Mac N Cheese to Be Less Yellow!
Millions Lose SNAP Benefits
I love a good bowl of macaroni and cheese as much as the next person (maybe a little bit more) but thought it was really unfortunate for these headlines to be happening on the same day, and for one to seemingly be getting more attention than the other.
One in seven Americans (47 million people) just lost some of their supplemental food money from SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program). Food insecurity is already rampant in America and this decrease in funds just increases that feeling. According to the Food Research and Action Center:
"The U.S Department of Agriculture estimates that the reduction in benefits amounts to 21 fewer meals per month. Viewed differently, it leaves the average participant with just $1.40 to spend per meal, not enough to sustain health, learning or productive work. And even as these cuts are going into effect and families across the country are trying to figure out how to further stretch their impossibly tight food budgets, Congress is discussing even more drastic cuts to SNAP."
These headlines brought to mind a food drive that my middle school hosted many years ago. The classroom that collected the largest quantity of food got a special prize. The winning group was a class where one boy had gone to Sam's Club and bought a palate of ramen noodles. I'm sure there were a lot of boxes of Mac N Cheese in that drive as well, something else cheap, non-perishable, and to easy to contribute. This connection came to mind because as food stamp benefits decrease, use of places like food banks and other emergency food organizations tends to increase. So maybe the headlines are not so unrelated after all - they could be affecting some of the same people. If SNAP recipients turn to food banks once their supplemental income has run out, what will they find there? Hopefully more than just palates of ramen noodles and still-just-as-yellow Mac N Cheese.
Please consider making a donation to a local food bank during this time or starting a virtual food drive. I won't judge you if you donate ramen or macaroni, but something green (canned vegetables or cash money) might help out a little bit more.
Boston Food Bank: http://gbfb.org/
Feeding America: http://feedingamerica.org/