Author Topic: Poverty in America - Defining the New Poor  (Read 5276 times)

menorman

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Poverty in America - Defining the New Poor
« on: April 22, 2012, 07:36:16 PM »
Just came across this article on my Facebook feed a little earlier today and decided to have a read. As is predicated by this post being in this board, the Mustachians can imagine the basis of the article. What really struck me was the lady wondering how to feed her son and herself healthy options on the equivalent of about $2/person/meal. Based on the situation she mentions she's in, I presume she already doesn't have a massive variety in what she eats nor does she spend much time eating away from home. But yet, she (and apparently millions more) are unable to figure out how to feed themselves at those prices. I feel that public education campaign on budgeting that was coupled with receiving assistance would be a very good thing to have.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 04:11:29 PM by menorman »

AJ

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Re: Poverty in America - Defining the New Poor
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 11:26:29 AM »
I don't have a problem with providing assistance to people who need it and are trying to make a better life for themselves. This lady is in school and is providing for her child. Benefit of the doubt, she sounds like a perfectly deserving candidate for the temporary assistance she is receiving. However, I also think it is fair that such assistance be the minimum needed to provide for only the most basic needs. Do you need fruits and veggies? Yes. Do they need to be fresh, out of season, shipped from across the world fruits and veggies? No. Frozen are cheap and more nutritious. $2 a meal is a reasonable amount in most parts of the country. It won't buy you organic blueberries in December, but you can get frozen orange juice and spinach, along with small portions of meat and plenty of rice, beans, and lentils.

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"An avocado costs $1.50, and I've got approximately $2 a meal," she says.

So, don't eat avocados.

TLV

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Re: Poverty in America - Defining the New Poor
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 11:59:19 AM »
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Jones gets $367 per month in assistance for food, which breaks down to about $12 a day to feed two people three meals each day. That's not a lot of money, especially if you want your child to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, she says.

"An avocado costs $1.50, and I've got approximately $2 a meal," she says.

Her kid is 7. What 7-year-old eats an entire avocado in a sitting? The serving size is either 1/5 or 1/2 of an avocado, depending on your source. When my wife and I make tacos, we usually split an avocado between us and it's plenty. Home-made tortillas, rice, and beans run maybe $1.50 *tops* (like super-organic fancy stuff. For us it would be less than $1) for two people, one meal if you buy the ingredients in bulk (20-50 lb bags) - add an avocado and you still have $1 to spend on other frills like lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, or cheese. Eat cheaper for breakfast and lunch (think oatmeal and PBJ sandwiches, though those are hardly the only options) and you could afford some chicken.

I don't mean to be hard on people that need food stamps, but $367 per month is more than enough for two people. Our average is just over $300/mo. for the past two years, and we eat fish/seafood twice a week and have meat included more often than not.

Could we start a petition to have a print-out of http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/29/killing-your-1000-grocery-bill/ given out with the food stamp cards?

AJ

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Re: Poverty in America - Defining the New Poor
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 12:21:23 PM »
Could we start a petition to have a print-out of http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/29/killing-your-1000-grocery-bill/ given out with the food stamp cards?

I think that is a good portion of the issue. If you don't know how to shop or cook, it will be hard to find healthy pre-made food for <$2 a meal. My parents only taught me to cook party pizzas and mac & cheese, so I had to teach myself. If someone has never done that (or, doesn't realize they can and need to), I could see balking at $2 meals. It also doesn't help that >60% of folks are overweight, and therefore buying/eating too many calories in the first place.

menorman

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Re: Poverty in America - Defining the New Poor
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 04:56:09 PM »
Could we start a petition to have a print-out of http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/29/killing-your-1000-grocery-bill/ given out with the food stamp cards?

I think that is a good portion of the issue. If you don't know how to shop or cook, it will be hard to find healthy pre-made food for <$2 a meal. My parents only taught me to cook party pizzas and mac & cheese, so I had to teach myself. If someone has never done that (or, doesn't realize they can and need to), I could see balking at $2 meals. It also doesn't help that >60% of folks are overweight, and therefore buying/eating too many calories in the first place.

Yep, an education program for all food stamp recipients would go a long way. But at the same time, cutting out fast foods and impulse buys should also reduce most food budgets substantially.

Gerard

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Re: Poverty in America - Defining the New Poor
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 05:25:51 PM »
Of course, those ("socialist") high school home ec programmes introduced early in the last century are long gone...