imagine you, on food stamps (3)


Pop quiz! A single question.

Do you recall the absolute maximum dollars-per-day-per-person figure we learned yesterday as we made our inquiry into the benefits of SNAP (“food stamps”) in Texas? You can answer with either the exact amount or the rounded-up figure. You have ten seconds.

Time’s up! If you said $6.00 (the rounded-up figure), you pass. If you said $5.92 (the exact figure), you pass, and get a gold star. If you didn’t remember, you need to catch up on your reading (part one & part two).

That theoretical maximum figure of $5.92 per person (in our hypothetical, two-person household) works out to $183.52 per month (or about $367 total for both people in the household). Notice I said theoretical.

“What is it in reality?,” you ask.

SNAP-TexasThe average monthly benefits from SNAP (“food stamps”) distributed per participant in Texas last year was significantly less: $125.57 per month to be precise (source). That is, the reality is about only two-thirds of the theoretical! And while things aren’t the best in Texas in this regard, it’s not like things are all that much different in the rest of the continental United States (i.e. – $148.63 per month in New York, is the highest; $115.08 in Minnesota, is the lowest).

Do ponder this: the average amount folks who receive SNAP benefits in Texas have at their disposal each day is $4.05 (as opposed to $4.79 in New York and $3.71 in Minnesota). But, to make things easy to remember, we’ll round things down this time and just call it $4.00 a day.

Not $4.00 for non-essentials, but $4.00 a day for food. That’s $1.33 per meal if, like most people, you eat three times each day. Skip a meal and you can bump your per-meal funds up to $2.00.

In case you missed the cue, this is the point where you stop reading this for a moment and utter an audible “Wow” followed by a bit of a deflated, heartbroken sigh.

That’s $4.00 per day per person for our one week project (or if you chose, like me, one month) this coming January. And so, it’s none too early to start thinking about what exactly you can, and will, have as a part of your diet in this project. You’ve got some thinking and shopping to do for this project.

Of course, for those of us who participate, it’s only a “project” right now, right? For others – nearly 4 million of the 25 million who live in the great state of Texas – roughly one out of every six or seven people in our state – it’s not a “project,” but “everyday living.” (source)

That’s something to think about it, isn’t it? All the more, they’re people to pray for and to help as you can.

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