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Frugality & Finances > Should we get food stamps?
Ravin's Avatar Ravin 03:30 PM 02-06-2011

Yes, you should.



Smithie's Avatar Smithie 03:41 PM 02-06-2011


Way to bring us back on topic! thumb.gif

 

Yes, OP, you should apply for FS if you think you qualify, and accept them if they are offered to you. 


PiesandAbrosmama's Avatar PiesandAbrosmama 03:58 PM 02-06-2011

I've been on foodstamps for just over a year. We lost our business, house, cars, and life. I'm back in school full time at a local community college.  DH has been trying for over the year to get a new job, tough I mean tough. I worked the 2010 census, he worked off jobs here and there. He finally got a full time job on the 1st of the year. We finally are not renewing and this will be our first month off of the assistance!  

 

First if you qualify, they really help to ease the burden. It's tough and you should not be shamed into eating crap food and or small meals. Sometimes life sucks, if you work hard to not stay on forever, I say use it when you can. We all pay taxes, some years with owning my own business we paid more then we've made in several years of full income out in taxes. Foodstamps are not a lifestyle, but lets be realistic pets come into families when things are ok, just because she can't right now afford stuff doesn't mean auctioning them off.

 

And as for the judgments about food choices, this is AMERICA. I may see the value in buying all organic, that should be my choice if I use what has been given to me to buy on the food I like and want to feed my family. Someone else may have different values, want to buy name brand junk, should still be up to them to decide.  Lobster, chips, organic coffee, tv dinners, it's all about choice. Since it's set up in dollars per month per family qualifications, then I have to be a good steward with my EBT food money each month, otherwise we might not eat for a week between the monthly benefit . Also, when life is so tight that you can't do anything or go any where except for the library, eating well is one treat that makes it feel ok sometimes. I might not have gone out to eat for a whole year, but I could throw down some delicious home cooked meals and that my friends was sanity!   


meemee's Avatar meemee 09:28 PM 02-06-2011

in your case OP no. 

 

i would only use FS ONLY as a last resort. your parents might help you out. i would not do it. 

 

i can understand why you couldnt file your papers.

 

i struggle with FS right now. i can easily go back to it. i definitely do qualify economically.

 

but its hard. there are so many of us in a bad state now. i cant justify myself getting FS even though i qualify (dont care about shame at all) because somehow i AM putting food on the table and we are squeaking by. i volunteer at a farm so get a CSA box in a few hours after harvesting. i also buy at teh farmers market so make rare grocery store trips. 

 

we squeak and manage and scrape by. 

 

i am better off than others. i can manage without FS.

 

thus i cant bring myself to reapply. 


TheSlingMama's Avatar TheSlingMama 09:45 PM 02-06-2011

I'm going to jump in here and come right out and say that I get $367 a MONTH to feed two adults and a toddler on food stamps.  This is my entire grocery budget.  My daughter also has celiac disease and severe allergies.  We can't get an extra allotment for the additional expense for medical needs because the test used for celiac isn't affective until 3-4 years old.  Because we don't have the test results proving the diagnosis we're up a creek.  We HAVE to buy organic and gluten free foods.  I spend a third of my grocery budget just paying for my daughter's milk/kefir/coconut water.  I also have a designer Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag.  My daughter also wears Kicky Pants clothing most of the time and it's costly.  This is because she's sensitive to the fabrics and has reactions - the bamboo in the KP doesn't do that.  I'm sure when I go through the check out line with 98% organic items and the few junk items for mom and dad (a 2 liter to last a week and convenience foods for dad to take to work) with my daughter in the cart next the designer bag and in expensive clothes, it pisses people off because they are judging me.  But guess what?  I bought that bag used from another mama for less than the cost of the crap ones they sell at Wal-mart and it's perfect for me.  My daughter has a week's worth of clothes in KP and that's it.  I bought them big too start and she's been wearing the same ones for over a year and a half with probably another year to go in them.  This means I paid WAY less in the long run for those clothes than buying cheap ones that break her out.  Her wardrobe is TINY compared to most people I know with kids her age.  Pets are not a luxury whatsoever and saying people on FS should get rid of their animals is adding to an already awful epidemic.  We have a dog and he eats about $20 a month in food if we buy the cheap stuff.  My dog is not vaxed and I take care of him and protect him as best I can.  I live with the understanding that if something awful were to happen to him, I'd most likely have to put him to sleep because I won't be able to afford expensive medical care.  It's horrid to feel that way but does that mean I'm going to kick him out to die?  No!  Do I want to feed him better food?  Yes, and someday I will but the humans come first.  We don't have tv service at all so we have the internet.  It costs us $40 a month and provides all our entertainment.  I use it to pay my bills, talk to my parents and other family and keep in touch with SO while he's at work so that way we keep the minutes down on our phones.  We don't have a landline because cell phones make more sense now and costs about the same.  Our library only allows you an hour of internet usage a day and that's if there is a computer open.  I also then have to negotiate trying to get there with a young toddler and use said internet with her - this is impossible a lot of the times.  We don't have public transit so even if I get there, it's next to impossible to get anything done within that hour not to mention it's really unsecure to use for personal things like banking, etc.  It's very upsetting for people to judge what kind of person you must be just because you're on foodstamps and based on what you're buying.  It's incredibly discriminatory.  I HATE that people say well you need to sell everything because you're using my tax dollars and you need to live this way.  I pay taxes too so it's just as much mine as yours - I just need a little help to get back on my feet.  Sure there are bad seeds but it is really unfair to judge all of us because of them.  The entitlement attitude works both ways - people shouldn't feel entitled to get food stamps.  I'm extremely grateful that they are there.  But, people who don't get food stamps shouldn't feel entitled to tell people how to spend those stamps or tell them what they can or cannot own, do, or buy.


