2 million would lose access to food under House Farm Bill

First they came for their healthcare, then they came for their housing, now they come to take their food. When will the attacks on the poor and most vulnerable stop?

Nearly two million low-income Americans, including 469,000 households with young children, would be stripped of benefits under the House version of the farm bill being considered this week by congressional negotiators, according to an analysis by a nonpartisan research firm.

The bill, a multiyear spending measure that narrowly passed the House in June, includes a proposal to reformulate income and expense criteria for the 42 million recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/us/politics/trump-farm-bill-congress.html

The poor have nothing to take from them except necessities, so the wealthy are again trying to do that to fund their tax cuts. With food insecurity still has not dropped to pre crisis levels, and soup kitchens and food pantries still overwhelmed, this will leave many with no options at all. How can anyone justify this?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americas-food-insecurity-still-worse-than-in-2007/

Lil devils x:
How can anyone justify this?

Because something something immigrants something something libtard cucks.

CheetoDust:
Because something something immigrants something something libtard cucks.

I mean, I was going to answer, but you took the words right out of my mouth

Guess it's time to write to my representative to let them know how I feel about this issue.

Lil devils x:
First they came for their healthcare, then they came for their housing, now they come to take their food. When will the attacks on the poor and most vulnerable stop?

#

The sooner these people sicken and die, the sooner they'll stop being a tax burden and poverty-related crime risk for everyone else.

What could be simpler?

You see, Republicans hate a lot of things you Americans have the right to, and when they cannot ban it they take the strategy of making it ever more difficult, hoping to trim percentages of people who partake out. They cant ban abortions, so they make sure you'd need to jump on a airplane to go get one from the next city, they can't stop people voting against them so they make it increasingly difficult for those people to vote with id cards and stuff, and likewise this they can't ban food stamps so they make it increasingly difficult to qualify for them.

Can't ban it? Then make it more of a hassle.

Agema:

Lil devils x:
First they came for their healthcare, then they came for their housing, now they come to take their food. When will the attacks on the poor and most vulnerable stop?

#

The sooner these people sicken and die, the sooner they'll stop being a tax burden and poverty-related crime risk for everyone else.

What could be simpler?

Unpopular opinion time:

Gutting SNAP is actually a good idea, but Congress is going about it in completely the wrong way especially for it being a farm bill. And, Congress is in a rare position to do it in a way both Republicans and Democrats would easily be able to agree on, that actually helps people, which means it'll never, ever be considered (it's an election year after all, can't have any legislative victories let alone bipartisan ones).

The problem with SNAP as I see it is it indirectly rewards poor and predatory behavior on corporations' parts. Not just major multinationals paying poverty wages to exploit social programs, but in terms of food processing companies churning out preservative- and enhancer-laden unhealthy garbage for pennies on the dollar, which are in turn sold to the poor who can't afford (or often enough, given food desertification) or can't access decent food, or don't have the time or knowledge to eat decently. As with the off-and-on "debate" about school lunches, the root cause is almost always the food industry looking to protect its market and push their most-profitable options.

What Congress ought to do is create a streamlined system of partnered food processing and logistics companies, under tight regulation and supervision under the USDA and FDA, to purchase surplus product from farmers, process that product into healthy food assistance packages, to be shipped to or picked up by food assistance recipients. At the same time, build an online home economics curriculum accessible to any American, and recommended and incentivized (but not required) for food assistance recipients, that focuses on nutritional basics, meal planning, food preparation, preservation, and safety. Then, cut the amount of dollar assistance to be a supplemental fund for discretionary grocery purchases.

The best part of this is, in my mind, food assistance could be tiered and tailored to individual need. The lowest tier could be boil-in-bag or microwavable meal kit delivery services with no or small dollar assistance to account for the additional expense, which would be the best option for people with no experience or education in home economics, or the working poor who live in food deserts and/or lack time for proper meal planning and preparation. The next tier up could be weekly grocery delivery, and more substantial dollar assistance, for those who understand how to plan, prepare, and stretch meals, but lack food access. Finally, the highest tier could be a fundamentals package (just meat, grain, dairy, and fruit/vegetables), with the highest amount of dollar assistance, for low-income individuals who live in areas with ample food access. The higher tiers could even be tailored to region and regional access -- there's no purpose behind including dairy, grain, or meat in the Midwest, where those parts of the diet could be locally-sourced cheaper, for example.

Cut the middlemen, cut cost, and get healthy food to the people who need it the most at the same time. The only thing preventing this are the food and retail industries.

Eacaraxe:
Unpopular opinion time:

Gutting SNAP is actually a good idea, but Congress is going about it in completely the wrong way especially for it being a farm bill. And, Congress is in a rare position to do it in a way both Republicans and Democrats would easily be able to agree on, that actually helps people, which means it'll never, ever be considered (it's an election year after all, can't have any legislative victories let alone bipartisan ones).

