Oh SNAP: proposed changes for those receiving nutritional assistance

Supplement is to provide in addition to what is already present or available; it is not intended to provide everything for the individual or, in this case, the child or other eligible adult. Basic nutrition for anyone under the age of 18 is the primary goal of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, in order to help children, meet developmental and educational goals before adulthood. If there are enough resources, SNAP will meet help to meet adult needs as well.

Now, the authorities in Washington, D.C. want to save taxpayers money by shipping food directly to people. Recipients of SNAP balk at the idea of convenience. Why is this such a questionable concept? This raises further concerns with the United States Postal Service created by companies such as Amazon. The volume of packages to be delivered is already so great that the nation’s postal service modified delivery dates to deliver any Amazon packages on Sunday, though no regular mail is delivered on Sunday.

Additionally, to amend the cost of delivery across the board, post offices now are closed certain hours of the Monday-Saturday to help offset the expense of delivery and labor.

Now an argument has been made for the new concept of “harvest boxes.” If a person or household is receiving resources via SNAP, it usually means they are at or below the poverty line. If a household is receiving SNAP, it implies they do not have the means to afford a vehicle, are unable to work, and have children of certain ages in the household. Having food items delivered will save the expense and the logistics of coordinating a trip to the grocery store. Also, if food delivered to one’s home is so abhorrent, then we should stop pizza deliveries, sandwich deliveries, and the all-important Chinese food deliveries.

Additionally, the proposed harvest boxes may prevent many from abusing the system. Currently, people are using the EBT cards given to recipients for purposes beyond their intended use. SNAP cards have been used to purchase prepared sandwiches, wraps, salads, bags of candy, sodas, ice cream, various energy drinks, and my favorite: “…get whatever you want girl, I am paying with my EBT card!” This statement was flabbergasting. If a person can afford to buy their girlfriend’s food, lunch, or snacks, then the household clearly does not need to receive SNAP benefits.

People are also using the EBT cards for travel. On Mar. 1, 2011, at 3:20 a.m., a Maine EBT cardholder accessed an ATM in Cape Canaveral, Florida, twice, withdrawing $400. The address corresponded with Ron Jon Cape Caribe Resort. On Aug. 1, 2011, one or more EBT cards were used to access nearly 500 dollars in welfare cash at an ATM in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the home of Walt Disney World.

Welfare is not a right, it is not a benefit, it is not an entitlement. In this century, welfare programs have been supported by money that is forcefully taken from the working poor and given to those who do what they want with it.

What is the big deal of having food shipped to your door? Schwann’s is a door-to-door food sales company that accepts EBT cards. Omaha Steaks ships meat products to its customers, Target ships food items to its customer and now the U.S. Government will soon be shipping food items to its intended consumers: children.

With all this talk of nutrition, let’s take a moment to discuss nutrition on our own college campus. According to Executive Chef David Fabrycki, who has been with the university for almost a year, the nutritional value of Wesleyan’s food offerings was rough when he first arrived, but have since improved. “It (the food) was a little rough when I first got here. There were a lot of frozen things being used. I definitely brought in more fresh vegetables, things like that,” Fabrycki said.

On the other hand, Director of Dining Services, Tim Lockett, mentioned programs such as Mindful and the availability of nutritional information so students can make more health conscious decisions as it pertains to their food. “We make all of our nutritional information available, we have programs like Mindful, which promotes healthy and light yet still very tasty eating. You see that in a lot of the different stations. The Simple Servings station of course is gluten free and allergy free,” Lockett said.

Sabrina Lemons

Ashley Kline