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    • andirayag

      Split yourself into2groups: the first group is on Social Security and has an apartment withakitchen, the second group is homeless.  The first group will go into Sprout’s/Sunflower Market, or the local Farmer’s Market for the best prices on fresh food. Don’t buy anything inacan orabox. Make sure they are dressed appropriately: Jeans andaT-shirt with walking shoes. Don’t go to Kroger’s because they jack up the organic prices $1 per item and $1 per lb.; Safeway and Albertson’s don’t offer much organic; WalMart will toss them out if they have holes in their clothes or are schizophrenic. The previously mentioned grocery stores do offer their own line of organic products but they are boxed so they cost
      more than fresh foods. The reason for organic-only is for health reasons. They can Google and print out the Dirty Dozen list and buy some fresh, non-organic produce to save some money. Alsoalot of local Farmer’s Markets will not allow produce that was grown using pesticides but they will have to take the bus down there on shopping day and check their prices to compare with the flyers that come in the mail on Tuesdays. If they go to Sprouts go on Wednesday at7a.m., double-ad day, take last week’s and this week’s flyers with them. For the other stores, if they are overacertain age find out when Senior’s Discount Day is. Do your homework before you shop, you can’t afford not to. And remember, they are travelling by bus, not their nice cars, so they don’t want to be going all over town shopping at several different stores. What ever they buy they have to carry home so take cloth bags — they geta5 cent discount per bag — anda$30 cart from the hardware store. They can ad-match at
      WalMart but that is difficult with only fresh foods. Buy $45 worth (my monthly allotment) of organic ground meat, fresh fruits and vegetables (unless frozen is on sale), and organic, bulk oatmeal and other items on sale. They will go home and split the meat into4oz. portions — cut1lb. into4squares — and freeze them seperately in fold-top sandwich bags. They will split the produce into 1/2 cup servings and freeze it. Wash, slice or chop, and blanch the potatoes for 5-10 minutes, cool onarack and then freeze. Put the oatmeal and bulk items into glass cannisters. Everything will be cooked from scratch3timesaday. They can try cooking cassaroles but they don’t always freeze well and it you have to make sure there is4oz. of protein in one serving. Since they are now cooking for1this might be the way to go. If they are successful with this PLEASE post the recipes for those of us who could use the help. The second group will find some plastic spoons and buyaday’s worth of canned pork and beans and soup with pop top lids to eat with the
      spoon. Don’t buy more thata1 day supply because you are carrying it inabackpack and have no refrigeration. Since they are actually educated people, with no mental care concerns,Iwould imagine they would go fora1 day supply of fruits and vegetables rather than the canned pork and beans, but remember there is protein in the beans. They must be all pop top cans. If there isanearby soup kitchen, use it. The previous $200 per person allotment was enough to get most people through the month and those who are not elderly, disabled, and
      homebound could findasoup kitchen. Now that it is down to $45 it is good for one shopping trip per month andalot of disabled persons who haveakitchen either don’t know how to cook or are not physically able to cook.
      Iama61 year old Stage IV Ovarian Cancer patient and now live on SSDI of $930 per month. Iwas Representative Payee foramentally disabled neighbour who lives on $810 SSI per month. His rent and utilites are paid by the local mental health agency so he actually has more money thanIdo (he has $400 disposable income) but most of them haveashopping or alcohol addiction and not able to make it last foramonth. He feeds his companion dog deli chicken and hot dogs purchased with food stamps. He lives on frozen pizza, potato chips, cola, frozen $1 entrees, beer, and coffee. When my food stamps run outIpay cash and keep my pantry stocked with sale items. When his run out, he goes around to the agencies that give out food and splits it with his dog.
      Iam extremely glad to see you running this experiment. You can’t keep balancing the Military budget by cutting out the Social Security benefits. We worked for our Entitlements. Iwould love to see somebody paying attention to the mentally disabled who needaLife Skills Coach who can come in the try to teach them to look after themselves. Imajored in Religion, not Psychology, but do whatIcan to help the neighbours. It just happens that our apartment house is owned by Mental Health Resources, Inc but they have no on-site manager or maintenance. When something happens the retirees take care of it or call 911. La Frontera will give themafree apartment to start off with but it is unfurnished. One of the maintenance men keeps any abandoned furniture for these people and whenIwas more mobileIwould getashopping basket from the
      parking lot and go around to the working neighbours telling them to clean out the extras from their kitchen and closets and put it into the basket. We could usually get someone set up okay. They come in with nothing but the clothes on their backs and do not have the necessary thought processes to figure out what to do from here.
      Iwill go and try to findalink whereIcan keep up with your progess on your experiment. God Bless You all. Rev. Dr. AndiRaya Gibb
      Tucson, AZ

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