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Hungry

I see that people are trying to cut funding for Food Stamp programs… correct that, I hear there are already cuts to the Food Stamps (SNAP) program about to take place and they still want to cut more. That’s probably a lot better than raising taxes on the rich, right?

I grew up in a family that received food stamps, it isn’t something that a person should look forward to. And let me tell you, if you’re looking forward to the food stamps arriving (I understand there is a card now and not actual stamps) then you’re probably very hungry or have kids that are.

Back when we were kids Mom did everything she could to stretch those stamps and get us as much food as she could. We were growing kids, and kids tend to eat a lot when they’re growing and when you can’t eat as much as your body needs then sometimes you have other issues. If we were lucky we had some free “government” cheese – processed, very orange… and think about that “lucky” if you tasted that cheese you wouldn’t think you were lucky at all… but if that’s what you have that’s what you have.

Food Stamps are in a section of the US Budget that is only 12%  – here’s some of what’s in that 12% 

include:  the refundable portions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which assist low- and moderate-income working families through the tax code; programs that provide cash payments to eligible individuals or households, including Supplemental Security Income for the elderly or disabled poor and unemployment insurance; various forms of in-kind assistance for low-income families and individuals, including SNAP (food stamps), school meals, low-income housing assistance, child care assistance, and assistance in meeting home energy bills; and various other programs such as those that aid abused and neglected children.

Personally I don’t want to cut things that are helping our elderly, kids or poor stay fed, housed and warm. Last year Food Stamps (SNAP) gave $133.41 a month, per person. It’s not something you want to line up to receive. You can’t use it in casinos, you can’t use it to buy games for the Xbox, you can’t use it for cigarettes or liquor either – it’s food. just food.

Cory Booker did a “live on Food Stamps challenge” last year and it received lots of media attention . People think it’s easy to live like that but it’s not, he struggled for a week – imagine living like that every day for months and years.

Is it welfare? I don’t know… the definition I found  is:

statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need: the protection of rights to education, housing, and welfare.

and that seems right, but when I hear the word welfare I’m reminded of being teased by kids. I’m reminded of being looked down upon by cashiers, government workers, the middle class… I don’t see that definition in the books, but that’s the definition that sticks with me.

I’d prefer to say it’s the right thing. It’s the right thing to make sure children can eat. It’s the right thing to ensure struggling family, including those in the military, can have a regular meal. I think we should be doing the right thing here and that means NOT cutting the SNAP program.

One thought on “Hungry

  1. beautifully written! I remember helping your mother shop one month. What a struggle it was to feed all of you. I am going to share this!

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