|Sign the petition at ThriveAction.org!|
My family has been on food stamps before because of rough times. We lived off of food stamps when we were in Florida. We had moved from Winchester Bay Oregon after getting our car repossessed and evicted from where we were renting because we had been told promises that were not kept by our landlord and the bad economy didn't help either. My husband's sister was getting married in Florida and having a extravagant Disney Wedding there. Even though I had just had a baby, my daughter Tatiana, the month before, we decided that we were going to sell my husband Brian's CNC router and use the money to drop everything to be there for his sister's wedding. We gave and sold everything away that we could in the short time frame we had and stored the rest in our friend's garage, planning to come back for it once we got the chance to do so.
We had three kids at the time all under the age of four. We all hopped on a plane to Orlando and once we got there got a rental van and found a hotel with free internet access and small kitchenettes inside the rooms so we could cook something if we wanted to. Brian took back the rental van and purchased two bicycles and a bike trailer that fit our two oldest children + groceries in it (I would ride with baby Tatiana in a baby carrier on my back also). We also purchased a family season pass to Sea World so that while we were looking for work and a better place to live the four of us wouldn't just be cooped up in the one room hotel room driving each other nuts. Then we all went to the wedding and it was very nice to see Brian's family again. This was just the starting of our adventure there.
If ever there was a place that was really accommodating to the homeless, Florida was it! We were set up on WIC, food stamps, free health care, and a non-denominational church handout program that came out to our hotel and set up tables of hand-me-down clothing and food once a week. I got a small job clipping ads out of the newspaper for a tire company so that we could get a little money for other essentials we needed that food stamps and WIC didn't cover. Orlando also had a fairly nice public transit system which came in super handy too, especially once we found out our daughter, Tatiana, had a brain tumor and needed multiple doctor visits that were all across town. Even though it was trying at times we were very blessed and the experience helped our family grow and become more close knit.
Unlike WIC, food stamps has fairly lax regulations about what food items you can redeem with them. You can purchase unhealthy foods and drinks if you like. "Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items." My family would often choose these items because they were cheaper than the more healthy alternative and did not use up our food stamp money as fast. If we had been given a more reasonable opportunity that had healthier food and drink choices back then to redeem with our food stamps, we would have taken it.
More and more people have access to smart phones and technology that also allows them to use the internet even at or below the poverty line. 74% of people who live at or below the poverty line have internet access, while only 30% have access to a car. This was certainly true for us at the time we had food stamps in Florida. Also, currently food stamps can only be used in brick and mortar stores. This means that the options to use food stamps, especially for the nearly 23.5 million people who live in food deserts, areas in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food, are limited. These people might also live hours from the nearest SNAP approved grocery store! If food stamps could be redeemed online—with the same rules that apply when buying in brick and mortar stores—more people would be able to purchase healthier foods. They could also save time and be able to get food and drink shipped directly to their door! This would be a huge convenience for someone who is disabled and/or without money for gas or transportation.
Now you have the chance to help Americans become healthier. Right now, Thrive Market offers a way to purchase nonGMO and organic food for a 25-50% discount online. Part of Thrive Market's vision is to make healthy, wholesome foods accessible to everyone. By signing Thrive Market's petition at ThriveAction.org for the USDA to make food stamps redeemable online you will help improve food stamp usage and make healthier food more accessible to those Americans who need it the most!
SOCIAL • CORNER
@Bookieboo (of Mamavation) and @THRIVEmkt is hosting a #HealthyFood4All Twitter party with @ActivistMommy, and @HoneysLife on Tuesday, July 19th at 6pm PST/9pm EST. You can RSVP and Enter Giveaways HERE!
DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post to let my readers know about this petition. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog. Please also see my similar post on Planting a Fruit/Nut Orchard and Edible Garden with Food Stamps (SNAP EBT).