EmsMom's Avatar EmsMom 04:59 AM 02-07-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSlingMama View Post

  I HATE that people say well you need to sell everything because you're using my tax dollars and you need to live this way.  I pay taxes too so it's just as much mine as yours - I just need a little help to get back on my feet.  Sure there are bad seeds but it is really unfair to judge all of us because of them.  The entitlement attitude works both ways - people shouldn't feel entitled to get food stamps.  I'm extremely grateful that they are there.  But, people who don't get food stamps shouldn't feel entitled to tell people how to spend those stamps or tell them what they can or cannot own, do, or buy.


You know, right to enough food to survive is actually considered a right of a citizen.  Maybe it isn't spelled right out in the Constitution but it is probably implied in the life, liberty part.  Throughout history, governments have been brought down entirely when the citizens can no longer afford to feed themselves.  So it is a recognized right.  If you read state websites regarding food stamps, they often emphasize that it is your "right" to receive them if you meet the guidelines.  When they extended the benefit amounts and the number of people eligible to receive food stamps in 2008, they extended the right to receive food stamps to include more working poor.  If you meet the guidelines, you should get the food stamps.  Your income has to be pretty low to meet those guidelines unless you are scamming and if you manage basic necessities on that income, more power to you - you have something to teach the rest of us.  I am living just slightly over food stamp guidelines myself and so I know how much that little extra would mean to my budget.  We have basic cable and internet and we have a beloved cat.  But we never eat out or have any paid entertainment and even traveling to relatives is pricey with the gas.  I would take food stamps in a heartbeat if we were eligible.  Securing a basic food supply for citizens is a basic responsibility of government: that is the ultimate rationale behind both food stamps and the farm subsidies.  But, yes, there is definitely some abuse of both systems that goes on (abuse of farm subsidies almost certainly being a much wider and more expensive problem - but also more socially acceptable, isn't it?


kijip's Avatar kijip 12:39 PM 02-07-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by matey View Post

A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

As a cashier, I have sold fresh lobster to somebody who paid with food stamps. I'm still irritated about it 15 years later. But when it comes right down to it, the income limits for FS are so low that I think anybody who qualifies should take them. I also think there should be a limited selection of staple items that FS will cover, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

 

 


I have tried not to let this thread become personal, well too personal anyway, but this comment REALLY bothered me. As a food stamp recipient, I do in fact eat a lot of beans. And a lot of rice. In fact, we don't purchase meat at the grocery store as to not support factory farming and shitty meat consumption. But I do buy one chicken, a local organic chicken, and 2 lbs. of local beef per month. I do this with my food stamps. What would you think of me?? Would you think I was some jerk wasting away my fs money on good food when really I should be feeding my family some bags of frozen chicken filets? Are those foods more worthy of me since I am poor?

