Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Food Stamps

Had a heated discussion with my Aunt at dinner tonight about Food Stamps. Her conservative sons had told her that folks they had heard of were buying turkey and roast beef with their Food Stamps, which was clearly not right. I asked her why this was wrong, and she said that if they are having their food paid for, they shouldn't be ordering fancy things, as much and as often as they liked.

I more or less lost it; said she had no idea what she was talking about; that people who qualify based on income are given a fixed amount per month; that they could buy what they wanted, but if they weren't smart about it, they would be out of money in no time. She said I was nuts and that I ought to go and watch how people use the food stamps to discover what's really happening.

So I did a quick Google search to see if I was nuts, and to my relief, found I was not. Here's my source.  Food stamps are given out based on income level for the household; are credited to your account once a month; you can buy any food in the store that is not taxed - so no alcohol, cigarettes, or most deli items; you have a sort of debit card with your ID that runs down to zero as you use it, and will be automatically replenished at the first of the month. The maximum a single person can get is $162 per month or $5.40 per day. As you add people to the household the per person max goes down; so a two person household can, at most, receive $298; a three person household, $426.

How would you do at $1.80 per meal? I would, quite simply, die.

I really have no patience for people who make judgments with incomplete and incorrect information. And why have so many of us decided that the poor and struggling are just trying to rip us off? The conservative meme in this country is making us mean spirited.  And that is not who we are.

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