Nationally 46,224,722 Americans are currently participating in the food stamp, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As of November 2011, 15% (235,573) of Idahoans are currently participating in this program. A majority of these participants are currently unaware that the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 defines eligible food as; any food or food product for home consumption and also includes seeds and plants which produce food for consumption by food stamp (SNAP) households. (USDA)
This means that for those Americans and Idahoans, who have currently found themselves on the threshold of food insecurity, can now purchase seeds and plants which produce food with their food stamp EBT card.
Creating gardens using food stamps can help provide families now considered food insecure with healthier options and twice the amount of fresh produce per dollar spent on seeds. That’s more fresh produce that can give families the nutrients needed for healthy minds and bodies.
A website called SNAP Gardens, provides information to bring awareness to farmers and commercial growers, recipients, and state and local government officials about purchasing seeds and plants with food stamps benefits.
Chinese Proverb states “Give a man a fish fed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a life time.”
So if you’re currently finding yourself amongst the newly food insecure and want to learn how to garden, help stretch the food budget, and get back on the road to self- sufficiency; there is definitely help for you in the state you are living in.
Gardening education is provided by local extension offices and some community gardens right here in Idaho. Beginning this month, The Idaho Foodbank will be offering a new program from Share our Strength called Cooking Matters. This program is geared to help low income families learn how to prepare healthy meals on a budget.
We here at Idaho Community Gardens are working hard to make sure that Idahoans have access to the tools to connect with community gardens in the Gem State. For more information about how you can start a garden, purchase seeds with food stamps, volunteer, or connect with local community gardens in the Gem State please contact Ruby at 208-577-2683