The problem with SNAP as I see it is it indirectly rewards poor and predatory behavior on corporations' parts. Not just major multinationals paying poverty wages to exploit social programs, but in terms of food processing companies churning out preservative- and enhancer-laden unhealthy garbage for pennies on the dollar, which are in turn sold to the poor who can't afford (or often enough, given food desertification) or can't access decent food, or don't have the time or knowledge to eat decently. As with the off-and-on "debate" about school lunches, the root cause is almost always the food industry looking to protect its market and push their most-profitable options.

What Congress ought to do is create a streamlined system of partnered food processing and logistics companies, under tight regulation and supervision under the USDA and FDA, to purchase surplus product from farmers, process that product into healthy food assistance packages, to be shipped to or picked up by food assistance recipients. At the same time, build an online home economics curriculum accessible to any American, and recommended and incentivized (but not required) for food assistance recipients, that focuses on nutritional basics, meal planning, food preparation, preservation, and safety. Then, cut the amount of dollar assistance to be a supplemental fund for discretionary grocery purchases.

The best part of this is, in my mind, food assistance could be tiered and tailored to individual need. The lowest tier could be boil-in-bag or microwavable meal kit delivery services with no or small dollar assistance to account for the additional expense, which would be the best option for people with no experience or education in home economics, or the working poor who live in food deserts and/or lack time for proper meal planning and preparation. The next tier up could be weekly grocery delivery, and more substantial dollar assistance, for those who understand how to plan, prepare, and stretch meals, but lack food access. Finally, the highest tier could be a fundamentals package (just meat, grain, dairy, and fruit/vegetables), with the highest amount of dollar assistance, for low-income individuals who live in areas with ample food access. The higher tiers could even be tailored to region and regional access -- there's no purpose behind including dairy, grain, or meat in the Midwest, where those parts of the diet could be locally-sourced cheaper, for example.

Cut the middlemen, cut cost, and get healthy food to the people who need it the most at the same time. The only thing preventing this are the food and retail industries.

I don't think you're opinion is all that unpopular. You're right that a lot of systems are less than functional and usually just property up companies anyway. In Ireland we have rent allowance. We used to have plentiful council housing that provided affordable accommodation and the possibility of even low income families owning their own homes. Now we have various schemes that just pay rent to private landlords which unsurprisingly doesn't motivate them to keep rents stable and now Dublin is one of the most expensive cities in Europe to live in.

The reason this bill is terrible is that yes, it scraps the inefficient system in place. But it doesn't replace it with a better one. When I say that my government should scrap rent allowance and use that money to build or buy affordable properties I don't mean scrap rent allowance and then at some point in the future sort out social housing. Scrapping this without a replacement plan that immediately takes effect is going to straight up kill people or increase crime because bit turns out we need to eat and when we don't we either die or steal what we need.

Eacaraxe:
under tight regulation and supervision

And this is why your idea is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Too much lobbying and corporate power in US politics to properly empower regulators.

Eacaraxe:
Unpopular opinion time:

Gutting SNAP is actually a good idea, but Congress is going about it in completely the wrong way especially for it being a farm bill. And, Congress is in a rare position to do it in a way both Republicans and Democrats would easily be able to agree on, that actually helps people, which means it'll never, ever be considered (it's an election year after all, can't have any legislative victories let alone bipartisan ones).

The problem with SNAP as I see it is it indirectly rewards poor and predatory behavior on corporations' parts. Not just major multinationals paying poverty wages to exploit social programs, but in terms of food processing companies churning out preservative- and enhancer-laden unhealthy garbage for pennies on the dollar, which are in turn sold to the poor who can't afford (or often enough, given food desertification) or can't access decent food, or don't have the time or knowledge to eat decently. As with the off-and-on "debate" about school lunches, the root cause is almost always the food industry looking to protect its market and push their most-profitable options.

What Congress ought to do is create a streamlined system of partnered food processing and logistics companies, under tight regulation and supervision under the USDA and FDA, to purchase surplus product from farmers, process that product into healthy food assistance packages, to be shipped to or picked up by food assistance recipients. At the same time, build an online home economics curriculum accessible to any American, and recommended and incentivized (but not required) for food assistance recipients, that focuses on nutritional basics, meal planning, food preparation, preservation, and safety. Then, cut the amount of dollar assistance to be a supplemental fund for discretionary grocery purchases.

