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#1 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if this is everywhere or just NY state, but $200 has been given to all families with food stamps to help pay for school supplies. I didn't believe it, especially b/c I heard about it word-of-mouth and not via official letter, but I checked my account (the cash account, not the food stamps part) and there was $200.

I hope it's everywhere...I know for us it's a HUGE help!

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#2 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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I was just reading an article about this. I believe it is just for families in NY state who receive public assistance or food stamps. It's $200 per child age 3-17.
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#3 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 03:22 PM
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It's only in New York, but it is nice. The federal government had offered a $4 for $1 match through the economic stimulus act if the state could come up with 35 million, but the state of New York couldn't or wouldn't... so philanthropist George Soros donated the money. He received a similar gift as a poor college student, and wanted to give back.

It's a good story....

 
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#4 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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It's only in New York, but it is nice. The federal government had offered a $4 for $1 match through the economic stimulus act if the state could come up with 35 million, but the state of New York couldn't or wouldn't... so philanthropist George Soros donated the money. He received a similar gift as a poor college student, and wanted to give back.

It's a good story....
Yeah, it's $35,000,000 from Saros and $140,000,000 matching from the US gov't.

I'm wondering if they have put any safeguards to make sure that parents actually spend the money on their kids? Because I've heard from a couple of friends that parents are using it for themselves (like to go out to eat, to buy liquor and stuff) and I didn't know whether I should believe it because you'd think they would put some type of safeguard into play to prevent that. I personally have no issues helping out kids who need it, though I'm kind of surprised they didn't give the money out as vouchers or something.

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#5 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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Saw this article when I did a search

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It’s your stimulus dollars at work -- well, $140 million of it at least. The other $35 million it took to fund this program came from a private foundation. So, how is the state going to make sure the extra $200 per child will be used to buy back-to-school supplies?

They're not.

The Governor's office admits there's no way to ensure this cash will be used for its intended purpose. But, they say, they're making retailers aware of this program and are hoping parents will spend the money in the right way.
Wow. That's all I can say! Were they in a rush to do this or something? To me this has me scratching my head a bit, wondering if they were just rushing? Because they could have used vouchers, or even given like an allotment to the school's teachers or something?

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#6 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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Yeah, it's $35,000,000 from Saros
I heard Soros on NPR this morning. He didn't want restrictions on the money. Heck, it goes to people on Food Stamps. They are already struggling. I think it's a very cool thing - to just give without restrictions. To trust people to use it as they see fit. Sure, there will be some abusers, but you can't worry about that when you are giving to charity. You have to trust.

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#7 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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I heard Soros on NPR this morning. He didn't want restrictions on the money. Heck, it goes to people on Food Stamps. They are already struggling. I think it's a very cool thing - to just give without restrictions. To trust people to use it as they see fit. Sure, there will be some abusers, but you can't worry about that when you are giving to charity. You have to trust.
Yeah, but only 1/5 of the money is from him. The other 4/5 is from the US gov't stimulus. I do think it makes more sense personally to give it out as a voucher--like to be used only on school supplies and school uniforms...that sort of thing. It wasn't supposed to be a "charity handout" to used for just anything.

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#8 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 05:56 PM
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I heard Soros on NPR this morning. He didn't want restrictions on the money. Heck, it goes to people on Food Stamps. They are already struggling. I think it's a very cool thing - to just give without restrictions. To trust people to use it as they see fit. Sure, there will be some abusers, but you can't worry about that when you are giving to charity. You have to trust.
I agree with this. I really think our government should get rid of all social welfare programs and just give people cash, to use in the ways that best suits the needs of their families. We'd save trillions in overhead, and people would get what they need.

People who get food stamps love their children and want what's best for them. In some situations the $200 will be best spent on school supplies, and in some it won't. If they use the $200 to pay the electric bill, or buy diapers, or take the kids out to McDonalds... cool.

 
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#9 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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I agree with this. I really think our government should get rid of all social welfare programs and just give people cash, to use in the ways that best suits the needs of their families. We'd save trillions in overhead, and people would get what they need.