And when my son turned three this year and it wasn't a good affordable option to go out, we cooked at home, a meal he likes. We bought potato chips and applegate farm hot dogs. I did it with my food stamps. The potato chips were too crappy of food to buy, but the hot dogs I'm sure were too good for me.

My husband works, he WORKS! He works for the leading mental health orhganization where we live. He spends everyday at a homeless drop in center. There he faced with mentally ill people, people who are drunk and on drugs, there are fights, he has had loaded guns come into the facility. He goes in on snow days because he knows that this need is greater on those days. He does a job most people would not want to do and he gets paid a small wage to do it.

I think if my hudband decided he wanted a lobster I would arrange our menu to include that. And I don't think some cashier who has NO IDEA where we are coming from has any room to judge me for it.


 



Word! I am a comfortably middle class mom now, but I grew up poor. Very poor, on government cheese, shortening, peanut butter, bags of government flour and food stamps.

I will never forget cashiers making comments when my parents would buy nice things on sale (ie lots of steak for the freezer when steak was cheaper than hamburger meat that week) or most bruisingly, the cashier and fellow shopper who took it on themselves to comment on my 5th birthday cake, bought from the store bakery after my dad failed in 2 attempts to make a cake in the tiny, junky oven in the motel kitchenette where all 5 of us lived in one room for nearly a year. Seriously, my parents felt bad enough that we were living in a motel on charitable vouchers and that they could not make me a cake, they sold me on the idea of a store cake being something special (even though I was hard to convince) and they had the bakery attendant write my name on it to build my excitement. Then 2 people who don't know us, don't have any idea what we are dealing with etc rain on our mini parade. What sort of jerks would do that? Please think about this before passing judgment on people buying something out of the ordinary with food stamps.


My dad is a great cook and we pretty much always ate well because of his skills. I learned to cook from him and do think that lack of cooking skill is one of the main reasons people at all income levels rely on crappy processed foods.
Smithie's Avatar Smithie 12:58 PM 02-07-2011

 

Bear in mind, I was 17 years old when that lady came through my line with the lobster. I've done a little growing since then (and I didn't openly diss her even at the time, because I couldn't afford to lose my job). But cashiers will always be poor folk, they will often struggle with food insecurity themselves, and it will piss them off every time to see a bakery cake or other luxurious item being paid for with food stamps. That's how the system works - it pits poor people against each other. 

 

ITA agree that lack of cooking skill is the biggest cause of poor nutrition in every socioeconomic bracket. My mom's a good cook, and I was a well-nourished child always. The Farm Bill is another major cause, but cooking skill can overcome even that. 


annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 01:39 PM 02-07-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

Bear in mind, I was 17 years old when that lady came through my line with the lobster. I've done a little growing since then (and I didn't openly diss her even at the time, because I couldn't afford to lose my job). But cashiers will always be poor folk, they will often struggle with food insecurity themselves, and it will piss them off every time to see a bakery cake or other luxurious item being paid for with food stamps. That's how the system works - it pits poor people against each other. 

 

ITA agree that lack of cooking skill is the biggest cause of poor nutrition in every socioeconomic bracket. My mom's a good cook, and I was a well-nourished child always. The Farm Bill is another major cause, but cooking skill can overcome even that. 


Somewhere (here perhaps?) someone told a heartbreaking story about a woman who was buying lobster with her food stamps and a clerk who felt it was her place to comment. The woman burst into tears and explained that her husband was dying of cancer and this was pretty much his last meal.
monkey's mom's Avatar monkey's mom 02:01 PM 02-07-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 But cashiers will always be poor folk, they will often struggle with food insecurity themselves, and it will piss them off every time to see a bakery cake or other luxurious item being paid for with food stamps.


Nonsense. There has been a grocery worker in this very thread who has said she wouldn't be angered.
 

 

Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Somewhere (here perhaps?) someone told a heartbreaking story about a woman who was buying lobster with her food stamps and a clerk who felt it was her place to comment. The woman burst into tears and explained that her husband was dying of cancer and this was pretty much his last meal.


 

OMG....could you imagine?? Thank you, AM. What a great reminder.
 


