When Shane was laid off several weeks ago and we were scrutinizing our budget for places to cut back, one thing I did was check with our state's Dept. of Family Services to learn the qualifications for Food Stamps (now called SNAP -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). I didn't think it would come to that, and it didn't, but I wanted to be prepared and knowledgeable about the program in case it did.
Now, I'm not wanting to discuss or debate the program itself. I just want to pass along something I read about SNAP that might be helpful to someone. I read that in addition to food, benefits can be used to buy "seeds and plants for use in gardens to produce food for the personal consumption of the household". What a great thing to learn! This is something I think the general population and maybe even the recipients in the program may not know.
I believe this holds true in all states, but I could be wrong. I looked at a few state websites and most indicate that garden seeds and plants are part of the program, but a couple didn't address the question at all.
So, if you know a gardening-minded family who receives SNAP benefits, make sure they know they can use those benefits to get their gardens started this spring.
On an entirely unrelated note, thanks to those of you who've checked in on me just to say hello and see how I'm doing. I'm feeling much better now since my couple of sick days over the weekend and I've finished Under The Dome, which was distracting me from all things I should have been doing instead.
I recommend the book if you are a Stephen King fan at all; it has the feel of his early novels. But I have to say, that for me anyway, it was his most "disturbing" book yet. It wasn't the few otherworldly events that happened in the story, but the many human acts that took place that were so unnerving. It's always the things that could happen that spook me more than the things that probably can't. That's all I'm going to say, though. No spoilers from me. :)