The best part of this is, in my mind, food assistance could be tiered and tailored to individual need. The lowest tier could be boil-in-bag or microwavable meal kit delivery services with no or small dollar assistance to account for the additional expense, which would be the best option for people with no experience or education in home economics, or the working poor who live in food deserts and/or lack time for proper meal planning and preparation. The next tier up could be weekly grocery delivery, and more substantial dollar assistance, for those who understand how to plan, prepare, and stretch meals, but lack food access. Finally, the highest tier could be a fundamentals package (just meat, grain, dairy, and fruit/vegetables), with the highest amount of dollar assistance, for low-income individuals who live in areas with ample food access. The higher tiers could even be tailored to region and regional access -- there's no purpose behind including dairy, grain, or meat in the Midwest, where those parts of the diet could be locally-sourced cheaper, for example.

Cut the middlemen, cut cost, and get healthy food to the people who need it the most at the same time. The only thing preventing this are the food and retail industries.

That sounds a lot like socialism to me.

It's a great idea in theory, but it would take a whole lot of organisation, considering the republican are clearly trying to reduce the size of the government (even if it end up costing more), they'd never go for this in a million years.

Catnip1024:

Eacaraxe:
under tight regulation and supervision

And this is why your idea is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Too much lobbying and corporate power in US politics to properly empower regulators.

Cause of Republicans.

Saelune:

Catnip1024:

Eacaraxe:
under tight regulation and supervision

And this is why your idea is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Too much lobbying and corporate power in US politics to properly empower regulators.

Cause of Republicans.

It is because of Republicans, or it be the cause of Republicans? I could see that either way.

Eacaraxe:
*snips... or should I say snaps*

The major problem is that we're dealing with government. It takes years to get the simplest things done, years to rectify it.

People will have a death grip on SNAP and other programs like it because they come to depend on them. No raise in minimum wages+only so many hours in the day=Kids still need to eat when you're barely affording to keep a roof over their heads. The Working Homeless is a real thing. People who are not just sitting around, trying to scam the system. The reality of it is, a lot of the time, the system is scamming them.

And we have a Republican Government who famously tried to rid this nation of the only health insurance they can get via the idea of Repeal Now, Replace it later.

When's a suitable later for you when you can't get enough food while working your job? Is there any suitable later for when your kids say they are hungry when you're back from working anyone of your three jobs?

There's conversation to be had here, a good one that SNAP might need a overhaul. But removing SNAP is one more step to making this a Government for the Corporations, not for the People. Because Corporate Lobbyists can successfully kill a raise in minimum wage, spend millions of dollars opposing Climate Change Policy... Hell, Lobbyists fought to keep the tax breaks the GOP proposed.

Have a viable solution first, remove or rehaul SNAP that protects the American People. That's all anyone is asking. Fix the broken pipe. Not remove the broken pipe and have the flow spill all over the place, saying you'll fix it later but it was better to remove the broken pipe now.

Eacaraxe:
Unpopular opinion time:

Gutting SNAP is actually a good idea, but Congress is going about it in completely the wrong way especially for it being a farm bill. And, Congress is in a rare position to do it in a way both Republicans and Democrats would easily be able to agree on, that actually helps people, which means it'll never, ever be considered (it's an election year after all, can't have any legislative victories let alone bipartisan ones).

The problem with SNAP as I see it is it indirectly rewards poor and predatory behavior on corporations' parts. Not just major multinationals paying poverty wages to exploit social programs, but in terms of food processing companies churning out preservative- and enhancer-laden unhealthy garbage for pennies on the dollar, which are in turn sold to the poor who can't afford (or often enough, given food desertification) or can't access decent food, or don't have the time or knowledge to eat decently. As with the off-and-on "debate" about school lunches, the root cause is almost always the food industry looking to protect its market and push their most-profitable options.

What Congress ought to do is create a streamlined system of partnered food processing and logistics companies, under tight regulation and supervision under the USDA and FDA, to purchase surplus product from farmers, process that product into healthy food assistance packages, to be shipped to or picked up by food assistance recipients. At the same time, build an online home economics curriculum accessible to any American, and recommended and incentivized (but not required) for food assistance recipients, that focuses on nutritional basics, meal planning, food preparation, preservation, and safety. Then, cut the amount of dollar assistance to be a supplemental fund for discretionary grocery purchases.

The best part of this is, in my mind, food assistance could be tiered and tailored to individual need. The lowest tier could be boil-in-bag or microwavable meal kit delivery services with no or small dollar assistance to account for the additional expense, which would be the best option for people with no experience or education in home economics, or the working poor who live in food deserts and/or lack time for proper meal planning and preparation. The next tier up could be weekly grocery delivery, and more substantial dollar assistance, for those who understand how to plan, prepare, and stretch meals, but lack food access. Finally, the highest tier could be a fundamentals package (just meat, grain, dairy, and fruit/vegetables), with the highest amount of dollar assistance, for low-income individuals who live in areas with ample food access. The higher tiers could even be tailored to region and regional access -- there's no purpose behind including dairy, grain, or meat in the Midwest, where those parts of the diet could be locally-sourced cheaper, for example.

