Hi everyone, My name is Rachel Reyst-Carroll and I haven't gone shopping yet for this event because I do my grocery shopping on Sundays or Mondays but I will post my list then. I shop for a family of 6 so my allotment will be $176.10 for a weeks worth of groceries. Honestly, this is about $76.10 more than I usually spend including things you normally would not be able to purchase on food stamps, like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Having lived with family who make ends meet on foodstamps or the EBT card (bridgecard) as it is now known, I know that the challenges are not actually having enough to eat but surviving in other ways. For example, if you are on WIC and getting a food allottment for the month, that doesn't give you things like toiletries or even diapers for your child. How can you afford these things? I have known a lot of bartering to go on because the food stamp amount is more than needed and other items are not purchasable with it. Some of my family members spend their whole check on eating out and cigarettes and still have money left over at the end of the month on their bridgecard in which to buy ME groceries in exchange for laundry soap or babysitting services. Even though I think that this challenge has a social work spirit attached to it, the problem runs deeper and is more systematic as usual. Food is not the issue for those who qualify for the program. Now the fact that many who used to qualify for food assistance no longer do could be an issue, but since we are not focusing on that right now, I will not dwell on it.
One thing I noticed in the rules is that you are not allowed to take free food. I practically live on coupons and free deals througout the week. There is a Biggby coffee shop near my house that offered free tall specialty coffees yesterday and how could I pass that by. I understand if you are avoiding the challenge by just eating at your friends and relatives house that it would be wrong, but taking advantage of free items in the community should not be cheating. You can bet I told everyone in my family about the free coffee as soon as I noticed it.
So if anyone would like to comment on my thoughts in this process, I would be glad to hear what you have to say.