Food Stamp Challenge – Day Six

Posted on Sep 21, 2014 in NEWS AND REPORTS | Comments Off on Food Stamp Challenge – Day Six

Food Stamp Challenge – Day Six

On Friday I got up early… too early.  3:30am early.

The good thing about getting up early is that you can get a lot of stuff done.  Devotions, laundry, sermon prep, newsletter article, shower…. all before the kids get up.

The bad thing about getting up early is that your body needs something to keep it going.

4:00am – bread and butter.

6am – yogurt.

8am – banana.

By this time I had officially run out of all my breakfast foods and snacks. (Well, besides eggs but I had run out of time to make those.)

When I arrived to the Mission I was hungry again.

For lunch I ran out of my tuna and bread so I ate some leftover carrots.  I also turned down my meal at my weekly Friday Rotary meeting which allowed room for a few good discussions.

One comment heard at the table was that it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re on food stamps.  I hear this often, and in my experiences this week, I can see how this can be true.

Convenience foods are readily accessible (gas stations, dollar stores, etc…), they are rich in calories, thus energy (at least short term energy), and they are relatively inexpensive (or at least perceived to be inexpensive).  I agree, a Snickers bar would have gotten me through the morning.

So how to break this perception?  At the Mission we’ve been trying to teach healthy eating habits throughout all our programs.  We’ve been able to purchase and distribute more fruits and vegetables than ever before, our Choice Pantry volunteers suggest healthy recipes for folks shopping for food, we’re starting a healthy food cooking class at our Unity Kitchen, we have a Parish Nurse on site, and we have an ongoing  Youth Wellness Program and Diabetes support program for community members to attend.

Despite these efforts, the childhood obesity rate in Ohio remains over 30% and the diabetes rate increased from 10.0% to 11.7% in adults in 2013.

Thankfully others are joining the fight in our community.

 

Here are just a few of our community partners:

  • UNITY Garden – This initiative seeks to teach basic gardening skills as well as healthy living practices to develop an alternative for our youth away from the streets and negative influences. The project strives to develop positive role models, positive work ethics and life skills.  Thanks Justice Slappy and team for your positive presence in our community!
  • Jefferson County 4th Street Health Center – The Center provides free health care for residents of Jefferson County who are uninsured and who have chronic health issues. Patients who are eligible can access a wide range of healthcare services, such as blood pressure & blood glucose screenings and the “Free to Be Healthy!” Diabetic Education Program.  Thanks Ann Quillen & staff for your hard work caring for our community’s most vulnerable people.
  • OSU Extension Office – Jefferson County – This office provides a vast amount of resources for the local community in the areas of health and wellness, 4H, gardening, and nutrition.  We appreciate the work of Janine Yeske and team!

 

Here are links to encourage discussions around your own dinner table:

Top 10 ingredients for a Healthy SNAP Diet

Should Food Stamp (SNAP) Purchases Be Limited to Healthy Food?

Clean and Healthy Eating on Food Stamps

Is it Possible to Eat Healthy on a Food Stamp Budget?

Real Food on a Food Stamp Budget