Cut the middlemen, cut cost, and get healthy food to the people who need it the most at the same time. The only thing preventing this are the food and retail industries.

Few problems:
1: if you're food insecure, chances are good you don't have a computer, much less reliable internet.
2: the government's tried to do the food distribution thing before, and there's a reason we chose "just go to a grocery store instead" as our go to, and it wasn't necessarily lobbying. Fresh food can go bad shockingly quickly, and a population sized Blue Apron gets really expensive, really quickly.
3: SNAP is also an economic stimulus for businesses. Almost every dollar spent through SNAP goes to a business in the local area. Maybe not a mom-and-pop shop, but a profitable Walmart is a Walmart that's hiring. Mind, we still need to force them to adequately compensate their labor, but that should be done 5hrough other means. Meanwhile, more local regional grocers and things like the local bodega get helped much more. Every SNAP $1 provides something like $1.25 in economic activity.
4: people love/require the dignity of self-determination. Plus, with things like various food allergies, intolerance, conditions like gastritis or IBS..."sorry Timmy, I know tuna makes you reflexively vomit, but it's our protein this month"

EDIT: SNAP is one of the least abused governmental assistance programs we have, and a huge part of what fraud they have is "I traded some steaks for soap, deodorant, and a tank of gas". Fraud would be virtually eliminated if non-food essentials got put on the "may purchase" list. 'Course, I also think we should just remove some of the sillier restrictions as well. Like, you can buy a cold sandwich from a grocer for lunch, but it all of a sudden becomes illegal if they then put it in a toaster. Because that's hot food, you see.

Saelune:
Cause of Republicans.

Because of a lack of democratic process and a prioritisation of quick cash that goes across the party divide and has never been any other way. There are no good guys when it comes to promoting regulation, just bad guys and even worse guys.

Catnip1024:

Saelune:
Cause of Republicans.

Because of a lack of democratic process and a prioritisation of quick cash that goes across the party divide and has never been any other way. There are no good guys when it comes to promoting regulation, just bad guys and even worse guys.

The Republican Party may be unofficially about racism and bigotry, but officially they are anti-regulations for basically everything.

Republicans are the bad guys here, and the worse guys, and the guys worse than that.

A lack of democratic process is also what got Republicans in power. Just because you say both sides are equally bad, doesn't make both sides equally bad. Republicans are anti-regulation, Trump especially is anti-regulation and has spent most of his presidency tearing down any and every regulation he can.

Saelune:
The Republican Party may be unofficially about racism and bigotry, but officially they are anti-regulations for basically everything.

Republicans are the bad guys here, and the worse guys, and the guys worse than that.

A lack of democratic process is also what got Republicans in power. Just because you say both sides are equally bad, doesn't make both sides equally bad. Republicans are anti-regulation, Trump especially is anti-regulation and has spent most of his presidency tearing down any and every regulation he can.

The Democrats had plenty of chances to improve regulation. Yet we are still in the weak situation we are in today.

You can talk the talk all you like, but at the end of the day the guy who died because of your failure to act doesn't give a shit.

Catnip1024:

Saelune:
The Republican Party may be unofficially about racism and bigotry, but officially they are anti-regulations for basically everything.

Republicans are the bad guys here, and the worse guys, and the guys worse than that.

A lack of democratic process is also what got Republicans in power. Just because you say both sides are equally bad, doesn't make both sides equally bad. Republicans are anti-regulation, Trump especially is anti-regulation and has spent most of his presidency tearing down any and every regulation he can.

The Democrats had plenty of chances to improve regulation. Yet we are still in the weak situation we are in today.

You can talk the talk all you like, but at the end of the day the guy who died because of your failure to act doesn't give a shit.

You mean all those times Republicans did everything they could to slow down or outright block Dem's actions? You mean those 8 years Obama did everything he could within reason to work WITH Republicans to make compromised deals that could hopefully appease both sides?

Facts are facts, despite what Conway and Giuliani say, and the facts are REPUBLICANS ARE THE PROBLEM!

Eacaraxe:
Unpopular opinion time:

Gutting SNAP is actually a good idea, but Congress is going about it in completely the wrong way especially for it being a farm bill. And, Congress is in a rare position to do it in a way both Republicans and Democrats would easily be able to agree on, that actually helps people, which means it'll never, ever be considered (it's an election year after all, can't have any legislative victories let alone bipartisan ones).

