Today's lunch
Today’s lunch

I haven’t gone shopping yet but I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how I’m going to manage.

I’ve got a pretty bad headache right now.  Haven’t had protein since yesterday lunch.  And I’m no good without protein.

How do people, especially children who need lots of protein for growth on top of normal functioning manage?  And yet, that’s what happens to SNAP families.

And I know that the “S” in SNAP stands for supplemental.  That the $30 the government grants is to bolster a family’s other funds.  And that SNAP is for food only.

But if a family is financially challenged to the point of food stamps, it means they don’t have money for other things either.  Like clothing.  Transportation.  Rent.  Or mortgage, for a house they can’t unload because it is so under water.

Another really insidious Catch-22.  These families need transportation.  They need a car.  But they can’t afford payments for a used car.  So they have to lease.  Forever.  They would gladly buy a used car and drive it for 10 years or longer.  But they can’t afford the payments over 36 months, or even 60 months.  Leases are so much less expensive.  But they can’t afford the buyout at the end so they have to lease another car when the lease expires.  So they are paying for cars forever.  Spending so much more than if they could afford a simple used car.

So to families in our communities, remember this: just because someone is driving a new car doesn’t mean he or she bought it because there’s lots of money in the family.  Sometimes those people are stuck having to lease new cars, every three years.  Don’t judge wealth only by the newness of the car.

So the families on SNAP don’t have a whole lot of money for food in the first place. That’s why they’re getting supplemental income.  So maybe some families in dire need can afford a chicken for Shabbos to be split 6 ways over 2 meals.  That’s 12 portions.  From one chicken.  We’re not talking luxury here.  We might not even call it subsistence.  And yet that’s what these families have to do.

I have to go shopping.  I’ve got $4.15 to spend on meat for Shabbos.

Any suggestions for what I should buy?

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