SOLE on SNAP: No easy answers

The more I research for the SOLE on SNAP project, the more I am realizing this is an issue that has many layers of complexity.

This article just created like 10 more questions in my head, that I don’t have the answers to.
http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-27-people-know-how-to-eat-better-they-just-cant-afford-it

Frankly, I don’t think anyone has the answers to this issue.

One thing that is becomming clear to me is that the solution to the problem most likely won’t be the same from place to place. Sure, it’s easy for me to visualize how I can eat for a month on $367. No sweat. But I have a car. A grocery store is less than 3 miles from my house. The farmer’s market I buy a lot of food from conveniently delivers my weekly order to a church parking lot that I pass on my way home from work. Less than 2 miles from where I work, and less than 3 miles from my home is another farmer’s market, that I frequent.

What about the people who live in a “food desert?” What if there isn’t a farmer’s market nearby? Or what if there isn’t a grocery store nearby or near public transportation? The deck is stacked against you. That’s what.

I’m going to try to keep these factors in mind as I get through the month of October. Hopefully, I come out the other side gaining some perspective and maybe teaching some of you along the way that there is hope.

Not to get all fluffly on you, but this is a public health issue. I see it in my work when I read about healthcare costs as they relate to state budgets. To me, the reasons why this is so important are right there in black and white (and most recently red) numbers. The food revolution is gaining some momentum, but it’s still early in the battle. The food revolution needs to address and overcome the criticisms (some legitimate, some natsamuch) to continue to move forward.

Sometimes I get so sad when I see these criticisms reported in the media and on social media. Everyone has a right to voice their opinions. And many people are reluctant to embrace changes. Especially when it comes to food. Food might be something that you don’t give much of a sideways thought to, but people have very deep emotions about their food. It’s something that every human needs to survive. Which is why these issues seem to polarize people so starkly. I just hope that one day, we all look back on this time as much healthier adults raising healthy children in a thriving economy, and realize it was a tough path, but worth every step.

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