The problem with SNAP as I see it is it indirectly rewards poor and predatory behavior on corporations' parts. Not just major multinationals paying poverty wages to exploit social programs, but in terms of food processing companies churning out preservative- and enhancer-laden unhealthy garbage for pennies on the dollar, which are in turn sold to the poor who can't afford (or often enough, given food desertification) or can't access decent food, or don't have the time or knowledge to eat decently. As with the off-and-on "debate" about school lunches, the root cause is almost always the food industry looking to protect its market and push their most-profitable options.

What Congress ought to do is create a streamlined system of partnered food processing and logistics companies, under tight regulation and supervision under the USDA and FDA, to purchase surplus product from farmers, process that product into healthy food assistance packages, to be shipped to or picked up by food assistance recipients. At the same time, build an online home economics curriculum accessible to any American, and recommended and incentivized (but not required) for food assistance recipients, that focuses on nutritional basics, meal planning, food preparation, preservation, and safety. Then, cut the amount of dollar assistance to be a supplemental fund for discretionary grocery purchases.

The best part of this is, in my mind, food assistance could be tiered and tailored to individual need. The lowest tier could be boil-in-bag or microwavable meal kit delivery services with no or small dollar assistance to account for the additional expense, which would be the best option for people with no experience or education in home economics, or the working poor who live in food deserts and/or lack time for proper meal planning and preparation. The next tier up could be weekly grocery delivery, and more substantial dollar assistance, for those who understand how to plan, prepare, and stretch meals, but lack food access. Finally, the highest tier could be a fundamentals package (just meat, grain, dairy, and fruit/vegetables), with the highest amount of dollar assistance, for low-income individuals who live in areas with ample food access. The higher tiers could even be tailored to region and regional access -- there's no purpose behind including dairy, grain, or meat in the Midwest, where those parts of the diet could be locally-sourced cheaper, for example.

Cut the middlemen, cut cost, and get healthy food to the people who need it the most at the same time. The only thing preventing this are the food and retail industries.

There are some serious issues with this in addition to the issues already named above by others, especially when you consider a good portion of people who receive SNAP are on medically restricted diets. There is not and will never be a " one size fits all solution". With the sick, disabled and elderly, the diets can greatly vary from not being able to drink tap water or consume any produce with any pesticides in it, to not being able to eat canned goods containing preservatives, or even fish from certain regions. Medical issues greatly vary thus their diet will greatly vary. You cannot just send them the surplus and expect them to live, as that surplus very well could result in their death.
For example scroll down to the foods to avoid list here for gallbladder disease ( not to be confused with gallstones)
http://gallbladderattack.com/gallbladder-diet/
Now frequently people who suffer from gallbladder disease ALSO have other diet restrictions, so then say they have a Nightshade allergy:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321883.php
what is left when you combine the two lists that is safe for them to eat? And that is just two issues, many have numerous issues rather than just two when you start looking at elderly, cancer patients, and chronic diseases.

That is how this works in reality. You cannot pick their food for them, it is necessary to allow them to purchase what they need in order to make sure they receive proper nutrition.

altnameJag:
Snip

Again, I'm talking about what I believe would work, not what has a snowball's chance of passing, but...since this is a good cross-section of criticism in the thread not founded in partisan politics:

1. I had this thing typed up about offering home econ curricula through pamphlets and printed resources for those without internet access, but I guess I deleted it. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but the loss of proper home economics education and expecting people to "just learn" it through experience is a huge chunk of why quite a few people are having problems today, especially when it comes to what foods are healthy and what aren't, and how to eat healthy on a budget.

2 & 3. Part of the cost of contemporary meal kit delivery services are that their main selling point are using less-available, or more costly, ingredients to provide as broad a service -- and as many new recipes -- as possible. I just looked at the Blue Apron site, and one of the recipes they're apparently offering next week is goat cheese quiche, for God's sake. Having a variety of foods available for ready-made food assistance meal kits is ideal, but it needs to be balanced against cost of ingredients, availability, and ease of preparation. Part and parcel of the whole idea, is to capitalize on reduced cost by eliminating middlemen and leveraging economics of scale to provide ready-made meal kits at as low a price to the government as possible.

The most emergent problem we, as a country, face right now which will only increase in the future, is food access and food desertification and swampification. Full disclosure, reading up for this post introduced me to the term "food swamp" as a phenomenon within, but separate from, the larger classification "food desert", and I like the term and find it much more sensible for describing food access issues in major urban centers as distinct from access issues in rural areas. For those not in the know: food deserts are areas where food is hard to access, due to commutes, income, time, etc; food swamps are areas where only unhealthy food is available and affordable.

