot pay my shelter cost and have money left over for food which we run out of after three weeks. We do not buy but one gallon of milk a month and barely any fruit at all. I am not sure about all these others that seem to not eat but may be they take pills and do not eat at all and use their allotments for pill buying or beer or cigarettes. But, for a non-drinking, non smoking, no partying Christians we have a hard life to live. We cannot use the air conditioners we have as it cost too much for electricity and i cannot pay for it. Once a year i spend only my whole retirment for my kids school clothes and their school things they need. I am not including the taxes i pay for my home and my car nor the gas it takes to take them for their medicals and mine. I go broke monthly and have nothing left. I cannot afford life insurance for any of us due to being in a retirment fix. I am physically disabled and my wife has to take care of me. Her health is going down. I got disabled at 23 years old and filed for help to keep me up until i could get back on my feet. I had to crawl around for about two years and no one helped me with any kind of assistance. As a matter of fact i was called a liar, fraud, lazy and the like by government employees and was fired for not complying with a company doctor whom almost killed me with a needle full of poison. I suffered all these years with various ailments and struggled with what little work and income i could make in a world that mocked me being disabled. So, when i see people that are getting so much more than my family now i await the day my Lord will give me what they all have taken and kept from my family. I consider them a shame and disgrace for what they did to my family and they know who they are and if they read this they will know who i am.

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