Case Study 20: Food for a Low-Income Family
Sarah is a 30-year-old mother of two young children, ages 3 and 5. Her husband was recently disabled in a car accident and has been unable to work for 6 months. Sarah works part-time in her children’s preschool and her husband receives a monthly check for his disability. Medical expenses have wiped out the family’s savings and monthly expenses often exceed the couple’s income. Sarah tells her close friend that she is unable to provide balanced meals for her family because she often runs out of foods such as milk and fresh produce before payday. Her children receive a healthy lunch and snack at preschool and a couple of times in the past month Sarah and her husband have had to skimp on their meals at home to make sure the children were fed adequately. Sarah is worried that their limited resources may be affecting the nutritional health of her family.
1. Based on this family’s history, how would you classify their food insecurity according to Table 20-1?
2. Using the “How To” ideas on page 663, what are at least 3 practical suggestions that would help Sarah provide nutritious meals to her family at the lowest cost?
3. What programs mentioned in this chapter might this family be eligible for that could help improve their access to nutritious food?
4. Sarah’s church keeps an emergency food pantry for people in their community. List some low-cost non-perishable food suggestions that would provide maximum nutritional benefit to this family.
5. Sarah has recently qualified for the SNAP program. What nutrient-dense foods might she buy that would help stretch her food dollar and improve the overall quality of her family’s diet?
6. Plan a one-day menu with 3 meals and 1 snack for this family that incorporates your ideas from the previous questions.