JesKace's Avatar JesKace 02:14 PM 02-07-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by kijip View Post

 

Word! I am a comfortably middle class mom now, but I grew up poor. Very poor, on government cheese, shortening, peanut butter, bags of government flour and food stamps. I will never forget cashiers making comments when my parents would buy nice things on sale (ie lots of steak for the freezer when steak was cheaper than hamburger meat that week) or most bruisingly, the cashier and fellow shopper who took it on themselves to comment on my 5th birthday cake, bought from the store bakery after my dad failed in 2 attempts to make a cake in the tiny, junky oven in the motel kitchenette where all 5 of us lived in one room for nearly a year. Seriously, my parents felt bad enough that we were living in a motel on charitable vouchers and that they could not make me a cake, they sold me on the idea of a store cake being something special (even though I was hard to convince) and they had the bakery attendant write my name on it to build my excitement. Then 2 people who don't know us, don't have any idea what we are dealing with etc rain on our mini parade. What sort of jerks would do that? Please think about this before passing judgment on people buying something out of the ordinary with food stamps. My dad is a great cook and we pretty much always ate well because of his skills. I learned to cook from him and do think that lack of cooking skill is one of the main reasons people at all income levels rely on crappy processed foods.


That's horrible.  I don't agree with buying junk on food stamps, but giving someone a hard time because they bought their 5 year old a birthday cake, that's just cruel.


yaM yaM's Avatar yaM yaM 02:37 PM 02-07-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

Somewhere (here perhaps?) someone told a heartbreaking story about a woman who was buying lobster with her food stamps and a clerk who felt it was her place to comment. The woman burst into tears and explained that her husband was dying of cancer and this was pretty much his last meal.


 

 

This is a perfect example of why it's good to MYOB.  We can never truly know another's experience.


Smithie's Avatar Smithie 02:49 PM 02-07-2011

 

Yeah, that wasn't me - here or elsewhere. I didn't have any conversation with the lady at all besides pleasantries. The store trained us never to comment on people's groceries. 

 

But I stand by my statement that a hardworking person who feels they can't afford Luxury Item X, selling Luxury Item X to a person on the dole, is one ticked-off individual. 


Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 03:26 PM 02-07-2011
Those pissed off people (cashiers or patrons), I've decided, must be really unhappy with their lives. Seriously, it is not normal to pass judgments like that upon others whom you only have a glimpse into their lives. Even if that glimpse includes designer purses and a cart full of bottled water - having preconceived ideas and even thinking judgmental thoughts just leads me to believe that person is negative and gets something out of looking down upon others. If being a cashier is such a low paying, crappy gig - why not apply for food stamps yourself or do something to better your life and get out of that position. Getting irritated by food stamp recipients is just a waste of energy, and a reflection on what kind of person you really are.

(General you.)
monkey's mom's Avatar monkey's mom 03:39 PM 02-07-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmithieView Post

 

 

But I stand by my statement that a hardworking person who feels they can't afford Luxury Item X, selling Luxury Item X to a person on the dole, is one ticked-off individual. 

 

No, that's *your* response. Which, whatever.....own it, have it, feel it, whatever. But just because you think it/feel it doesn't mean that everyone does. But a 15 yr. resentment over a person buying lobster on food stamps sounds highly irrational to me. I'm sorry the OP--and other mamas who are ALREADY struggling--need to endure the kind of judgements, looks, or comments I've read here.


number572's Avatar number572 03:58 PM 02-07-2011

I was a cashier in high school and I don't know if WIC has changed, but it used to be a sort of complicated way to purchase groceries.  We had to check the items (weight, type of food, a lot of restrictions etc) against a list or something, item by item, and then scan it.  Anyway, I remember the WIC customers looking like they wanted to crawl under the conveyor belt when a line of other customers would start forming behind them, complete with watch checking, loud sighs, eye rolling.  Just rude.  I mean, if someone is truly in need of assistance, chances are they have a lot of stress about their situation in the first place.  No need to add to anyone's tough times.

 

It does sound helpful if some sort of free nutritional classes could be offered with the FS (or even without) or some other way to help people learn how to get more nutrition for their FS amount... but I can also imagine that if heavier restrictions were put on FS, that there would still be that same rude impatience from people waiting in line while the cashier and FS customer figured out which items pass and which ones cannot be purchased.


kijip's Avatar kijip 04:24 PM 02-07-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post


 



Bear in mind, I was 17 years old when that lady came through my line with the lobster. I've done a little growing since then (and I didn't openly diss her even at the time, because I couldn't afford to lose my job). But cashiers will always be poor folk, they will often struggle with food insecurity themselves, and it will piss them off every time to see a bakery cake or other luxurious item being paid for with food stamps. That's how the system works - it pits poor people against each other. 



