Can “they” really get their plates in shape?

Continuing on the same prospect of National Nutrition Month, (previous post) I have realized that I have omitted to share with you some insights that it had provoked in my mind. The campaign “Get your plate in shape” I believe , wants to compel all social classes to eating right. Despite the simplicity that the campaign entails, I could not help but think about the minority who has brought up to my attention that the minimum they get makes it hard for them to buy fruits and vegetables [often proven to be more expensive than buying more carb based goods such as pasta, rice etc which attributes appear to be longer lasting].

Credit : John Russel from Flickr

Credit @ USDA

So then, I thought, what about SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits? Can this federal program help them into eating right? Is it not what it encompasses anyway? It turned out that the benefits that they receive exclude hot foods or food that can be eaten in the store. So then I thought what about the elderly, the homeless, or the disabled? How do they get access to readily edible foods? How do they go about cooking or consuming healthy food?

Well, in response to these questionings, I have read an article or rather commentary/analysis that mentioned SNAP benefits. One of this article’s highlights is that some States such as Rhode Island have passed exceptions to the prepared food restrictions; they were cognizant that certain groups of people may find it difficult or even impossible to prepare food for themselves. The article states: “Now, Rhode Island SNAP recipients who are homeless, disabled, or elderly may use their benefits to purchase prepared foods at federally-approved restaurants in the pilot program”. Although the USDAhas approved the purchase of comestible foods in Rhode Island, only some Subway restaurants have allowed the distribution of their products to customers using the SNAP plan.

Credit :Ronald Tan from flikcr

This finding has brought me to ponder about the question of choice. The programs are here, available to those in need of them, they make campaigns to promote healthy behaviors henceforth encouraging individual responsibility. But, how does the poor/disadvantaged go about making healthy choices in their meals if somehow what they can access is only limited to what the government allows them to consume? Basically, how can the poor simply get their plates in shape?


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