SNAP Challenge – Day 2

I had some time to take yesterday’s leftover roast chicken and carve off the remaining breast meat, wing, thigh, and drumstick.  Of course, there was stuff close to the bone, so I took that meat off and with some celery and mayonnaise made enough chicken salad for about four sandwiches (hopefully).

Another bowl of raisin bran, which I like, for breakfast.  But I was writing this morning, which somehow always makes me want to eat when I write at home.  I broke down and had a half a peanut butter sandwich (on that awful white bread).  A little after noon I had a chicken salad sandwich (on that same bread), but was not quite full enough so I had a little hummus and pita bread.

Around here any temperature getting towards the 90s is really hot.  Today was pretty hot.  I was drinking a lot of water.  I wanted to stay hydrated, but it also gave me the sense of being full.

I went with one of my daughters to one of the lakes to cool off and swim.  I was feeling pretty hungry when we left the house and really hungry when we got home.  I had a carrot, which didn’t help much.

It was too hot and Pittsfield had its monthly Third Thursday event and one of my daughters wanted to go.  That made it an easy excuse to prepare a cold supper of sesame noodles and steamed snap peas, both served at room temperature.  I had a banana afterwards.  I drank more water.

I’ve been good about portion size on this challenge.  I realize now that I eat larger portions than I should, which accounts for why I’ve been sort of hungry since yesterday.  Actually, we’re all feeling a little hungry at home now.  It’s not that we’re starving and it’s not that we’ll go to bed with growling stomachs, but it’s sort of this nagging sense that our meal was not as satisfying.  And we’ll wake up pretty hungry.  The daily allocation is, frankly, not a lot of food.

It’s a bother more than a problem for me.  I hate to admit that I’m fairly sedentary.  The calories I’ve had over the last couple of days are less than I normally eat and will not be overly detrimental to me, but this is not a sustainable diet for someone who is moderately active.

Some might say, “Well, those who receive SNAP are unemployed.  They’re not going to be moving around anyway.”  That’s a fallacy.  At least 40% of all SNAP beneficiaries live in households with some earnings; only about 10% of the SNAP beneficiaries receive TANF benefits (aka, welfare).  If you have a job, like part-time at Wal-Mart, and are doing a lot of walking around, you won’t have enough calories to get you through your day.

So, this budget is a pretty lean one with which to purchase food.  I found out that starting November 1, 2013, it will be cut.  Families of three will see a reduction in benefits of about $240 to $300 per year.  If this budget barely covers enough food now, what will happen after November 1?

As I write this, I can’t help remembering that the House of Representatives passed the recent farm bill without any SNAP benefits just a few weeks ago. (The first time in 50 years.)  And as the above was published on May 1, 2013, there won’t be SNAP benefits after November 1.  But we shouldn’t despair, they kept the agriculture subsidies to industrial farmers intact.  Kind of ironic.  These farmers will produce food, but millions won’t have SNAP benefits to purchase it.


About Quentin Chin

Eclectic interests: religion, technology, food, music, current events. I live in the reality-based world.
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