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Fall/Winter Parents Using Public Assistance-Support Only!

post #1 of 311
Thread Starter 
I figured it's high time I started a new thread!
post #2 of 311
This Thursday I'll be going to the heating assistance office to put in an application for energy assistance. This will be a godsend if I can get it because there'll be a newborn in the house! I'm okay with bundling up and being chilly if it's just me and the hubs, but I don't want the little one to get sick.

I decided to drop WIC. Due to the driving distance of my local office, and the foods I can get, it just wasn't worth it to me at this time. I'd rather eat a little healthier now that I can afford it, and not have to go to a town I'd never visit other than to pick up my vouchers, kwim? I'm not judging anyone using this program, of course, it just wasn't working for me any longer and I see no point in taking funds from something that can be used for someone that can really use it.

I hope all is going well!
post #3 of 311
WIC is a blessing for us, my DD drinks so much milk that alone helps us. Our office is only 10 minutes away and it's super easy for me.

Honestly I've been thinking about the energy assistance, we could get more pellets for our stove possibly. Dh's hours have been a little erratic. We'll see, we have probably 160 bags-that should get us through.
post #4 of 311
What did I just get myself into?

My relatives from Tx are visiting and I offered to make tomorrow nights dinner and make my gluten free Muffaletta style sandwich since they love to try new GF food since my cousin and both her kids also have Celiac. I obviously was not using my brain when I made the offer A single sandwich takes about 3-4 hours from start to finish (making the bread itself is 2.5-3 hours) then you still have the fillings. We only eat this on special occasions becasue its so time consuming and expensive since I only buy meat without additives and such, plus I use real swiss cheese and then you got the veggies which are all out of season. Its probably $15-20 to make it and it feed the whole family. Here's were I wasn't thinking. There's usually left overs so I figured I would only need to make one and my mom points out how my relitives are big eaters so I will have to make 2, ok... then they announce my uncle will be coming up tomorrow too and he will be joining us for dinner as well so now I need to make 3! Well I don't have enough spring form pans to make 3 (it stays in the pan until served) so I decide to make it in a cake pan and think 1 will be enough and call my mom to make sure and nope, need to make 2 cake pans worth at least! This is going to cost a dang fortune and we only have $60 left in FS for the month! (which is about what I needed to get fresh veggies each week) I at least have the meat but this has taken a MONTHS WORTH of lunch meat from my freezer Tomorrow I'll have to go buy more swiss cheese and veggies I'm sure they would more then be willing to help pay the cost but call it pride, I don't want to have to ask for money to pay for a dinner I offered to make crap! I better make sure I have enough flour! If not I'm gonna have to drive an hour into the city to buy it This is ridiculous!

edited to add:
ok, I think I figured this out I think 1 9x13 cake pan will be enough for 6 adults and 2 kids if I also make some soup. I'm thinking potato soup http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Delicio...up/Detail.aspx (I'll make a separate dairy free version for the kids) and I will make extra bread to dip in it. Think that will work with ham and swiss subs made with Focaccia bread? Tomorrows high is 45F and its supposed to be windy as usual. ah! I forgot desert! http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.co...pkin-cake.html Its gonna be a long day! I'll get all the dry stuff mixed up tonight and do the prep chopping so that should save me a lot of time tomorrow.
post #5 of 311
Satori, I understand pride but in your situation I can also understand asking for help. You offered to make dinner, but you didn't know that it required cooking in such a quantity. When they are requesting more food and more mouths to feed I don't think it's stingy to ask for assistance if you need it. Either way I hope you have a fun evening!

Norasmom, I completely see your point about WIC. Our office is forty miles away and we drink more soy milk than regular (which is not covered). I'm also hoping to breastfeed so assistance with formula hopefully won't be necessary. I figure if I'm not really in need of it or using it, why take it from someone else? And it's also an environmental ideal for me-I'm in a position to get more earth friendly products for nearly as cheap (which means I'm lucky, of course!) and now I'm in a position to afford that.
post #6 of 311
Thread Starter 
Satori, thanks so much for taking the time to post that link, in the midst of being so busy with all your food preparation!

I seem to always screw those links up, so it was a relief not to have to mess with it this time!

Let us know how it goes with your dinner! Sounds yummy -- but I hope it didn't end up being too overwhelming cost or time-wise.

I agree with happyhats that there's nothing wrong with asking for help -- but I can also understand how you're feeling.
post #7 of 311
Satori, I totally understand what you are going through. I have shot myself in the foot like that as well.

On another note for some reason, my children's Medicaid got denied for renewal in October. I have spent many hours on the phone trying to find out why and no one knows. They have to investigate further. Now it is November and still no approval. I need to call back and find out again what is going on.
post #8 of 311
In WA we are pretty lucky because we get organic milk and can sub other things if necessary. When I was b/feeding I liked that I got so much milk, because when I was nursing I drank a ton of it. We also got organic carrots and some other stuff I cannot remember.

