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Food Stamps in America – Readers Weigh In

by Ryan Guina

Last Thursday I wrote an article about food stamps in America and how many people who rely on on food stamps are struggling to make it through the end of the month before their aid runs out. The article elicited quite a few excellent comments which brought up many good points about the food stamp program in the US.

Food stamps provide a necessary service to millions of Americans. Without it, millions of Americans, including millions of children and elderly people, would have nothing to eat. However, there are numerous issues with the food stamp program, none of which have easy solutions.

Background about food stamps . There are a few misconceptions about what people can buy with food stamps. Food stamps can be used to purchase food items for the household only. This includes any prepackaged foods, regardless of nutritional content (including chips, sodas, candy, etc.). However, food stamps may not be used to purchase cigarettes, alcohol, or other non-food items. For more information, read the Food Stamp Q&A page at the USDA website.

Is the Food Stamp program broken?

One of the biggest issues that food stamp recipients currently face is the rising cost of food and meeting their grocery needs with the aid provided. However, there are several other issues regarding the food stamp program. Several readers left comments about issues they saw and suggestions about how the program could be improved. It would be impossible to solve the world’s problems in a blog post, and the following are only a few current issues with the food stamp program and some thoughts left by readers.

Rising Food Costs

Inflation is real. I see it every time I go to the grocery store or drive by a gas station. Unfortunately, inflation and rising costs of fuel are pushing food prices ever higher, while the amount of aid people receive remains the same. For those on fixed incomes such as Social Security, food stamps, or other government aid, there is little that can be done to bridge the gap (at least quickly; changes to the amount of aid people receive happen on an annual basis as part of the government’s budget). You can only buy so much food with finite resources. This is an ugly and unfortunate situation, and one that I certainly don’t have the answer to.

Jarhead recommended the program use a voucher system similar to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.

If the government were to replace food stamps with vouchers (just like WIC) then you could control what the government’s money is spent on. Just give vouchers that are for the purchase of 10 Lbs of potatoes, 3 lbs of cheese, a certain amount of boxes or bags of cereal, etc, etc, etc. This also helps rising food prices in that no matter how much the price of that 10 Lbs of potatoes or any other item goes up they still have the voucher for that amount of food.

This obviously has pros and cons. The effects of inflation against food stamps could be curbed for the recipients, but then people have less of a choice regarding their food options. Perhaps something like this could work on a limited basis where certain staples are provided for via a voucher system, while the balance is provided under the current system. Then again, where do we draw the line with government control?

Unhealthy Food Choices and Misplaced Priorities

One topic that popped up several times concerned those who use food stamps to buy large quantities of food with limited nutritional value, or those who use food stamps to buy food and then cash to purchase lottery tickets, cigarettes, and alcohol.

Kristen commented:

I absolutely would not deny people who need assistance food stamps. However, (and I’m sorry that I’m passing some judgment here), I get really aggravated when I see a mom or dad at the grocery store using food stamps to buy a bunch of junk food, like chips and soda, and then pulling out a wad of cash to buy lottery tickets and cigarettes. I think people need to do a better job of getting their priorities in order for the sake of their children.

I worked as a cashier in a grocery store during high school and I witnessed scenes like this on multiple occasions. A pack of cigarettes a day is a $150 per month habit. Add in lottery tickets and alcohol, and you have enough money to feed a family healthy meals all month long, especially with additional assistance from food stamps.

Unfortunately, under the current system, people can basically buy any food they want as long as it is not hot food (such as from a restaurant).

Lynnae mentioned adding nutrition education to the program so people could make healthier food choices, similar to the WIC program:

With WIC you can only buy what’s on your voucher, and it’s all nutritional food. You also have to attend a certain number of educational classes, if you want your WIC benefits to continue. If you don’t attend the classes (Usually one hour of classes per 6 months of benefits), you don’t get the benefits.

An educational program is a good idea and may help some people who don’t know much about nutrition or budgeting, but it may not keep people from making wise decisions regarding purchases like lottery tickets, cigarettes, or alcohol. In the end it comes down to people making good choices, and dictating choice is impossible.

