Why do you want to treat the poor like petrified dog shit? Have you ever even used food stamps? Do you even know how damn humiliating it is to know you can't support yourself and your child and have to depend on others to survive?
I was a single parent (and before you go off saying it was my choice- I was date raped and decided to keep my baby- I can admit that after 20 years now) and after serving in the Army, I worked 40-50 hours a week at a retail job. It paid so little that I qualified for subsidized daycare, food stamps and a medical card for my daughter. I wasn't a lazy good for nothing, I worked my ass off. In fact, I walked 30 blocks to drop her off at day care no matter what the weather was- rain, blizzard, then walked 30 blocks back down the street to get on the bus and then did the same thing after work. Sure, I would have been easier to just sit on my ass and collect cash assistance as well, but I didn't- because I have work ethic as do many poor people.
You have no damn idea how much having to take government help made me feel like a failure as a human being and a mother. There were many times I was glared at, called 'lazy bitch' and made to feel like crap while paying for my food with foodstamps- and this was when they were actual paper, not a card so there was no hiding the fact I was using them.
This one time, I was paying for my groceries and included were a cake mix, frosting and ice cream to make a cake for my daughters birthday (she was right there with me) when this old lady behind me told me- VERY loudly that I should be a contributing member of society, stop be so lazy, get a job and stop 'mooching off her tax dollars' and she then told me I had no right buying what I was because it wasn't 'real food'. I stood there crying, my daughter clinging to me looking up at me afraid, and even the cashier was looking at me like she felt sorry for me.
I had to stand in the cold and wait for a cab with my daughter asking me questions, both of us crying and me feeling even more humiliated then ever before.
Until you have been in my shoes, you have damn right to place asinine rules about what poor people HAVE to buy with your precious tax dollars because you have some superiority complex. What you should be feeling is warmth knowing you're helping out human being who are less fortunate in life than you are. Believe it or not, poor people understand that junk food is unhealthy but they too deserve a treat once in a while to give them some happiness.
I am sorry that happened to you. It has happened to me too. I was on FS for 2 months and had a few people comment on my situation once they saw or heard I was using an EBT card. My husband was teaching for 14 years when they excessed him. Luckily we were able to find a teaching substitute job within a few months. Still a big pay decrease but we are making it work.
I would like to say a few things about the system though. I have 5 children so per the FS form were were a family of 7 applying with a small minimum wage job at the time. We were approved for $965 per month. The maximum we could have recieved was $1250 per month for our size family. So, I never understand the $3 a day reference because if you do the math I got (965/30=32 32/7=4.56) $32 a day for the family or $4.56 per person per day. Totally doable with a healthy diet. If I got the full amount then I could have gotten organic food if I wanted too.
I live in NY, on Long Island. It is crazy ass expensive to live here, basically you have to make over $100,000 to be middle class and more than that even to be living comfortably middle class. I know many families that when given the choice between staying on full blown welfare with money, housing, food, utilities and medical or going to get a job they will choose to stay on the program because they would be poorer if they got a job. I don't think it is like this everywhere in the country but it is definitely true here. Just recently the county cut the amount of free childcare slots for low income parents. I know two families that couldn't make their minimum wage jobs spread enough to cover the childcare expense so they left their jobs and are at home instead. It is sad because these people get kicked down while trying to work their way out.
Yes, there is plenty of abuse in the system. There is also plenty of "understandable" abuses of the system. The system needs to be radically changed and go back to the original concept of helping a person out rather than trying to kick them when they are down.
I am personally more outraged that Hostess Twinkies gives $55 million in bonuses to CEO's and not even 1 dime to the 18 thousand workers being laid off. What makes me more outraged is that people just accept it as part of business and agree it is all fine and dandy.
by gammieDecember 6, 2012 at 1:01 PM
Next time put her in her place you have nothing to be ashamed of, you are trying that more than most do.
I worked in a supermarket and I saw a lot of abuse (LA) there a grandmother, daughter and grand daughter using food stamps. They where teaching the young girl how to use food stamps, 15 she had a baby.
The few who are working hard should never be ashamed. This is meant to help those who needed it for a short time.
Trust me it's not easy to get PA these people are in these offices daily it becomes a job. These people are not working, they are the people that make you bad!!
Technically they would be on her left breast.
Are you serious? The only thing you can see is a sob story? The kid was DYING. They weren't celebrating just any birthday. They thought it was going to be her last. What would you have done in her situation? "Sorry sweetie. I don't feel that food stamps should be used for special treats, and because your medical bills have wiped our finances, we don't have cash to buy you that pretty cake we saw. I know you really wanted that cake, but maybe we can get it when things aren't so tight, mmkay?"
Seriously, I think you might want to go see if there are any icicles forming on your right breast, because your heart must be horribly frozen over.
Everyone has a sob story, that doesn't change the fact that food stamps are for survival not parties.
A few years ago, there was a letter written in to Dear Abby. The person was upset because the woman in front of her was buying a $13 cake on food stamps.
Some time later, the letter was republished along with several responses to it. One of those was the woman who bought the cake. She wrote that the cake was for her daughter who was turning six. The little girl had bone cancer and wasn't expected to live another year, so the family was celebrating what was likely to be her last birthday. I don't know about you, but if I were in her situation, I would go all the fuck out for that party. It would be worth EVERYTHING to have one day of laughter and celebration among who knows how many days of misery and pain.
And before someone says "they should have used cash", do you really think they had a lot of extra money lying around? Chances are, one parent had to quit their job to care for the little girl and because of that, they had to go on food stamps. But that was their choice, right?
Your circumstances don't change the fact that soda and candy are non-necessities and should not be covered by food stamps!
BTW, why is thinking the program should limit what they are able to purchase equal to hating the poor?
Gave this some thought, and I think you're right that it's not the same thing.
But, here's the thing:
The poor didn't make up that rule. The inclusion of cake and candy into food stamp eligibility isn't because there is some poor group of people who make it that way. (Poor people, by and large, don't vote.)
The reason it's that way is becasue the Betty Crocker company and Nestle want to have as many customers as possible for their products. They don't want the fact that someone is poor be a barrier to getting their money (or benefits, as the case may be). They lobby Congress (and states) to keep it that way.
Meanwhile, the poor, by and large, do what every family does. They shop. I'd love for them to shop healthier, and smarter (although I hardly think a child's birthday cake is evidence of unhealthy living) but I'd love that for everyone, regardless of economic level.
The poor don't make up the rules. But they will take advantage of them (as everyone does). So you're right -- wanting eligibility to be different and hating the poor are two different things. But I do hate it when people blame the poor for the eligibility requirements, when they didn't write them.
To answer your first questions-I don't think anyone thinks of them as dog shit. I have been on FS in the past for a few months. From what I saw, alot of moms took pride in the fact that they got everything for free and in fact, they boasted and bragged about who got the most every month and how much they could fill up their cart with food. So don't say that all of them hang their head in shame that they had to resort to FS-that is a damn lie.
I forgot to add to my last reply, you are probably one of the few that deserved help, didn't brag about it, tried your hardest but still couldn't make ends meet. Alot of people don't give a shit to find a job or better themselves..they want everything for free for as long as they can get it.
by katzmeow726December 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM
I've had to walk that far a couple of times, when we got low on gas too soon before pay day. I made sure to pack drinks and snacks, and allot time to break when/if they got tired... you do what you have to.
You walked 30 blocks with a small child?
You walked 30 blocks with a small child?
I remember when I was very little our car broke down and my parents walked 3 miles with 3 small kids, only 1 in a stroller. And a good portion of it was uphill. We didn't have extra money to call a taxi so we had to walk.