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The food-stamp debate

(article, Culinate staff)

Food stamps — rebranded these days as the SNAP progam — are essential for millions of Americans, despite Congressional efforts to cut them and vows by current Republican presidential candidates to boot them out of the federal government. Some jurisdictions require that SNAP applicants be electronically fingerprinted, deterring many of the eligible from signing up for benefits. Many SNAP recipients don't know that they can use their benefits to shop at farmers' markets, or to purchase seeds and seedlings to plant at home. In all, the program is a mammoth endeavor that, as the Fair Food Network recently declared, could and should be rejiggered to foster national food reform. After all, as the FFN noted, last year nearly $72 billion, or 12 percent of the money spent on groceries nationwide, comes from SNAP. And that ain't peanuts.