IDK if all states are doing this, but in WA as of next year WIC is going to be changing due to differing ethnic backgrounds and new fed policies...We will be getting brown rice, tofu, WW tortillas, vouchers for fresh veggies. In WA it will not be until Oct 09, but they will start an implementation in July of 09. Just an FYI. I believe that soy milk and some other things will be available.
post #9 of 311
Satori - I think the soup idea is great, and you can cut the sandwiches into smaller pieces and let everyone fill up on the soup. That reminds me I have a bag of potatoes I need to use up.

I just got WIC last month and it really is helping us sooo much. It was difficult getting those food stamps to stretch over the whole month, but now I think we're going to be ok. I use the milk to make cream soups and sauces and milk and cheese for cheese sauce. With the juice vouchers, I get some fruit juices for my 3 year olds(I try to always dilute with water due to the sugar and it stretches them out too), but I also get V8... You can use V8 for meat or veggie sauces, soups, or even the occasional bloody mary well I'm pregnant so not drinking any alcohol, but I like the taste of it plain and chilled as well. The apple juice you can get makes a good sweetener for oatmeal or muffins. I have heard of people making jellies, but I haven't tried this.

ack... more later... kids gone crazy lol
post #10 of 311
Hi all! I'd like to join in this thread for the fall. I'm a SAHM to two boys, 1 and 3. My DH is a graduate student in Neuroscience, and right now we're scraping by on his stipend. We're currently enrolled in WIC, although my babe just turned 1 so I'm no longer eligable, even though he's still about 85% breastfed. I never posted in the last thread, but I checked in on it every once in a while. I'm currently looking into energy assistance and food stamps. I know very little about the programs and eligability requirements though. This is a very hard place for me to be in. I was raised in a very affluent home. My husband was raised by a single mom who worked 3 jobs his whole life and was always on some sort of assistance. So he certainly understands the need for assistance and is willing to do what it takes, but there is a certain amount of pride on both our parts that says we should be able to do it on our own. I really appreciated the portions of the last thread where people were talking about the small luxurys that they allow themselves. Sometimes I feel like we could get by on what he makes without assistance at all, but it would include cutting so many things down to the bare bones, and no wiggle room at all. We're currently still relying a little on student loans to make ends meet, and we have some CC debt that isn't budging because we always end up using them to bridge some gaps. We do have internet and cable and cell phones, but cutting any of those out would make things very difficult for us. We're going to have to start paying on those student loans eventually, and we arn't saving anything at all right now. He has about two more years of being a student, and then I'm confident we'll be on the "giving back" end of the spectrum.
post #11 of 311
Thread Starter 
Welcome, Amanda! And

rockportmidwife -- we got a denial letter, too -- but it turned out that our caseworker had been in training and so when we'd sent our new paperwork in, it had just sitting there and hadn't been processed. But when we got our denial letter and I called, they found our paperwork and everything was fine.

And I think that even happened once in the past -- I think sometimes they get behind, but the "you're being denied" letters get sent out like clockwork. I hope that's all it is in your case!

Guess what -- dh just found out the Food Stamp guidelines have changed for our state! We'd previously lost all our Food Stamps when dh got a small raise -- but according to the new guidelines, a family our size with our income qualifies for at least $250 a month (or maybe it was just $150)!

Even if it's just $150, that will be such a help to us, and maybe help budge us out of this tight place we're in! : As you can see, Amanda, I don't feel ashamed to take some help rather than struggling along with the bare minimum.
post #12 of 311
HAPPY FALL!!!

Satori, I have been in your place at different times in my life. I still don't like to ask anyone for help. Sometimes we need to. Although you offered to make the meal for your realitives, adding more people to the mix is not fair to you. Ask them to help pay for the meal. They should understand the cost given that they too have a food restriction.

Things have gotten a bit better for us these last few weeks. Dh is now working and has been garrentteed a job after grinding is over. YEAH!!! I'm not on WIC right now because of transportation, not sure if I'll get back on. Last month, I over spent on the food stamps, but it worked out so well for this month, I have some extras that did not get used. Will buy the same this month as the kids will be home for a week for the holidays.

love and blessings
angie
post #13 of 311
Mylittlewarrior-why would you not be eligible for WIC because you child just turned 1-it's for women and children up to the age of 5, so both of your children would qualify.

I had a denial letter when I was pg with my DD, well it actually was a spenddown letter. We just decided we'd spend what we could and try to make things work, it ended up they had screwed up my income royally, and in June when I was 6 months pg a new caseworker looked at my stuff and I had qualified for pregnancy medical for the ENTIRE time. I was so pissed and happy, I actually got all my medical bills that I had paid reimbursed.

It sucks because you can get someone who really is great and then there are people who obviously hate their jobs and treat you like dirt. It can be infuriating.
post #14 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
Mylittlewarrior-why would you not be eligible for WIC because you child just turned 1-it's for women and children up to the age of 5, so both of your children would qualify.

