Eat healthy on food stamps: Is it possible?

By Valencia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Brenda Peart knows all too well what it's like to be on food stamps. She says they don't account for much but, there's a way to make do on a healthy appetite.

"I am on Social Security disability, lifetime disability," said Peart. "So, that actually qualifies me for food stamps, and I actually receive $16 a month."

Peart suffers from bilateral nerve damage. With both food stamps and Social Security, she is able to spend $100 a month on groceries.

"It doesn't cover meats. There's no candy in my life. As a treasure, maybe I'll get a Kit Kat," she said.

Instead of splurging on sugary drinks and packaged foods, Peart says she buys the bare{}essentials and spends the time to cook.

"My Facebook is flooded with the pictures of the process of making a good meal. That's what's important. It builds self-esteem and also, it's healthy," Peart said.

When Peart heard about state leaders looking to restrict unhealthy foods from the state's food stamp program, she knew it wasn't the answer to ending obesity.

"As you noticed, there wasn't anything that was a sugar-based product or some sort of, as they say, fat food product," said Peart. "A lot of people don't take the time to have educated themselves as to just what it is that you put in your body."

Peart says the answer to fighting obesity is education and knowing the best foods to buy for your buck.

"Everything is available and you can manipulate it. Some families do have the luxury of a car, so they can go from place to place and find a good deal," she said.

Peart says despite the stipulations, people on food stamps will eat what they want. She hopes she can influence people to spend more time in the kitchen.

"It does take time; it does take a little effort, but there is a sense of euphoria to know that you created a hell of a meal," Peart said.

When asked if she thought a nutritious regulation on food stamps would work, Peart frankly said no. Peart says people will find a way to eat what they please.