Financial Stability Podcast January 2012 Transcript

This is a transcript of the podcast that you can find here.

Christoph Trappe, United Way of East Central Iowa:
“Hi, thanks for joining us today, Christoph Trappe here with United Way of East Central Iowa.  Today I am joined by Judy Stoffel, who is our in-house expert on financial stability.  Today we are here to talk about how few resources people who are on food stamps have.  We have found that people on food stamps only have $4 a day to spend on their meals.  That seems really low to me, Judy.”

Judy Stoffel, United Way of East Central Iowa:
“You’re absolutely right, $4 a day is a very limited amount of resource to be able to spend on food for one individual for one day.  And so it is really important that individuals have access to other resources, in the community, to help piece together what’s needed to have a nutritious diet.”

“So how do they actually make this work?”

“What we’ve learned from individuals who are using our local food pantries and meal sites is that they are often using the United Way 2-1-1 resource to be able to call and identify the closest food pantry or meal site to them.”

“So it’s really kind of like a puzzle?”

“Piecing together resources is certainly an experience that we’ve heard from individuals who do use more than one resource in order to feed their family’s needs.  So what we’re finding from individuals is that they’re often going to a food pantry or multiple food pantries to get food that they possible can from the local community, and then they are utilizing their food stamps, which is now called the Supplemental Nutritious Assistance Program, to go the grocery store and help round out their meal plan.”

“And $4, of course, is for one person and what’s the dollar amount for a family?”

“It is approximately $10 per family, still a very limited amount of resource to meet the nutritional needs of a family.  So it is important to United Way that we have resources in addition to the SNAP program that families have access to, so that we can help their family’s access to nutritionally adequate meals to support their health as well.”

“So the community, as a whole, through United Way can help, I assume and how?”

“United Way certainly has the 211 call available; however, we are also working with partners in the community to help inform individuals about the SNAP program so that if they’re not aware of it, we can help them connect to that as an additional resource.”

“And, of course, you can always click on the donate button to donate to United Way.”

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