I had a denial letter when I was pg with my DD, well it actually was a spenddown letter. We just decided we'd spend what we could and try to make things work, it ended up they had screwed up my income royally, and in June when I was 6 months pg a new caseworker looked at my stuff and I had qualified for pregnancy medical for the ENTIRE time. I was so pissed and happy, I actually got all my medical bills that I had paid reimbursed.

It sucks because you can get someone who really is great and then there are people who obviously hate their jobs and treat you like dirt. It can be infuriating.
She may have meant that *she* didn't qualify anymore. At least here, the mother only qualifies until 1 year if you are breastfeeding. IIRC. (3 or 4 months if you aren't, if I'm not mistaken.)

I have an appointment on Monday for re-evaluation- I'll have to talk to them, too. For some reason, they have DH making *way* more than he actually does, and for some reason (I think I know why) that we have $450 lying dormant in our bank account. Not so. (I think it's because when we took the bank statement in, our rent money was in the account. I told them, but they don't like to listen here. When DH was temporarily unemployed, I went in for an appointment, and the lady asked me what DH did for work. I told her he didn't have a job right then, and she said "How long has your husband been lazy (pause) unemployed for?":

I probably need to call them tomorrow. Even though they sent me a letter saying I have an appointment, they sent me another letter after that saying I need to set up an appointment. I dunno...

We are qualified for WIC, but DH and I decided that we feel better if we don't use it. DD and I are lactose intolerant, and while they coud substitute my milk for Lactaid, not DD's. I don't drink that much milk, and none of us are big cereal eaters, so the only things we would/could get were peanut butter/beans, cheese, eggs and juice. I will be bfing, so we won't need formula.
post #15 of 311
That is what she meant...here in WA they just have good offering with it that I can't really justify for us going off of it. I did for a little while but then realized that it was really helping us right now. My DD drinks so much milk. They let us have organic, lactose free, pretty much whatever you want.
post #16 of 311
ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok, so I run to the store and get what I need. Run by my moms house to borrow a cake pan and my uncle is there but no he's not staying for dinner since he wants to be home by dark. That's fine, I understand, but couldn't someone freakin call me BEFORE I went shopping and spent $30?!

This happened last time too and my dad tried it like a month ago. Offered to make him a dinner that costs like $30 to make but it would make several meals I could freeze for him and he decided he wanted me to make it for everyone at the concert he was throwing and expected ME to pay for it! I told him no way! He had the nerve to get upset about it! I swear, I am not offering to cook for anyone again!
post #17 of 311
That's not fair. We aren't allowed to get organic anything here. I have to get the cheapest of everything so that means store brand. Even though the organic peanut butter only costs a few cents more than the store brand. And the lady was really rude to me when I tried to get a different brand.
post #18 of 311
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok, so I run to the store and get what I need. Run by my moms house to borrow a cake pan and my uncle is there but no he's not staying for dinner since he wants to be home by dark. That's fine, I understand, but couldn't someone freakin call me BEFORE I went shopping and spent $30?!

This happened last time too and my dad tried it like a month ago. Offered to make him a dinner that costs like $30 to make but it would make several meals I could freeze for him and he decided he wanted me to make it for everyone at the concert he was throwing and expected ME to pay for it! I told him no way! He had the nerve to get upset about it! I swear, I am not offering to cook for anyone again!
Does your mom not realize how tight things are for you guys? I was rather shocked when you said she told you you needed to make more than you'd been planning to make, but didn't offer to help out with the cost -- but I didn't want to come off as critical of your mom or anything.

It just puzzled me 'cause it seemed (to me) that she was being rather insensitive about your situation. But I realize I could have it all wrong! Please don't think I'm cutting down your mom!
post #19 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockportmidwife View Post
That's not fair. We aren't allowed to get organic anything here. I have to get the cheapest of everything so that means store brand. Even though the organic peanut butter only costs a few cents more than the store brand. And the lady was really rude to me when I tried to get a different brand.
Well they are trying to stop the organic milk, but IDK what happened with that. I checked WA WIC website and it hasn't said anything has changed. Here the checkers don't even care, but the sign under the peanut butter states any brand peanut butter. Also any cheese on the check, so it can be any brand. States are so different with their programs, seems so strange to me.
post #20 of 311
Thread Starter 
I've been checking into the Food Stamps guidelines for our state (Missouri) -- and I'm a little puzzled. I'd always heard that they expect the SAH parent to be working or in job-training once all of the kids are school-aged. I went to check it out, to make sure the age hadn't been lowered or anything (our youngest turns 4 in March) --

And according to the information on their site, I guess there can be a SAHP in the home as long as there's a child under 18, without it interfering with Food Stamp eligibility!

Now I'm wondering if something's changed in the rules, or if I was previously told wrong, or if I'm missing something ...
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