Social Work: Food Stamps
Many people argue food stamps promote eating non-nutritious food. This argument is founded on the idea that eating more nutritious foods costs more. If food stamps are limited to specific types of foods, you will reach less of the target population due to the cost of foods increasing and providing less benefit to the consumers who need them. In one instance, a program injection of $100 million was needed to supplement existing food stamps so people could afford to buy fruits and vegetables.
There is also the problem of access. Most people who are poor live in areas where there is less access to healthy fresh foods. This presents a serious issue of limiting the person’s ability to eat healthy even if the food stamps provided enough money.
One of the more important factors left out of these discussions is the fact that nutrition education plays a large role in the making of proper eating choices. A more effective program might include education in this area which the USDA is working on:
USDA also helps fund education efforts like Cooking Matters. The program teaches low-income families how to cook and shop to get the most nutritional bang for the buck — by buying frozen versus fresh vegetables, for example, or focusing on the price-per-unit rather than the total price when comparing two items (Godoy, 2015).
This type of program provides practical decision making rather than trying to limit what can be bought and what can’t which would be an expensive and difficult undertaking. This option seems to be the more effective method of working with food stamps and trying to maximize their benefit.
Godoy, M. (2015, September 18). How America’s Wealth Gap Shows Up On Our Dinner Plates. Retrieved from NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/18/441143723/people-on-food-stamps-eat-less-nutritious-food-than-everyone-else