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Posts Tagged: SNAP Results 4

An Inside Look at the JCPA Food Stamp Challenge

Image: Deborah Lopez

For the gourmands among us in NYC, the words “food” and “crisis” are likely to refer to an inability to choose which hot new restaurant to grace for dinner. The word “hunger” can often get lost in the cacophony of “local,” “pasture-raised” and “sustainably grown.” Perhaps more so in the Jewish community, where much of our celebration is surrounded by food and we are overwhelmed by the abundance of it; the idea of Jewish values and hunger may get lost in the shuffle.

Enter: The Food Stamp Challenge.

Reality Check: Two Years on Food Stamps

“You don’t look poor.”

These were some of the only words my caseworker said to me during my intake at the Illinois Department of Human Services. I could hardly hide my disgust as he revealed a smile and asked me to fork over my stack of papers. His dry, albeit offensive brand of humor was especially jarring after the nearly 2 hours I spent standing in lines and waiting to hear my name called.

The REAL Food Stamp Challenge

Image: Desiree Stavracos

I recently found myself in one of my favorite places in NYC — The Union Square Farmer’s Market. As I wandered through the stalls, admiring the colorful varieties of cauliflower and broccoli I reflected on how much my shopping habits have changed. Sure, I occasionally shop at the Green Market at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, but for the past year I’ve purchased most of my produce from the Caribbean market around the corner from my house in Bed-Stuy. Spending almost a year on unemployment and one measly month on SNAP has changed the way that I budget, and the way that I shop for food.

Do Cash Purchases Yield a Healthier Diet?

Image: Flickr: Cafemama

With the opening of this season’s farmers markets, I find myself withdrawing more cash from my ATM — and more cash each week. The vendors do not accept checks or credit cards, so we patrons have to plan ahead or pay nasty surcharges when we run out of money during the middle of a market run and need replenishment from a nearby ATM (although a shout-out to WaWa by my beloved Headhouse Square Farmers’ Market at 2nd and Pine in Philadelphia for not charging extra for cash withdrawals from non-bank members). The consolation is that I spend less at Whole Foods and the other large food chains on my regular shopping rounds.

Share the Bounty

Share the Bounty

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