July 20, 2019
Letter

Nutrition first

The food stamp program recently changed its name to SNAP, which is an acronym for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, however nothing else was changed but the name and a rise in benefits for its recipients. Why sneak the word “nutrition” in there if there’s nothing nutritious about it?

The supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, or WIC, doesn’t seem to have a hard time regulating its program. The reason why people aren’t accusing WIC of “forcing a diet” is because WIC started off well-regulated. On the other hand, creating a poorly regulated food stamps program was like buying a kid a lollipop and then getting nervous about taking it away, not wanting the kid or the lollipop manufacturer to cry about it.

Contrary to popular belief, there always has been a running list of what people aren’t allowed to buy with food stamps, but the list has never been long enough. Soda should be on that list along with many other things that aren’t nutritious. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege and as long as they’re using someone else’s money, they should take what they’re given and be grateful for it.

I know better than most what it’s like to be truly poor. In my childhood, I ate hard macaroni out of the box or a bowl of peanut butter and corn syrup because it was the only thing we had in the house. My brothers and I even lived off raw cranberries and sardines for a couple of months. We would have been grateful to get a plate of cooked spaghetti or a gallon of milk. For these people to complain about not being able to get junk with their food stamps after what I’ve been through makes me livid.

Jo-Ellen Jamieson

Kenduskeag


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