Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

January 28, 2014

Advocating for new SNAP guidelines

A long time ago, I heard the saying ‘the work of the home is love made visible.’ I don’t know who originally said it, but that message touched me.

I grew up in a farmhouse as one of 9 kids. My parents worked hard night and day to make sure we all had food to eat, clothes to wear and books to read. We were far from rich, but we were happy and healthy. Some of my fondest memories are of my mother cooking dinner, using ingredients from our garden and livestock. She took pride in crafting filling meals that fed all of us, leaving us to want for nothing.

When my own boys were young, I made a point to prepare dinner at home as often as possible, even if it was just Hamburger Helper and some vegetables or fruit. Not only was it a great way to ensure that they were getting enough nutritious food, but it also gave us a chance to spend quality time together as a family.

One measure going through the House this session I had a hand in crafting is a portion of House Bill (HB) 1351 which requires the Family and Social Service Administration to request a waiver from the federal government that would allow Indiana to make Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits used only for nutritious food and beverages.

Many studies have shown that the common perception is that low-income families who have less to spend on food have one option: cheap, fast convenience food –frozen meals with little nutritious value, inexpensive takeout or junk food full of empty calories.

I want you to know that is not the case. As the owner of a restaurant, I can tell you the price of fresh produce, raw meat and basic ingredients. If you are willing to put a little time and research into planning and preparing your meals, you can actually eat healthier for less.

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