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"fine" Dining on Food Stamps................


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Food Media 107

"fine" Dining on Food Stamps................

jenn | May 24, 2007 11:47 AM

A recent post about Carlo Petrini and the Ferry Building in SF grew a bit "heated" when the topic turned to whether organics and farmer's markets are for the few or the many. Some people suggested that it was NOT possible--or at least simple--to dine well [aka fresh produce, organic produce] using food stamps. A number of posters pointed out that the various farmer's markets take food stamps ergo more food stamp surviving folks should be taking advantage.....

Today, I came across this post from Pat Morrison in the LA Times.

It got me thinking, especially the part about worrying about food going bad when you don't have money to replace stuff. Honestly, I can't see how I can feed my family organically for just a dollar per person a meal and I'm pretty darned frugal.

But rather than blow smoke debating the possibility, perhaps all of us who think it can't be done and all of us who think its fairly easy to do, ought to try it for ourselves in June. Say for one week, spend just a dollar a meal per person and see how it works out.

I'm willing to try. We are a family of four---two adults and two kids, one a permanently hungry growing boy. Presuming $3 a day per person times 3 meals a day is $84 for the week. The actual USDA guidelines show a maximum allotment for food stamps is a bit more but then they reduce that amount by .3 X net monthly income. I'm willing to go with the $1 a meal, $3 a day calculation.

Basic Ground Rules: all meals eatten in the home and no stock piling stuff the week before. All items consumed that week must be bought that week. Yes, most people have ketchup and salt around [or whatever] but at some point you had to buy it. I think let this be the week--if you want a condiment, buy it or do without.

I pick the week of June 3 through June 9. I'll pull the exact amount of my food allowence out on Sunday and head straight for the market. If I run out of money before the week is up, I'll report in and confess my sins. I'd go hungry for the remaining time but I think I'd get in trouble for starving my kids.

Anybody with me?

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