This is why "just go to a grocery store" fails in today's economic landscape, and why food assistance via delivery and food banking already is, and will be, of the utmost importance moving forward. It doesn't help a food assistance recipient to get an allowance in dollars if they lack access. That's the big problem facing elderly recipients, and recipients in food deserts and swamps, and that's going to get bigger. But in the meantime, large-scale logistics and delivery have never been easier or cheaper, and that's a trend likely to continue for the foreseeable future: that's why food security advocates breathed one huge sigh of relief over the Amazon-Whole Foods merger, rollout of Amazon Fresh, and participation of Amazon in SNAP.

Hardly ideal because we're talking about fuckin' Amazon which blows Walmart out of the water in terms of poor employee treatment and substandard pay, but it's a baby step in kind of a right direction that might do some people in need a limited amount of good. Which makes a lovely dovetail for my next point. Large chain supermarkets like Walmart are actually a keystone in food desertification, precisely because they're anti-competitive, invoking economics of scale and loss-leading strategies to deliberately run local competition out of business, forcing dependency on said chain supermarkets.

Remember, it wasn't even two years ago that Walmart announced the closure of 150 stores nationwide in low-income areas, that left food deserts in their wake because any and all competition was eliminated...by Walmart. Last, I remember the Zandi report(s) to which you're alluding, which I assume to be the case because his work is more or less definitive in this; the issue is GDP growth attached to social program expenditure turns out to be at best zero-sum, when the economic activity generated is through corporations which exploit social programs and receive tax cuts that reduce GDP per dollar spent by the government.

So, fuck 'em.

4 and 4a. This is really two different issues which I'd like to address separately. First, is the issue of variety and choice in essential dignity: this is why I proposed a system that's multi-tiered. What I'm suggesting, is for food assistance recipients to be able to choose, with advice, the tier most beneficial to their given circumstances. Meal kit delivery should be available, it would just be the best-available option for those in most dire need of time, access, education, or money; likewise, grocery delivery with supplemental dollar assistance would be the best-available option for those with specific dietary needs.

And, when it comes to dietary needs due to specific health conditions, this should be where Medicaid/Medicare comes in to provide diagnosis and preventative/curative/palliative care options alongside tailored food assistance.

Last, I absolutely agree non-food essentials should be subject to government assistance, and that food assistance should be less restrictive but only so long as restriction removal results in better, not necessarily more, food options.

Eacaraxe:

altnameJag:
Snip

Again, I'm talking about what I believe would work, not what has a snowball's chance of passing, but...since this is a good cross-section of criticism in the thread not founded in partisan politics:

1. I had this thing typed up about offering home econ curricula through pamphlets and printed resources for those without internet access, but I guess I deleted it. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but the loss of proper home economics education and expecting people to "just learn" it through experience is a huge chunk of why quite a few people are having problems today, especially when it comes to what foods are healthy and what aren't, and how to eat healthy on a budget.

2 & 3. Part of the cost of contemporary meal kit delivery services are that their main selling point are using less-available, or more costly, ingredients to provide as broad a service -- and as many new recipes -- as possible. I just looked at the Blue Apron site, and one of the recipes they're apparently offering next week is goat cheese quiche, for God's sake. Having a variety of foods available for ready-made food assistance meal kits is ideal, but it needs to be balanced against cost of ingredients, availability, and ease of preparation. Part and parcel of the whole idea, is to capitalize on reduced cost by eliminating middlemen and leveraging economics of scale to provide ready-made meal kits at as low a price to the government as possible.

The most emergent problem we, as a country, face right now which will only increase in the future, is food access and food desertification and swampification. Full disclosure, reading up for this post introduced me to the term "food swamp" as a phenomenon within, but separate from, the larger classification "food desert", and I like the term and find it much more sensible for describing food access issues in major urban centers as distinct from access issues in rural areas. For those not in the know: food deserts are areas where food is hard to access, due to commutes, income, time, etc; food swamps are areas where only unhealthy food is available and affordable.

This is why "just go to a grocery store" fails in today's economic landscape, and why food assistance via delivery and food banking already is, and will be, of the utmost importance moving forward. It doesn't help a food assistance recipient to get an allowance in dollars if they lack access. That's the big problem facing elderly recipients, and recipients in food deserts and swamps, and that's going to get bigger. But in the meantime, large-scale logistics and delivery have never been easier or cheaper, and that's a trend likely to continue for the foreseeable future: that's why food security advocates breathed one huge sigh of relief over the Amazon-Whole Foods merger, rollout of Amazon Fresh, and participation of Amazon in SNAP.

Hardly ideal because we're talking about fuckin' Amazon which blows Walmart out of the water in terms of poor employee treatment and substandard pay, but it's a baby step in kind of a right direction that might do some people in need a limited amount of good. Which makes a lovely dovetail for my next point. Large chain supermarkets like Walmart are actually a keystone in food desertification, precisely because they're anti-competitive, invoking economics of scale and loss-leading strategies to deliberately run local competition out of business, forcing dependency on said chain supermarkets.