Program Fraud or Misuse

There were several comments regarding food stamp fraud and how people misuse their assistance. Fraud against government programs has been around as long as government programs have been around. The food stamp program is federally funded by the USDA, but each state administers it, including the investigation and prosecution of violations of the Food Stamp Program rules. Read what the USDA is doing to combat food stamp fraud.

Are There Solutions to These Problems?

As with any large program, there are inherent flaws and there is room for improvement. But I am not certain the system is broken. Millions of people are getting the assistance they need every month and are able to buy food. Hopefully that means buying healthy foods that provide a balanced diet. But it isn’t the government’s place to dictate which foods people buy.

However, with rising food costs, more money is needed. But how much money is needed, and at the expense of which other government programs? That is an answer I don’t have.

Are food stamps a band-aid or a cure?

Something on the CBS report really hit home with me. Almost 28 million Americans receive food stamps. Out of a population of 301 million, that is roughly 9% of the US population . In my opinion, that is too high. We are one of the world’s wealthiest and most advanced nations, but more than 9% of our population is struggling just to put food on the table (not accounting for those who do not receive benefits; how many people are actually struggling is certainly much higher).

David wrote:

I think society needs to look at the reasons why people are on welfare and work on fixing that rather than just continuing to come up with new ways to give out food stamps/WIC/monetary assistance, etc. I am all for giving help to anyone who needs it, but there is a much bigger problem going on behind the scenes that creates these situations with many of these people, and maybe that should be worked on as well.

While there are some people who may never be able to take care of themselves due to disabilities, old age, or other reasons, there are others for whom this may be a temporary situation. The latter group of people is the group David is talking about reaching.

Food stamps and similar forms of assistance are necessary. I don’t want to see the service stopped, but I’m sure there are improvements that can be made. I’m interested in reading your thoughts on the topic.


Published or updated December 9, 2010.
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1 Momma

Very well thought out follow-up to your previous post. This is one of those topics that EVERYONE has an opinion about, but few realistic solutions. I’m just glad that it’s being discussed in a respectful manner. Thank you for setting that tone, and providing the forum.

2 Nancy

I really have no comments right now, but I do want to stay abreast of what others are saying. There are definitely problems with the program, but it is a necessary program for many. Thanks for bringing up the topic and keeping the discussion going.

3 Ryan

deepali,

Thanks for pointing out what WIC is and what it is meant to accomplish. I think that there may be some validity to the idea of offering vouchers as part of a food assistance program – if only to provide staples at an inflation protected manner (to the aid recipients anyway). Of course, that would make accounting much more difficult for the government.

4 deepali

Ryan, Thanks for tackling the issue! It’s a tough one. I think you’ve summed it up nicely.

One thing I want to point out – WIC and food assistance are not really comparable. WIC is a public health prevention program at its heart. Its intention is to prevent infant and child mortality (which is higher in the US than many other developed countries). I worked on the redesign of the program, and it is very clearly geared towards providing a solid nutritional foundation for infants and children. In this ay, we *can* be more restrictive in the program because we’re talking about children vs adults.

Food assistance is meant to be a social welfare bridge – providing assistance to the working poor who need a little temporary help. In this case, we’re talking about adults, and all the legal, ethical, and constitutional issues that go with. While I would love to make it more like WIC, I think you get into a sticky area, which is why it’s a difficult thing to “fix”.

I think David is right – the solutions don’t lie in the program itself, but in the root causes of poverty in America.

5 plonkee

I still think that cash is the way to go. Yes, people could spend the money on something else, but at the end of the day they’ve still got to eat.

The figures for the proportion of people on food stamps should come as no surprise, the US is one of the most (if not *the* most) unequal developed countries. Loads of really, really rich people, loads of really, really poor people.

One of the things that I know does actually go on is giving free classes in cooking and nutrition. This is a good idea, although it helps if people have cooking utensils at home as well.