I really wish we lived in a Utopia where it could be like this. Sigh. And, it's lousy that there are people out there who do abuse the system. I used to teach in inner city Detroit and got to see so much. Yeah, I know ideally people would love, nurture their kids and put them first...I wish I hadn't seen so many abuses of the system when I was there.

Of course, I may be reading what you wrote seriously when you were being sarcastic...?

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#10 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 06:30 PM
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I'm serious as a heart attack.

Of course people abuse the system now - how else can they get what they and their families need? It's a bad system. When I got benefits I worked under the table, bought one onion 3 times so I could get enough change to buy non-food stuff we needed (back in the old days, food stamps were actually pieces of paper, and so you could use a one dollar fs to buy a 15 cent item and get .85 in real money back), sold stamps for cash, and probably other stuff.

When Rain was little, the cash benefit amount for AFDC for one child was $220. A third of that went to rent and utilities (section 8). We got health care and more than enough food stamps, but even 12 years ago, you couldn't buy everything else 2 people need for $150 a month. I can't imagine anyone not gaming that system and surviving....

 
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#11 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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Yeah, it's $35,000,000 from Saros and $140,000,000 matching from the US gov't.

I'm wondering if they have put any safeguards to make sure that parents actually spend the money on their kids? Because I've heard from a couple of friends that parents are using it for themselves (like to go out to eat, to buy liquor and stuff) and I didn't know whether I should believe it because you'd think they would put some type of safeguard into play to prevent that. I personally have no issues helping out kids who need it, though I'm kind of surprised they didn't give the money out as vouchers or something.
It's funny how this is always the first conclusion that people leap to - rather like people spending food stamps on steak and selling the food stamps for liquor.
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#12 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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It's funny how this is always the first conclusion that people leap to - rather like people spending food stamps on steak and selling the food stamps for liquor.
I can never understand why those on food stamps should not purchase steak. Is steak a luxury that only those with cash should consume? Is steak a luxury?


But anyway, I am happy for the NY families who received the stipend. I am sure that there are quite a few happy parents and children.

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#13 of 122 Old 08-12-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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I am sure that is a very welcome gift for these families. Back-to-school time is so expensive. Can the money be used to pay book fees, etc? I am so happy for those families, and I wish it could be extended to other states.
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#14 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 12:12 AM
 
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I can never understand why those on food stamps should not purchase steak. Is steak a luxury that only those with cash should consume? Is steak a luxury?
It's funny I mean I am currently getting SNAP benefits due to the economy sucking and my DH was on UI for a couple months, plus my state dramatically raised the amounts a family can make. I just went and bought $40 of groceries and of that $25 was on meat, steaks and roasts-it's what we eat. I am miserly with my benefits though, I use coupons and sales and try to stretch my $140 as far as it can. It hasn't changed my shopping, except I find that I try to make that money go even farther. Maybe I'm just weird. I've gotten a frown because I used my benefits to buy organic coffee, what since I have FS I am supposed to drink Folger's or something? I'm not sure what people expect sometimes.

I hope that those who do get this extra benefit will use them for their families, of course there are the abusers who will just spend the money on themselves-I'm sure that many families will take this as a blessing and it will help their kids.

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#15 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sure that is a very welcome gift for these families. Back-to-school time is so expensive. Can the money be used to pay book fees, etc? I am so happy for those families, and I wish it could be extended to other states.
Yes, the good/bad thing is you can use it on anything. You can take the money out at an ATM machine and use it for...school supplies, back to school clothes, cigarettes, beer...

yeah, there's good and bad there

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#16 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 09:32 AM
 
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Yeah, but only 1/5 of the money is from him. The other 4/5 is from the US gov't stimulus. I do think it makes more sense personally to give it out as a voucher--like to be used only on school supplies and school uniforms...that sort of thing. It wasn't supposed to be a "charity handout" to used for just anything.
ITA. I can think of 2 people off the top of my head (who live in NY state) who do receive gov't aid, who will get $400 and $600 through this package and I would bet my last piece of hidden pregnancy chocolate that the $$ will NOT be used for school supplies or clothes that their kids need for back to school. The concept is great (BTS time is really really expensive and I don't know how low income people get around it), but unfortunately handing people a wad of cash does seem like a big invitation to use the money inappropriately. And yes, I do believe that using monies that are given to you for "school supplies" to take your family to McDonalds is inappropriate.

