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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) –  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP was designed to supplement a family’s income but for some, it’s the only way they can provide enough food to eat each month.

Amber Gainer of Columbus is a SNAP participant.

“It helps some. I get less than $200 per month for me and my son which gives us about 3 weeks worth of food. You have to be very smart about what you buy to actually make it last through the month. But we are also on the WIC program so because of that we get that extra week. I’d say that the food stamps last about 3 weeks out of the month and WIC gets us through the last week,” says Gainer.

WIC or Women, Infants and Children is a federal assistance program that provides food for low-income women and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. Gainer is a single mom of a toddler and says earning a living has been challenging.

“I can’t afford daycare. The reason why I work part-time is because I can only work certain hours so that my mom can keep my son for me or that I can find a babysitter that doesn’t charge quite as much to keep my son. So it just kind of works out with my schedule that way,” says Gainer.

Gainer says without the SNAP program she couldn’t afford to feed her family and shopping for food is planned well before she goes to the market.

“With the SNAP program, I try to just shop smart and they have the Pick 5 where you can buy five meats for $20. That sort of thing. You just have to really pay attention to prices and pay attention to what you’re buying,” says Gainer.

Gainer says though she appreciates being in the SNAP program, she doesn’t plan to use it long term.

“I’d like to get full-time so that I can afford to pay daycare or a baby sitter. Then that way we can make more money, live on our own and get off food stamps,” says Gainer.

Participants of the SNAP program automatically meet the requirements for WIC assistance. For more information about WIC, call (662) 328-6091.  For SNAP information, call  (800) 948-3050.

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