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In the Food Stamp Challenge thus far, I have been pretty successful in regulating and conserving my food use, while staying fed. Having finished day 3, I have noticed a little more hunger than normal, but nothing extreme. The thing I have to be more conscious of is nutrition. On cheap foods, it can be very easy to eat food that is filling, but not nutritious.
When I went shopping for my food for the week, my housemate that accompanied me had to persuade me to not get macaroni and cheese dinners. As far as calories per dollar, they weren’t a bad buy, but mac & cheese has little nutritional value other than pure carbs. My mother taught me pretty well what is good and what is bad for me, but I still would probably have bought a less healthy alternative had my housemate not convinced me otherwise.
Nutritional education was something that I got from my mother, as far as I can remember. What happens when generations of low income families can’t pass on this knowledge? Any money spent on food could become significantly less effective in helping a young child grow when the food consumed is unhealthy. SNAP benefits are limited, and if not spent wisely are simply going to be less effective nourishment than what they could be.
What happens to a family without enough money for food and not enough education on how to use that money for food?
Mark Fenton is a Communications Intern at Bread for the World
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