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#17 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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ITA. I can think of 2 people off the top of my head (who live in NY state) who do receive gov't aid, who will get $400 and $600 through this package and I would bet my last piece of hidden pregnancy chocolate that the $$ will NOT be used for school supplies or clothes that their kids need for back to school. The concept is great (BTS time is really really expensive and I don't know how low income people get around it), but unfortunately handing people a wad of cash does seem like a big invitation to use the money inappropriately. And yes, I do believe that using monies that are given to you for "school supplies" to take your family to McDonalds is inappropriate.

this. And for people saying those receiving funds should be able to use said funds as they see fit - do you think they should be able to use it for cigarettes or alcohol? I don't. I think when money it should be expected that there might be some stipulations to the money.
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#18 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 09:45 AM
 
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And yes, I do believe that using monies that are given to you for "school supplies" to take your family to McDonalds is inappropriate.
Eh. I remember school shopping with my mom and hitting K-Mart, then the mall for clothes and then finishing the day with a happy meal. We didn't get food stamps, but I think it could certainly be a good use of the money to help make a nice day and experience for the kids.

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#19 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 10:29 AM
 
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I think food stamps should work like WIC where you can only buy certain things. If you don't like it, you can always decline to use the program. There was a woman in our clinic who walked out for that very reason. She wanted to buy whatever she wanted on WIC and when the program was explained to her, she left.

I don't think that the majority of parents would abuse the money. However, if you are already struggling and need car repairs, emergency dental care, a home repair, the list is endless....you will probably not spend that money on school supplies.

I think it should have gone to the school so that whatever the children need for that year would be taken care of. If the money is not spent wisely, the teachers often pay for things themselves.

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#20 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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I think it should have gone to the school so that whatever the children need for that year would be taken care of. If the money is not spent wisely, the teachers often pay for things themselves.
I like the idea, I guess, in theory, but it seems really loose. If the biggest cost is school supplies it would be great if teachers had some piece of it to make sure the kids have what they actually need. That's a different program though, and really more about school funding. I know that the teachers in our family spend a fair amount of their own $$. It also seems like a good chunk of money. I know that we're on a tight budget and I am not spending $200/per kid for back to school.
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#21 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think food stamps should work like WIC where you can only buy certain things. If you don't like it, you can always decline to use the program. There was a woman in our clinic who walked out for that very reason. She wanted to buy whatever she wanted on WIC and when the program was explained to her, she left. .
The food stamp portion does work that way. You can't buy prepared stuff, like Deli type foods, and you can't get alcohol or cigarettes. You also can't get vitamins.

However, this $200 goes on the cash account side of the card...that side can be used for anything.

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#22 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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I know that's how food stamps work but I still think it would be better if there were only certain foods you could buy. I like the model of the WIC program.

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#23 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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Actually I read on here that you can get cold deli foods like sandwiches. There is also a Papa Murphy's chain that sells pizza. You take it home and bake it. They accept EBT.

But this thread is about school supplies. I hope that the parents are able to use a majority of the money to go to school supplies. There are so many sales right now. I am stocking up for the whole year.

Last weekend I bought 3 spiral notebooks, 3 packs of 20 count crayons and 30 pencils for $1.01

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#24 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that's how food stamps work but I still think it would be better if there were only certain foods you could buy. I like the model of the WIC program.
See I get both, and I think it's very sad about WIC. We are a vegetarian family and we will not risk our health by eating non-organic dairy or eggs. WIC doesn't give you choices that way, so we have to reject all dairy and eggs. I think they should give us more choices.

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#25 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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Actually I read on here that you can get cold deli foods like sandwiches. There is also a Papa Murphy's chain that sells pizza. You take it home and bake it. They accept EBT.

But this thread is about school supplies. I hope that the parents are able to use a majority of the money to go to school supplies. There are so many sales right now. I am stocking up for the whole year.