 



ITA agree that lack of cooking skill is the biggest cause of poor nutrition in every socioeconomic bracket. My mom's a good cook, and I was a well-nourished child always. The Farm Bill is another major cause, but cooking skill can overcome even that. 




 



I hear you however, the grocery clerks at my store are well paid, and are either in school or work full-time. A good friend of mine was a night shift lead at a local store and he made almost $40k a year and that was a decade ago. He certainly did not qualify for food stamps or judge people for using them. Grocery stores do not need to be low paying crappy jobs, heck I have known 1 woman to be working at the same store for 29 years. She owns a home and is getting her kids college. It is not big money, but it certainly can be a living wage. Also most of the younger clerks I know seem to come from middle class families, not poor families. I don't buy that critical judgment is unavoidable. It most certainly is something people of all income levels can choose not to do. Period. I say this having been the very poor kid (who has worked since I was 12) working hard to get through school.
sonrisaa29's Avatar sonrisaa29 07:37 PM 02-07-2011
Quote: Originally Posted by Smithie   But cashiers will always be poor folk, they will often struggle with food insecurity themselves, and it will piss them off every time to see a bakery cake or other luxurious item being paid for with food stamps. Nonsense. There has been a grocery worker in this very thread who has said she wouldn't be angered.     Originally Posted by annettemarie  Somewhere (here perhaps?) someone told a heartbreaking story about a woman who was buying lobster with her food stamps and a clerk who felt it was her place to comment. The woman burst into tears and explained that her husband was dying of cancer and this was pretty much his last meal.   OMG....could you imagine?? Thank you, AM. What a great reminder.  


That was me that said I pass no judgement to what you buy with your EBT. Working for an all natural store I can fully appreciate how costly gluten free etc can be. Here in pa we have farmer market vouchers but it is up to each farmer whether he/she takes them. I would love to see classes offered on how to eat healthy on budget, really learning what is and isn't covered, gluten free, soy, dairy and nut free diets and how to stretch your money..

Many times the frustrations a cashier has with food stamps is the lack of knowledge that there are just certain things EBT won't cover. And that its not the store policy and something that I have control over. I don't know about every state and store but I know ours everything. That is covered by EBT will have a F next to it on the monitor and reciept.

Anyways,
Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 07:43 PM 02-07-2011

If you Google "food stamp cooking classes", it appears that many states/areas do offer just this. 

 

Just something interesting I found out, and thought I'd share since it's been suggested here several times.  Maybe they even include info about budgeting with regards to grocery shopping, ya never know.


~Boudicca~'s Avatar ~Boudicca~ 08:58 PM 02-07-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

Somewhere (here perhaps?) someone told a heartbreaking story about a woman who was buying lobster with her food stamps and a clerk who felt it was her place to comment. The woman burst into tears and explained that her husband was dying of cancer and this was pretty much his last meal.


 

 

This is a perfect example of why it's good to MYOB.  We can never truly know another's experience.

 

Yup nod.gif.  That bears repeating.
 


Smithie's Avatar Smithie 09:45 PM 02-07-2011
"A 15 yr. resentment over a person buying lobster on food stamps sounds highly irrational to me."

Yes. It's totally irrational. I am not claiming otherwise.

To address another poster: I am glad that you know somebody IRL who is making a living wage as a cashier. In the time and place that I was doing it, it was a minimum-wage nightmare and the pregnant women (who worked until the last possible second) all qualified for WIC. Which they then had to redeem at their workplace. It sucked.
shayinme's Avatar shayinme 07:26 AM 02-08-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

I was a cashier in high school and I don't know if WIC has changed, but it used to be a sort of complicated way to purchase groceries.  We had to check the items (weight, type of food, a lot of restrictions etc) against a list or something, item by item, and then scan it.  Anyway, I remember the WIC customers looking like they wanted to crawl under the conveyor belt when a line of other customers would start forming behind them, complete with watch checking, loud sighs, eye rolling.  Just rude.  I mean, if someone is truly in need of assistance, chances are they have a lot of stress about their situation in the first place.  No need to add to anyone's tough times.

 

It does sound helpful if some sort of free nutritional classes could be offered with the FS (or even without) or some other way to help people learn how to get more nutrition for their FS amount... but I can also imagine that if heavier restrictions were put on FS, that there would still be that same rude impatience from people waiting in line while the cashier and FS customer figured out which items pass and which ones cannot be purchased.


