About potential changes to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
Why do I care?
The proposed overhaul to the program is being pitched as a ‘Blue Apron-type program’ called ‘America’s Harvest Box’. It is estimated that 81% of SNAP recipients will see their benefits cut in half, affecting a over 16 million American households.
Tell me more.
The new program slashes EBT (cash-like) benefits and proposes ‘food boxes’ with items like “shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables.”
The change is being described as an inhumane plan that removes a person’s dignity to decide what they consume. Some food bank administrators believe the program would do more harm than good. It is unclear if the program would take into consideration special diet needs for populations such as the elderly who have conditions like Diabetes or families dealing with allergies. Another concern, the fact that the poor would have less access to fresh groceries like fruits, vegetables and dairy.
Many have come out opposed to the new proposal:
Jordan Rasmussen, a policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs said, “This action would not only destabilize attempts to bring more healthy, fresh foods into the homes of America’s food insecure, but would keep dollars out of local grocery stores and farmers markets, which are critical assets to all communities.”
“Among the problems, it’s going to be costly and take money out of the [SNAP] program from the administrative side. It’s going to stigmatize people when they have to go to certain places to pick up benefits.” stated Jim Weill, President of the Food Research and Action Center.
Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities agrees that if the changes were put into action, it “would be devastating for the one-in-eight Americans who use SNAP to put food on the table every day…It would reduce benefits and undercut the program’s efficiency and effectiveness.”
That’s What She Said
One mom is saying what we all sometimes feel, “I Love My Kids, But Sometimes I Don’t Like Them.” She goes on to ask, “How awful and ugly does that sound on a scale of one to Mommy Dearest?”
Our answer? She’s not the only one. There’s even a Reddit thread dedicated to some seriously honest confessions on the topic.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Kids get stressed out too. As parents, we have an opportunity to give them constructive coping skills. A recent study of over 80,000 young people found that their longer term happiness depended not on avoiding stress, but positive coping skills for handling it.
According to the lead author of the study, Bruce Compas, a professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt says, “Stress is the single most potent risk factor for mental health problems in children and adolescents, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome, eating disorders, and substance use. But the good news is the brain is malleable. Once positive coping skills are learned and put into practice, especially as a family, they can be used to manage stress for a lifetime.”
According to Compas there are four things you can do right now to work on establishing positive coping skills:
- Listen without trying to fix (at first). Give them time to talk out their stress.
- Teach your children the first rule of coping with stress, “Try to change the things you can change, and accept the things you cannot change.”
- Share your own experiences with stress and how you coped. If you haven’t experienced something similar, think out loud how you might attempt to cope.
- Make follow-up the norm. If their first strategy doesn’t work, hash out another option.
It’s clear this is an ongoing process and conversation with your kids, but stress doesn’t always equate to a negative outcome when constructive strategies are put into place.
Got debt? Us too.
Some think the ‘Snowball Method’ is the best way to tackle debt.
List your debts from smallest to largest. Make minimum payments on all of the debts except for the smallest. Pay the max that you can pay on this smaller debt until you can close out the account. Once paid off, roll over that amount to the current minimum payment of your next debt. Continue this process until your debts are paid off in full.
The reason this works, according to Dave Ramsey (a financial guru) and a study by Northwestern Kellogg University, is that it taps into a person’s need to see debt go away fast. By seeing debts paid off, according to the study, you’re more likely to continue paying your debts until they are gone.
Give it a go by start withing this Debt Snowball worksheet.
Parting Thought for the Day
Struggling with making self-care a priority? Read these 30 quotes. Love yourself. Especially today.
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness. “ – Deborah Day
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