Remember, it wasn't even two years ago that Walmart announced the closure of 150 stores nationwide in low-income areas, that left food deserts in their wake because any and all competition was eliminated...by Walmart. Last, I remember the Zandi report(s) to which you're alluding, which I assume to be the case because his work is more or less definitive in this; the issue is GDP growth attached to social program expenditure turns out to be at best zero-sum, when the economic activity generated is through corporations which exploit social programs and receive tax cuts that reduce GDP per dollar spent by the government.

So, fuck 'em.

4 and 4a. This is really two different issues which I'd like to address separately. First, is the issue of variety and choice in essential dignity: this is why I proposed a system that's multi-tiered. What I'm suggesting, is for food assistance recipients to be able to choose, with advice, the tier most beneficial to their given circumstances. Meal kit delivery should be available, it would just be the best-available option for those in most dire need of time, access, education, or money; likewise, grocery delivery with supplemental dollar assistance would be the best-available option for those with specific dietary needs.

And, when it comes to dietary needs due to specific health conditions, this should be where Medicaid/Medicare comes in to provide diagnosis and preventative/curative/palliative care options alongside tailored food assistance.

Last, I absolutely agree non-food essentials should be subject to government assistance, and that food assistance should be less restrictive but only so long as restriction removal results in better, not necessarily more, food options.

See now I see meal kits as being part of the problem, not the solution. The problem with meals on wheels is in order to cut costs, they had pre prepared limited options that those who needed the meals the most could not eat. The elderly and disabled were throwing the food out because they could not eat it and going without. I see the same thing happening when you try to supply meal kits, there has to be MORE options rather than just " better options decided for them". due to the sheer number of allergies and medical conditions of those receiving SNAP due to those with medical conditions are also those who earn less income and have higher expenses due to their illnesses and more likely to need SNAP in the first place. Many of those on special diets can also be children, who may also be picky eaters so if you don't give them something they will eat, they will be malnourished. Often it can be very difficult to get sick children to eat in the first place, this is why they make the food "fun" in the children's Hospital, not only is it fun it is prepared for their individual dietary needs and that often takes some creativity on the part of the person prepping their food, and is also far more expensive to do this way. Making kiwi faces and melon fish is a good way to get kids to eat them, but not something easily done on a mass scale and still be fresh.

ALSO, they still need to be able to run to the store at 3am to a gas station to buy food for a sick child, not just wait on it to be delivered. For example, ginger-ale or 7 up to help with a child vomiting, Yogurt to counteract their side effects from antibiotics, pudding to put their medication into so they will take it and not spit it out, or Popsicles to help bring their fever down and hydrate them. This can happen at any time and be an emergency. These are what we use in the ER to do these things and yes parents need to do them at home as well. This needs to be able to happen without prior authorization for both children with chronic conditions and healthy ones who came down with a virus from school since parents are never going to know when their child is going to be running a fever of 103F when they go check on them while they are sleeping. That is how these things work in reality.

So yes, that needs to include things like soda, pudding, popscicles, chocolate, candy and snacks that might be considered "not better" , but are actually a necessity depending on the circumstance. If you can't get a hypoglycemic child to eat glucose tablets, you need to be able to give them candy (such as smarties, lollipop, pixie stick skittles, icing ect) instead or they could die very quickly if their sugar drops too low. In some cases, even candy can save their life, and with children who are already having issues, trying to get them to consume something quickly enough can be difficult.

Chocolate is another important one to have on hand:
https://asthma.net/living/the-effects-of-chocolate-on-or-reasons-to-consume-chocolate/

Of course we want people to eat healthier, but we do not do that by removing their options, we do that through education and increasing availability of healthy alternatives. This should be available to the general public rather than though SNAP however and everyone have access to this. It needs to be a situation where they are eating healthy all the time and are eating the foods they normally eat before, during and after they are forced to use SNAP during financial hardship.Children affected by this should not even notice a difference from before their hardship and during to reduce the impact of negative affects on the child.

The last thing you want to do is cause harm to a child by drawing more attention to their hardship. No kid wants to have no one show up to their slumber party because staying at "hand out Hannah's" means they have to eat those "welfare meals". No child should be forced to go through that. You want to keep their life as normal as possible and you create exactly those situations when you try to treat them different than the general population.

...So they're planning to gut food assistance? When tons of people are relying on it because they aren't getting paid enough to survive on their own?

.......Does this government WANT a revolution? Because this is how you get a revolution.

You know what was the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the french revolution, right? It was starvation gripping the lower classes until they snapped.

Starvation is a long, slow, wretched death. Long enough that people can start to simmer in anger and resentment and maybe start talking about who is responsible for their starvation.