 

I run a neighborhood center and we work with the local extension program that does supply nutrition education classes to families, we even offer them at my center. Yet there are many barriers to why people make less than healthy food choices. I know in my area that lack of access to transportation to get to full service market is a barrier, in some cases lack of storage space. To cook nutritious and tasty foods from scratch can require more space to store necessary items. Add in if you are working then (which many people who get food stamps are, then you have a shortage of time. Yeah beans can be cooked in a crockpot but that requires a crockpot that you may or may not have the money to buy, heck you may need a counter to store it on.

 

As far as the lobster, you never know the reasons why that lobster is being purchased, maybe they are eating a few extra rice and bean meals to have it. Or if you live in state like I do Maine where at times lobster is cheaper than ground beef (this past summer I could get 2 1.5lbs lobsters for $10) that may be the reason they were purchasing it. Funny thing is we never know yet we feel compelled to comment and we shouldn't.


number572's Avatar number572 09:43 AM 02-08-2011

Yeah that's really true.  To cook, a person needs pots and pans, gas or electric stove or oven or crock pot like you said, somewhere to wash the dishes, utensils and a knife. Somewhere to store food and a reliable fridge if the food requires refrigeration.   Let alone have the time for cooking and washing up, after homework and visiting with the kids.  A lot really can be taken for granted if you already have all of that "stuff" and can have the luxury of cooking from scratch for your family.  :(


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

I was a cashier in high school and I don't know if WIC has changed, but it used to be a sort of complicated way to purchase groceries.  We had to check the items (weight, type of food, a lot of restrictions etc) against a list or something, item by item, and then scan it.  Anyway, I remember the WIC customers looking like they wanted to crawl under the conveyor belt when a line of other customers would start forming behind them, complete with watch checking, loud sighs, eye rolling.  Just rude.  I mean, if someone is truly in need of assistance, chances are they have a lot of stress about their situation in the first place.  No need to add to anyone's tough times.

 

It does sound helpful if some sort of free nutritional classes could be offered with the FS (or even without) or some other way to help people learn how to get more nutrition for their FS amount... but I can also imagine that if heavier restrictions were put on FS, that there would still be that same rude impatience from people waiting in line while the cashier and FS customer figured out which items pass and which ones cannot be purchased.


 

I run a neighborhood center and we work with the local extension program that does supply nutrition education classes to families, we even offer them at my center. Yet there are many barriers to why people make less than healthy food choices. I know in my area that lack of access to transportation to get to full service market is a barrier, in some cases lack of storage space. To cook nutritious and tasty foods from scratch can require more space to store necessary items. Add in if you are working then (which many people who get food stamps are, then you have a shortage of time. Yeah beans can be cooked in a crockpot but that requires a crockpot that you may or may not have the money to buy, heck you may need a counter to store it on.

 

As far as the lobster, you never know the reasons why that lobster is being purchased, maybe they are eating a few extra rice and bean meals to have it. Or if you live in state like I do Maine where at times lobster is cheaper than ground beef (this past summer I could get 2 1.5lbs lobsters for $10) that may be the reason they were purchasing it. Funny thing is we never know yet we feel compelled to comment and we shouldn't.


habitat's Avatar habitat 03:32 PM 02-08-2011

This thread is giving me the heebie-jeebies. Honestly. I guess I too often forget that I've fortunately been able to immerse myself in a community that has made a point of supporting the true autonomy and physical/emotional welfare of those who have found themselves in the poor and working class. 

 

The government is not "of the people" any more than it is "for the people". "The people", as it were, come from varying degrees of (economic, social, etc) privilege, or lack there of. They do not have the support of their neighbors because their neighbors have been marketed a very yucky image of poor people. They're lazy. They have poor priorities/values. They leech off everybody else. I am not a professor in economics, but suffice it to say that there are a lot of poor people in your town. If you know them and love them, you want to help them. If you don't know them or love them (or if you are uncomfortable with them), you want to critique them. If you are them, you just want support. You want freedom and, in general, no amount of feeding into the system will get you that support. It just exhausts you.

