The SNAP program, formally known as food stamps gave 46 million Americans an average of $134 per month to spend on food by the end of 2011. Since the SNAP program is part of the Farm Act and that act us now up for renewal, there are debates in Washington about changes to this program. One of the proposed amendments is to further restrict what can be purchased with the card. (It’s a card, just like a credit card. No more “embarrassing” stamps). Currently, you cannot purchase alcohol, tobacco, non food items (dog food, toilet paper, etc), hot food or food that can be eaten in the store. There are no other restrictions (other than live animals).
The proposal wants to restrict the use to food that is good for you. That would exclude all junk food and sugary drinks. This has been attempted before and failed. The lobbying of the soda and junk food manufacturers is extremely large and powerful. These are the bad guys. Remember that the next time you buy one of their products. You know which ones they are.
My concern is that, in the unlikely possibility that the restrictions are approved, who is going to teach the country to cook? It’s fine to say that you cannot buy anything that is not good for you with tax payer dollars, but what are you going to do with it once you get it home. I think that there is a responsibility that must come with placing these sorts of restrictions on food purchases. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, there is no provision in the farm bill for educating SNAP recipients and especially children about the benefits of eating well and how to go about it. It seems that proposing these restrictions is like giving someone a single shoe. Write your senator.
My neighbor grows wonderful summer squash. She likes to steam them. I like this more Italian approach.
- 2 Lbs. Summer Squash
- 1 Red Onion
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Italian Parsley or Basil
- Ovenproof Dish
- Chef’s Knife
- Mixing Bowl
- Pre heat oven to 450.
- Cut squash and onion into bite sized pieces.
- Toss together with the garlic, oregano and olive oil into a mixing bowl.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Spread onto a single layer in the dish. A cookie sheet will also work.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes. Check to make sure they are not burning after 10 and stir around a bit.
- Serve with some fresh basil or italian parsley and a little grated parmesan.