All natural foods are healthy and great, but can lower income folks afford them? Healthier alternatives

Chapter 24

All natural foods are healthy and great, but can lower income folks afford them? Healthier alternatives

One argument that I have heard is that even families on food stamps can afford to buy and eat healthy all natural foods. The facts say differently:

“Table 1 shows the maximum SNAP benefit levels in fiscal year 2015 for households of different sizes. Take as an example a family of three: if that family had no income, it would receive the maximum benefit of \$511 per month; if it had \$600 in net monthly income, it would receive the maximum benefit (\$511) minus 30 percent of its net income (30 percent of \$600 is \$180), or \$331. On average, SNAP households currently receive about \$256 a month. The average SNAP benefit per person is about \$125 per month, which works out to about \$1.40 per person per meal.

 Table 1 SNAP Benefits by Household Size Household Size Maximum    Monthly Benefit    Fiscal Year 2015 Estimated Average       Monthly Benefit        Fiscal Year 2014* 1 \$194 \$140 2 \$357 \$247 3 \$511 \$367 4 \$649 \$443 5 \$771 \$521 6 \$925 \$625 7 \$1,022 \$676 8 \$1,169 \$808

If you do the math, what this means is that the average family of four that receives food stamps has a monthly income of \$1,764 (\$2,584 / 649 x 443) and receives \$443 in food stamp benefit.

After rent, car payment, utilities, insurances, clothing, and all other expenses it is obvious that these folks are entirely dependent of this supplement for all of their food. Under these circumstances a family might be able to fit some natural/healthy foods into their budget, but I suspect very little.

stay tuned next week for more on this topic