Using SNAP food stamps responsibly

Nobody will care about your health the way you should.

Do you receive food stamps (or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP), or you know someone who does? Do you encourage those SNAP recipients to spend those dollars on healthy food? Whether you are a SNAP recipient or you know someone who is, you need to know that only individuals are in charge of making “it” work for you. By “it,” I mean that recipients have a decision to make on how those dollars will be spent, will it be on healthy food or unhealthy food? You may ask why is that such a big deal? Everyone has rights, right?

Here’s the challenge, the SNAP (or food stamp program) cost the government approximately $78 Billion in 2011, and fairly you only saw a fraction of that money, a large chunk of that money went to big business. So, while all these big companies are fighting to keep SNAP benefits, their job is different from the SNAP recipients. The big company’s job is to keep food stamps coming so recipients get to buy all kinds of food, healthy food, unhealthy food and everything in between. The point is to just get recipients to spend their money at that big company’s store. The big company wants you to have the SNAP benefit, but they are not necessarily focused on the health benefit, as we tend to see more unhealthy food advertised in comparison to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. The recipient’s job on the other hand is to keep their family eating and hopefully eating healthy. Don’t let the big company’s hard work, work against you.

In the long run, if you choose to consistently buy unhealthy food, you increase the risk of developing a host of diseases. Michigan State University Extension says those diseases may include:

In the end, the big companies have done their job well, by keeping the SNAP benefits for recipients and earning their money. But if you consistently buy the unhealthy food that tends to be heavily promoted, you may not live long enough or be healthy enough to enjoy it. A healthy, active and productive you is a big deal and that’s your real right!

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