 

 

Fourteen percent of our tax dollars go to all the "safety net programs" that exist in the United States. A relatively small portion of this is food stamps, which are only available to people that "meet the requirements". Whose requirements? A bunch of (primarily) white dudes in a room, making decisions for people they've never met, who generally come from a completely different pool of experiences. The largest portion of my tax dollars (twenty percent) go to war. Killing people. Killing families, even. Killing children, even. This is true and cannot be denied. A really gross reality, in my opinion.  Another pretty big portion of that money goes to bailing out banks (who turn around and fund coal and kill rural, poor communities, btw), subsidizing the production of unhealthy food to keep the working poor sick and addicted, but alive enough to do our dirty work and support a failing system that is literally puppeteered and engineered by the 1% at the top who profit from it. This is not run-of-the-mill "corruption" that can be done away with "reform". I really don't have the ability to vote these things away. I am an active community organizer and if I did, I would have already, but my peers and I are not wealthy enough to really lobby for a say in a system that has been engineered to oppress the "voting public". This is a travesty and I grieve that I am a slave to a state that simply does not have the best interests of myself and my neighbors at heart. Capitalism doesn't work. Not for the working person and not for the benefit of families and certainly not for the poor and oppressed in those countries we are occupying.

 

The worst part is how we are totally viscerally trained to react when someone is using "assistance". As if it's a personal offense by that person against everyone else. The government is killing people with your money every. single. second. Stop making disgusting looks at the "welfare mom" in the nail salon and make connections with the poor people in your community. Know that they come from different backgrounds than you and know that you don't know everything about them, their experience, their budgeting, their story. Know that the government makes money off of their manicure, and that more taxes are paid by more businesses/people as a result of their getting manicures. A person pays taxes when they buy something. How does this go over peoples' heads?

 

A person cannot be blamed for supposedly "exploiting" a system that is put in place explicitly to exploit them. Pitting slaves against each other is a pretty standard tactic of slave owners. If you don't think the government *owns* you, try to stop paying taxes that go places you don't agree with, or try voting against them. Or, for that matter, try to get them to listen to you without showing up at the white house without billions of dollars in payoff.

 

Food stamps are not charity. They're everybody's money pooled and used pretty explicitly to make money off of junk food and keep the working poor the working poor. Have you seen the WIC list? It's a huge advertisement for general mills and the dairy industry. The government created a separate program so that they could subsidize *branding* by huge corporations who will make bank on it.

 

I use food stamps. I use them to eat. I am going to raise a family as a single mother, in part because I choose to use them. I pick healthy foods because I have the luxury and privilege of the kind of education and exposure to information that led me to make those choices despite the government's hopes that I will spend them on the crap food that they put all over television and magazines and whatnot. I don't *need* food stamps. I could work more hours and drive myself to misery and get prescriptions for drugs to "fix" my resulting depression like the powers that be want me to. But it's not a sense of *entitlement* that led me to the choice to get food stamps. It's a no brainer. Much of my taxes go to war. This part comes back to me in the form of nourishment. I am not ashamed.

 

To those who feel that people should be using more "discretion" (ahem - shame) when using food stamps, all I have to say is that no matter how much you value the concept of a supposedly "small government", what you're promoting is hate and the demolition of freedom for the working person. Period.

 

If you qualify for foodstamps, get them. Buy what you can with them. Buy what you want with them. Eat.

 

Riseup !! 


habitat's Avatar habitat 04:26 PM 02-08-2011

sorry. double post. 


geekgolightly's Avatar geekgolightly 04:28 PM 02-08-2011

i heart habitat. joy.gif


matey's Avatar matey 07:53 PM 02-08-2011
Snap, Habitat, I think I heart you too!
matey's Avatar matey 07:59 PM 02-08-2011
Just a side note on the class idea. I know it sounds great to offer classes on nutrition, but that is something they already do with WIC. They offer classes on nutrition, healthy eating and breastfeeding. My WIC center even offers online classes where we can learn about the benefits of drinking lots of water and ways to cook vegetarian. For me, it is all no brainer stuff and is completely worthless. For other moms who may choose to eat less healthy diets, I think it is just something they put up with to get their checks. I really don't think additional classes will change everything and make the participants eat healthier.
Quaniliaz's Avatar Quaniliaz 08:03 PM 02-08-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post


sorry. double post. 




 


That's ok - say it again, Habitat. You rock!

joy.gif
artemis33's Avatar artemis33 08:17 PM 02-08-2011

well said Habitat!


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