On Food Stamps And Still Hungry @ $280 A Month

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?

  • http://www.portalkuliner.com/ Sarah

    Hi there, you know what? since few minutes ago I didn't even know about ShareDC.Org. I got to check it out, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.
    Thanks for sharing

  • http://www.food-recipe.info/ Rosalinda Olds


  • Julie

    Not to get off on a different tangent, but why isn’t she breastfeeding? Free milk! I have lots of friends who still breastfed after they went back to work, they just pumped while they were there. Yeah, it’s a pain, but if money is that much of a concern, it’s an easy way to ease the pocketbook for quite a while. And, she must be buying a lot of convienence foods which are always costlier.

  • Michelle

    My fiancee and I spend about $70 on groceries each month in addition to going out to eat somewhat frequently. While its just the 2 of us, I would imagine that if we only went out once a week and cooked for the rest of the month, we would probably save a hell of a lot of money. I don’t think people shop smart. Did anyone see that post on Consumerist a few days ago about the woman who crazy bargain shops and ends up getting $200 worth of groceries for like, $15? That’s wicked awesome and that’s how people need to be thriftier.

  • Tia

    The primary nutrition for a 4 month old is going to be formula which can be quite costly. The WIC idea is a good one though I wonder if the program they refer to for “woman and their young children” isn’t already it. Good suggestions in this article, though I wonder that she would ever see it.

  • hank

    I didn’t know about ShareDC.Org. Sounds like a pretty sweet setup. And not to drill it in, but on $280 a month for 2 people that is still a very good standard of living. You’re getting $5 per day per person to eat, and you can really stretch that out. $10 per day for both can buy a lot of staples to make good leftovers for sure…

  • Sara

    Sounds like she needs to learn how to make some of her own food. Since she is in a kitchen, you wouldn’t think that would be too hard. Baking power, yeast, baking soda, and flour – you can make all of your baked goods so much less. She can also make a lot of baby food herself if she just looked up how to, instead of having to pay for the canned stuff. We spend about $400 a month on groceries, which feeds the two of us quite well. It does not include all lunches and we do eat out some for dinner. But we never run out of food in the house.

  • http://wealthisgood.blogspot.com Meg (from The World of Wealth)

    And that woman gets an additional $65 of federal food assistance too, so really she’s getting $345 PLUS she gets a free lunch every day at her “training program!” Give me a break.

    Meg (from The World of Wealth)’s last blog post..Food Stamps: Too Much or Too Little Help?