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Voices / Letters from readers

Current SNAP program choices: a humble subsidy for recipient’s health, local food producers

RE: “A matter of choice” [Viewpoint, Feb. 21]:

This proposal to overhaul the SNAP program, like so many recently, is terrifying.

Of course, even if the infrastructure costs of pulling off such a feat would massively cut into the benefits that families actually receive, providing that box of canned and processed food would be a nice fat deal for a few corporate buddies of the administration.

I have been on food stamps for many years. Even before I had children, I qualified financially to receive them — even when working two to three jobs.

Since I have had children, these benefits have, as Allyson Wendt writes, allowed me to make healthy food choices for my children and have allowed me to use food as my first line of health care.

One thing that really bothers me is when people judge others for receiving food stamps or consider it a “handout.”

I consider food stamps to be a subsidy.

Huge companies of industrial agriculture and factory farmed meat receive large subsidies in our country.

I feel no shame about receiving a humble subsidy with which I can buy local food, support local and organic farms, and conscious food producers. I value food quality and think it is very important to our health. I want quality to be subsidized.

The majority of the foods I buy are whole ingredients, so more of the price is going to the growers and producers and more of the nutrition is going into our bodies.

I value the fact that even though I am low-income, I can use food-stamp funds to vote with my dollar for the farmers I want to support. And also help keep my family healthy.

I am also grateful for grant programs that further support local farmers by matching food-stamp funds at $10 per week at local farmers’ markets!

And isn’t allowing people to afford food, and sometimes healthier food choices, good for the overall health-care situation in our country?

More choice isn’t always going to be used wisely by every individual. Nothing will be.

But more choice will give many people the resources they need to make a huge difference.

Ingrid Burrows

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Originally published in The Commons issue #449 (Wednesday, March 7, 2018). This story appeared on page E3.

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