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Mon Apr 13, 2020, 02:01 AM

Missouri seeking waiver to allow SNAP benefits to cover online grocery purchases

As the coronavirus pandemic persists — and Missouri was placed under a stay at home order — grocery stores and pharmacies have remained open as essential businesses. But people are encouraged to order groceries online for pickup or delivery.

However, those who have the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits cannot use them for online grocery purchases.

Only a handful of states — Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington — are included in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service pilot program allowing people to pay with SNAP EBT online.

Nebraska was just added on April 1, and Missouri is petitioning the federal government to be included as well.

Read more: https://themissouritimes.com/missouri-seeking-waiver-to-allow-snap-benefits-to-cover-online-grocery-purchases/

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Reply Missouri seeking waiver to allow SNAP benefits to cover online grocery purchases (Original post)
TexasTowelie Apr 2020 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2020 #1
TexasTowelie Apr 2020 #2
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2020 #3
Jeebo Apr 2020 #5
PoliticAverse Apr 2020 #4
TexasTowelie Apr 2020 #6

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Apr 13, 2020, 02:04 AM

1. Good. That needs to be changed everwhere.

I also happen to think that along with a Universal Basic Income, we should all get SNAP benefits. Not because all of us need them, but because basic food security should apply to all.

Personally, while I'm not exactly rich, I do have a reasonable and decent income, and I could use SNAP to buy food for the homeless.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 13, 2020, 02:16 AM

2. The current maximum benefit for SNAP is $194 a month for a single person.

Is it really possible for someone to live on $6.50 a day? I can stretch that out to last possibly 20 days, but there are a lot of starvation days between the benefits being loaded each month. The maximum for a single person needs to be between $270 to $300 per month.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 13, 2020, 02:59 AM

3. It is possible to eat on $6.50 a day.

But that depends on your personal circumstances and cooking skills.

I live alone. I'm also 71 years old and have far less appetite than others much younger than me. I've also had times in my life when I've had a very limited income, and if I got a free meal, that made a difference in my budget. So I know what it's like to have very little money and trying to feed yourself. I recall more than once scrounging through my apartment to see if there were some extra coins to be found so I could buy a meal.

Also, remember that SNAP is not intended to be your only source of food, just as Social Security was never intended to be your only source of income in retirement.

But back to the subject. I can get my individual meal costs down to two or three dollars per meal. If you are eating three meals a day, that's six to nine dollars a day. Either just below, or a bit above the SNAP. I do recognize that you need reasonable cooking skills and access to an adequate kitchen.

There really needs to be a UBI, Universal Basic Income. The typical amount suggested is around $1,000 per month, which clearly won't cover rent, food, gas, electric,and everything else. But the underlying idea is that there's a bottom that is supported.

Just like with SNAP. There's an assumption that some other money comes into play. That may not always happen. With a UBI, there is also an assumption that other money comes into play.

While I'm heartily in favor of SNAP and UBI, neither of those will provide anything more than a rock-bottom subsistence.

Quite frankly, a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter goes a very long way. I know. I've been there. And not that long ago either.


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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 13, 2020, 12:56 PM

5. I have a friend who has lived like that for most of his life.

He typically would have $20 left to get through five or six days to his next payday. I would drive him to the grocery store and he would buy a loaf of bread, a jar of mayonnaise, a package of sliced sandwich meat, and a 12-pack of the cheapest soda, and then he would live on sandwiches and canned soda until his next paycheck. And then, in 2010, his 80-something father died and he inherited $267,000.

-- Ron

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 13, 2020, 04:46 AM

4. Yes, it is easily possible for someone to eat on (less than) $ 6.50/day. n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 13, 2020, 04:55 PM

6. If you are fortunate enough to have the resources to store the food and cook

then yes, it is possible to survive on $6.50 a day. However, it also requires eating the same foods repetitively and stretching out the use of perishables to the farthest extent. The bread might not be turning green yet from mold, but it smells "off". And last month I got sick for four days because I ate about two-thirds of a turkey sandwich before I realized that the meat had a peculiar odor. It also pretty much eliminates having many fruits in the diet since they are too expensive relative to the cheap carbs like ramen. It also eliminates eating many snacks during the day and dealing with the feeling of hunger throughout the day. I know that I've chosen to sleep through most of the day so I wouldn't have to deal with the hunger.

$6.50 a day is completely inadequate if you don't have the ability to store food prior to consumption or have the facilities and equipment to prepare it. If you are homeless, then it is a struggle these days to find places where you can even get a hot meal each day. You can't purchase hot meals with SNAP under the current rules (although they did make an exception when Hurricane Harvey blasted through the Gulf Coast a few years ago).

At this point, we have not even taken up the issue of dietary restrictions. I'm diabetic so I tend to lean towards foods with more protein which tend to cost more than other food options. I live far enough away from the coast to eat most seafood other than canned tuna. I'm fortunate that I don't observe any religious restrictions so I don't give anything up for Lent or have to avoid pork or other items that are not kosher.

Then sometimes medical/dental issues can have an impact. I wear dentures so that pretty much eliminates eating some foods such as apples, corn, and nuts. Prior to having the oral surgery to remove all of my upper teeth I had the dentures made so I could wear them afterwards. Unfortunately, there was a screwup at the lab and the surgery was scheduled so I had the teeth removed and went without any upper teeth for three months while I healed. During that time the only things I could eat were things that were soft such as rice and oatmeal.

Yes, it's possible to get by on $6.50 a day in the right conditions and if you know that you only have to do it for a week or maybe a few months then it's possible to tough it out. If you aren't as fortunate and you have to count on $6.50 a day for years, then tightening the belt another notch becomes routine. Take it from me, I'm 6' 1" and have weighed as low as 117 pounds.

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