WATTERS: Are food stamps helpful for college students?

Cyra Watters

I personally feel that food stamps aren’t helpful because it allows us to buy unhealthy foods, it doesn’t cover the whole amount of groceries you buy, you can’t buy household supplies, and some people will go as far to use false information to get food stamps, when other people may need it more.

When using food stamps people don’t realize that you buy unhealthy foods. According to npr.org, “Compared with both higher-income Americans and low-income people eligible but not enrolled in the program, SNAP participants on average ate about the same number of calories.”

But they consumed fewer fruits and vegetables and whole grains and more added sugars, says Tatiana Andreyeva, the study’s lead author and a researcher with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. People don’t know that healthy foods are the most expensive, compared to 24 bags of variety chips or a whole liter of pop. The things that we find to be cheaper aren’t always the healthier options. 

According to parents.com, “A 2013 study from Harvard School of Public Health found that eating a healthy diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts) cost about $1.50 more per day, per person than eating an unhealthy diet (the kind full of processed foods and refined grains).”

I also feel that food stamps enable people to buy junk food. According to cbsnews.com, “2016 finding that households receiving food stamps use 20 cents of every dollar to buy sodas and sweets.”

Furthermore, the state gives a set budget for each person that uses food stamps, but that doesn’t provide you with a full amount of groceries, which leads to you only buying what’s in the budget. 

According to cbsnews.com, “Today, a majority of recipients use their own money as well as food stamps to keep their larder stocked.”

In addition, some people who fill out applications don’t always use the right information (using someone else’s income to get food stamps). This is a problem because there are other people who need food stamps and if everybody is using false information, it doesn’t allow the people who actually need them to get food stamps. In addition, I also feel that food stamps doesn’t allow people to buy household supplies.

According cbsnews.com, “Food stamp recipients won’t have any luck with buying that rotisserie chicken because the program prohibits spending on hot foods as well as nonfood items like cleaning supplies, vitamin supplements, cigarettes or alcoholic beverages.” 

Another stated that grocery bags are not included in food stamps as well as pet food. According to wisebread.com, “Since they are not food, you can’t use SNAP to buy household items such as soap, laundry detergent, diapers, sanitary napkins, or toilet paper.” Since these items are essential, this restriction can be a hardship for SNAP recipients.

These are a few reasons why I don’t believe food stamps are helpful.