“I took a different approach…”

By: Linda Rippetoe, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department 11/26/13 (Copied from the Health Department’s Website)

I took a different approach than some of my co-workers. I tried to estimate the cost of the majority of the food items I already had at home instead of doing a shopping trip for the three days that I participated. I did purchase a few items to have an idea of the exact cost of apples, bananas and sweet potatoes. The challenging part was to not include all the items in the “normal” meal I would have prepared (no cranberries or mushrooms with the chicken and rice dish). Also limiting the protein to a smaller serving.

I tried to place myself in the position of one of our clients who reported she was scared to spend money at the grocery store because she knew her employer would be having layoffs. That meant no vending machine purchases, smoothies, and not purchasing the “good buys” for future meals at the store.

Families with limited budgets do not have the luxury of buying foods that are not on sale. They make their meals around what is the most economical for that time.   There had been discussion with the SNAP program a few years ago to issue the money twice a month instead of at the beginning of the month. The idea behind this was that it might help some families to not be without at the end of the month.  Maybe this should be a choice of the recipient if they would prefer a monthly issuance or bimonthly payment from SNAP.

Next time you are at the store consider making even a small donation to the food banks. That box of cereal, canned fish, etc., would mean a lot to a struggling family.

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