Oh, boy! Wouldn’t it be splendid to end hunger with just a SNAP of your fingers? There are those who do their part. One person whose Herculean effort comes to mind is Rachel Ray, who spearheaded the “Yum O” program to feed children. Nearly every community of any size has some type of program to feed hungry people.
What about the people who use Food Stamps and depend on Food Commodities and Food Pantries? What is being done to help THEM? Is our government working on this?
I am delighted to share with you that I have had a message from Alice Lockett, MS, RD, LD and Senior Nutritionist with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If you are new to this blog or if you don’t recall, Alice is one of my new best friends. She found us on the ‘net and shared some phenomenal resources. I’ll tell her you send your thanks when we chat again…
Here’s what Alice Lockett was kind enough to tell us:
“SNAP Puts Healthy Food Within Reach
No one in America should go hungry. But every day, hard-working and retired individuals and families face the choice between buying enough food and paying for basic life necessities like rent, heat and electricity. In addition, unexpected day-to-day circumstances like a trip to the emergency room or the loss of a job can easily push a household into food insecurity.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that serve as the nation’s first line of defense against hunger. Its largest program the Food Stamp Program (FSP) currently helps 32 million participants and growing each month put healthy food on the table. Half of those recipients are children.
As of October 1, 2008, SNAP is the new name for the Food Stamp Program. SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and reflects the changes we’ve made to meet the needs of our clients, including a focus on nutrition and an increase in benefit amounts. While SNAP is the federal name for the program, State programs may have different names. Current clients will not lose benefits as a result of the name change. Current clients and recent applicants do not need to re-apply.
Studies show that families who do not have access to healthy foods and nutritional education suffer from higher rates of obesity. Children without access to healthy eating can experience behavioral and social problems that they otherwise wouldn’t if they were simply not hungry.
But there is an opportunity to increase the number of participants in SNAP. Recent Program improvements include an increase in the minimum benefit amount (from $10 to $14) and standard deduction, elimination of the limit on child or dependent care deduction and the exclusion of education and retirement accounts from countable resources. Through nutrition education partners, SNAP helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices. Research shows that every $5.00 of new benefits generates $9.20 in total community spending.
Please spread the word about the SNAP name change and program improvements. With SNAP, healthy food is within reach for low-income Americans.
For more information about SNAP or one of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services fifteen programs, please visit: http://www.fns.usda.gov. “
I hope you will help to spread the word about SNAP and the program improvements! It’s the least we can do for our fellow Americans.
On a personal level, I am all but obsessed about people making wise and healthy food choices. I will be honored to pass the word and let’s ALL keep in touch, sharing our cooking tips, recipes and ideas with one another.
If you care to extend your efforts a bit, it would be remarkable if you “buddied up” with a family who is part of the SNAP program to share what you know about gardening and food preparation. You might have so much fun that the Fun Police will come to investigate why there is so much laughter coming from your house! As always, you are welcome to send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org !
In a slightly different vein…when we show honor and appreciation for participants in our Toastmaster club, we SNAP OUR FINGERS in lieu of applause. CAN YOU HEAR THE SNAPPING OF FINGERS FOR ALICE LOCKETT, who took the time to share this message with us?
Thanks, EVERYBODY! And especially for Alice: SNAP! SNAP! SNAP!