Creative Commons License photo credit: LabGP & SigOther

Would you believe that in this day and age where we have coupons, food banks and discount supermarkets like Shoppers, people are still complaining about not being able to make it on $280 a month using food stamps for a family of two? The CNN Money Article-On Food Stamps And Still Hungry, seems to think so.

Don’t break out the tearjerker food stamp stories yet, I am only discussing the case detailed in the article where the woman and her young daughter are receiving food stamps but state that it is still not enough. While I know that food stamp allotments are generally lacking I feel that this young woman needs to work her resources effectively especially since she receives a free lunch at her culinary arts program.

I’d like to offer her some advice:

1. Apply for WIC. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children and will further subsidize food costs by allowing you to purchase the foods and beverages on the WIC food list.

2. Sign up for groceries with ShareDC.Org. This program allows its recipients to receive 2 bags of groceries for $18. This month’s package includes:

  1. Chicken Thighs
  2. Tiliapia Fillets
  3. Chicken Nuggets
  4. Flame Broiled Beef Steaks
  5. Sweet Italian Sausage
  6. Frozen Waffles
  7. Wafer Cookies
  8. Potatoes
  9. Onions
  10. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

This program serves the DC Metro area where this young lady lives however there are other programs such as Angel Food ministries where others can obtain food at low prices.

3. Stalk The Sunday Paper For Local Sales And Clip Coupons. This doesnt need much explaining, whatever staples aren’t covered by the above programs then try to find coupons for them in the Sunday paper and supermarket flyers.

4. Limit Your Meat And Dairy Intake. With rising food prices, these two items have seen the sharpest increases along with cheese, bread and milk. Many of you will disagree however I challenge you to find alternatives for 2-3 months and see what the difference in your wallet and health. I am a recovering meat eater so this works for us, I implore you to give it a try.  Eating healthy does not always mean expensive.

Granted I do not have children but she has resources available to her that will make it easier to get groceries for the month, especially here in the DC area where they have a myriad of programs to help women and children. $280 breaks down to $70 per week and that can easily be subsidized with the resources outlined above.

What advice or commentary do you have for this young lady’s situation?