Last weekend I bought 3 spiral notebooks, 3 packs of 20 count crayons and 30 pencils for $1.01
You know, I'm kind of surprised that this forum doesn't have a school supplies deal thread. I've spent less than $20 getting my school supplies this year for three kiddos (aside from clothes, I spent $40 on clothes). We got some great deals on notebooks this week too at Staples, took my girls with me, each of us bought 6 notebooks. So, we got 18 notebooks for 18 cents!!!! The funny thing was, they were more thrilled than anything that they sold pink notebooks!

I know, if I had $200 per kid (it would be $600 for us here) I would seriously use only a fraction of it for school supplies because I'm such a good shopper LOL.

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#26 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 12:11 PM
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I don't think that the majority of parents would abuse the money. However, if you are already struggling and need car repairs, emergency dental care, a home repair, the list is endless....you will probably not spend that money on school supplies.
So what is better for the kids in that family, do you think? To have a working vehicle, a mama not in pain, a home with heat in the winter... or that Hello Kitty backpack?

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this. And for people saying those receiving funds should be able to use said funds as they see fit - do you think they should be able to use it for cigarettes or alcohol? I don't. I think when money it should be expected that there might be some stipulations to the money.
I'm glad that George Soros - the guy who gave people 35 million of the money - didn't feel that way. And he stated pretty directly that he didn't - that's not how he was treated when he was struggling, and that's not how he wanted to treat others.

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I know, if I had $200 per kid (it would be $600 for us here) I would seriously use only a fraction of it for school supplies because I'm such a good shopper LOL.
You also probably have access to a working vehicle or at least good public transportation, and live in an area with big chain stores that do sell stuff at such good prices. Poor people often have to spend more money to buy the same things because they're poor....

 
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#27 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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I think food stamps should work like WIC where you can only buy certain things. If you don't like it, you can always decline to use the program. There was a woman in our clinic who walked out for that very reason. She wanted to buy whatever she wanted on WIC and when the program was explained to her, she left.

I disagree with this also, as of Oct 1st in WA we will no longer be able to get organic milk in our state, we were possibly one of the only states who had that option. Part of my FS money is going to go directly to buying a case of organic milk a month. I am happy for someof the changes that are happening, we'll get tofu, brown rice, veggies and possibly soy milk. I mean I haven't been getting half of my stuff I don't need 50 cans of juice or 20 boxes of Life cereal, but that's what WIC gives me. I'd rather just have my OG milk.

There are rules and regs on what you can and cannot get, I mean I don't agree that you can buy Red Bull on FS(gross), but that doesn't mean I think that nobody should be able to. For me my buying a family pack of steaks is great and when they are 2.98 a lb I can stretch that into 2-3 meals, which is what I did the other day at my local store. I go to Walmart, which I can't stand really, but when I am trying to stretch my FS budget on pantry items and using my coupons it's where I go. My local store is nearly 2xs as much on many of the items I just bought the other day, did I buy a bunch of crap, well some may think so. Coffee, granola bars, organic granola, cookies for DH's lunch. I guess I just think that it would be unfair to place you can only buy X items-what would they be? You can buy this item organic, but not this-like WIC.

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#28 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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So what is better for the kids in that family, do you think? To have a working vehicle, a mama not in pain, a home with heat in the winter... or that Hello Kitty backpack?


I'm glad that George Soros - the guy who gave people 35 million of the money - didn't feel that way. And he stated pretty directly that he didn't - that's not how he was treated when he was struggling, and that's not how he wanted to treat others.


You also probably have access to a working vehicle or at least good public transportation, and live in an area with big chain stores that do sell stuff at such good prices. Poor people often have to spend more money to buy the same things because they're poor....
Dar, I am wondering, though, do you think it would be okay for parents to spend the money on cigarettes and alcohol? I truly am curious if there is any line you would draw.
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#29 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 01:30 PM
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I think poor people should be able to spend their money on the same things not poor people spend their money on... and I can buy beer with my money.

If kids are suffering because of their parents' decisions, that's a separate issue, but I don't think it's right to assume that because parents are poor, they're not capable of making the decisions that are best for their children and families.

 
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#30 of 122 Old 08-13-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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I think poor people should be able to spend their money on the same things not poor people spend their money on
Just to clarify, are you including monies given to people on aid (WIC, food stamps, cash assistance) as "their" money, or just the income that people earn at a specific job?

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

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