I'm not saying that angry armies of the poor will storm the white house with ar-15s or anything, but I do expect there to be big angry riots and large crime spikes as people do anything they can to get money/food and/or voice their anger. And if THAT goes poorly...hoooh boy. It could get nasty.

aegix drakan:
...So they're planning to gut food assistance? When tons of people are relying on it because they aren't getting paid enough to survive on their own?

.......Does this government WANT a revolution? Because this is how you get a revolution.

You know what was the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the french revolution, right? It was starvation gripping the lower classes until they snapped.

Starvation is a long, slow, wretched death. Long enough that people can start to simmer in anger and resentment and maybe start talking about who is responsible for their starvation.

I'm not saying that angry armies of the poor will storm the white house with ar-15s or anything, but I do expect there to be big angry riots and large crime spikes as people do anything they can to get money/food and/or voice their anger. And if THAT goes poorly...hoooh boy. It could get nasty.

There is a reason the phrase 'Eat the Rich' exists.

Eacaraxe:
Unpopular opinion time:
SNIP

Not as unpopular as you'd think.

For a while I lived in the rural midwest near some fairly poor communities. When Wal-Mart moved in, they acted very aggressively against local businesses and ultimately they ended up being the only store for 30 miles around that would accept SNAP and by the time I left they'd wiped out most of the competition until they were one of only a tiny handful of profitable businesses left in the area.

It turns out that this isn't as uncommon as you might think. Big companies use their ability to accept SNAP combined with their ability to destroy smaller competitors to turn themselves into the only grocery store that's accessible for thousands of people. So a lot of people are actually very skeptical of SNAP even though they depend on it.

Meiam:

That sounds a lot like socialism to me.

Like all functional economies to some degree.

Seriously, no one gets anywhere once you get food riots... and what's the point of economic activity at all if not in some way geared to social mobility and increased living quality?

Socialism is middle wing. Not left or right. Precisely because it accepts basic realities as proofs that people need to eat, they need shelter, and they need social participation for economic activity to continue. Socialists also dimiss a frankly bullshit argument of 'sufficiency point economics' ...

Sufficiency point economics is wonderfully simple on paper, and precisely because it's so wonderfully simple on paper it's actually a magical unicorn that doesn't actually exist but capitalists (true capitalists) like to pathetically rambleabout as being an 'aspirational goal'.

Despite the fact that if it did exist, there'd be no need to argue it. We'd just implement it, and it wouldn't matter if you considered yourself a capitalist, socialist, communist, fascist or environmentalist (I actually lump in true environmentalism as a political wing on its own due to theories of the merits of total economic engagement alone) ...

Because 'sufficiency point economics' doesn't exist regardless of how regulated or unregulated a market is. Which is a problem when people then conflate economic engagement directly with morality (like fundamentally stupid concepts of freedom) ... because you literally have no freedom if you'rev cold, uneducated, starving and sickened.

If you have no freedom to be beyond these things, you have no freedom. That should be self-evident by now... Because there is no objective measure of just how cold, uneducated, starving and sickened you can be before you have your liberty ... then making moral argumentation on anything beyond socialist preoccupations of addressing economic engagement directly will inevitably break an economy.

This is why socialism and its various more mutable aspects should just be considered 'central point' ... because it straddles a line between personal consumption and collective mobilization of labour, time and resources to increase general living quality for (hopefully) all, and dismisses the magical unicorn of the hypothetical 'sufficiency point'.

You can't set basis levels of compulsory education, basis levels for public housing development, basis levels of nutrition access, basis levels of medical care, basis levels of access to infrastructure, without socialist preoccupations. Basically the best capitalism can pretend to do is provide pointless platitudes of 'the market will provide' ... without actually going on a hard stance of what that market should look like...

Because that might be perceived as socialist ...

Capitalism is the definitive circular logic because sufficiency point theory is itself circular logic.

aegix drakan:
...So they're planning to gut food assistance? When tons of people are relying on it because they aren't getting paid enough to survive on their own?

.......Does this government WANT a revolution? Because this is how you get a revolution.

You know what was the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the french revolution, right? It was starvation gripping the lower classes until they snapped.

Starvation is a long, slow, wretched death. Long enough that people can start to simmer in anger and resentment and maybe start talking about who is responsible for their starvation.

I'm not saying that angry armies of the poor will storm the white house with ar-15s or anything, but I do expect there to be big angry riots and large crime spikes as people do anything they can to get money/food and/or voice their anger. And if THAT goes poorly...hoooh boy. It could get nasty.

This is the part that I find odd. We are way past the point where our ancestors would have broken out the pitchforks.

The "founding fathers" went to war over something as petty as the price of tea.

And yet a lot of the poor rural communities who will be hurt by this will turn around and vote Trump into office again.

 

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