6 deepali

Personally, I think if food assistance is what we’re after, then food should be the currency. Many of the people in my nutrition classes (which I teach through the local food bank) are on food assistance. After the class, they get a bag of food such that we talked about/cooked with in class. It would make sense to funnel food assistance through food banks and actually give people a box of food.

I will admit that I don’t like the idea of cash. 1) I don’t think it would be handled well at all by USDA, and 2) it doesn’t really address the point of the food assistance program. And 3) people on food assistance tend to live in areas that don’t have very good grocery stores, so they end up at the local corner store. They’ll find food… and a whole host of health issues as well.

7 Alisa

I read somewhere in the commments that someone said they get mad when they see people purchase a lot of junk food with their food stamps. I am learning more and more that a lot of people just don’t know the importance of a healthy diet and they don’t know how to make better food choices. We are bombarded with advertising for “junk food” so much that, for some people, its really hard to resist the pressure to buy junk.

I think that on-going education (informal) about healthy eating for all age groups would help in this area.

Be well.

8 Kirk

This is a toughie. I would like to see some sort of limit on how long folks can be on food stamps so it motivates them to get off of them. However, when compared to how much we subsidize corporations, the money given to poor folks is a drop in the bucket.

I am a hard core free market guy. I believe that private charities such as churches, food banks, etc. would do a much better job of helping needy folks. Just imagine the power if we could reduce our taxes across the country equivalent to what the USDA receives for running this program. Then if people donated this money to the charities that would help these folks out. I realize many would just spend the money, but that could help these folks out by finding jobs as the economy is spurred.

Government programs waste half our tax dollars in bureaucratic inefficiencies. If you don’t believe me, work for the gov for a few months. I think moving to private charities is the long term solution. Of course, that would be a tough task considering DC would never give up the tax dough.

9 plonkee

I can’t be the only person in the world who thinks that every country that wishes to call itself civilised and developed should have a safety net for the least fortunate. And also, that no developed country should be having a problem with starvation. Based on something Mrs. Micah’s Mom said, I think that’s what would happen if you got rid of the food stamps and didn’t replace them with a similar program.

You know, it probably wouldn’t be the children that would be getting sick (and worse, dieing off) first, it would be their mothers. That’s what used to happen before safety nets – basic human nature hasn’t changed all that much.

10 Ryan

Plonkee, I agree, and I don’t think anyone is suggesting doing away with food stamps or other government assistance. I think it is necessary in our country, and in every country. But I also think people should be concerned about whether people are receiving enough aid or if there are ways to run the program more efficiently.

11 deepali

Plonkee, mothers and kids under 5 are covered under WIC. I don’t think anyone is opposed to WIC or the way it is run. The whole point of WIC is so that kids don’t die off (which is why it is directed at mothers). As I mentioned before, it’s a public health prevention program.

There are definitely people who would say we should do away with food stamps and welfare. But it will never happen – the American people will never allow it.

12 Katie

Mothers only get WIC when they are pregnant and for a short while after pregnancy. Children can only receive WIC up to what, age 5?
WIC certainly helps, but with my own experiences with WIC, some of the food items tend to just “pile” up in the home. For instance, milk and eggs get used faster than they are given, whereas peanut butter and cheese does not get used as fast. Also, with WIC you can buy juices, like “Juicy Juice” which is, in my opinion, not very healthy for a child OR the child’s teeth.

Also take into account that a person applying for food stamps can not have more than $2,000 COMBINED in any savings or checking accounts. It is not based strickly on income; it is also based on the total resources one has available to them. So someone who tries to save money for a rainy day or medical treatments or who is actually saving for some type of higher education to change their path in life, does not qualify for assistance.

These rules were obviously inacted to keep people from abusing the system, but these same rules keep hundreds of thousands of people from being able to change their own path in life by having a safety net of cash that they call their own.

Then take into account the HOURS it takes to apply for benefits, be interviewed for benefits, submit the proper paperwork for benefits….. and an average hourly wage employee LOSES hundreds of dollars in wages sitting around a government office building. Instead of telling people everything they need to bring at once, it usually ends up being 2 to 4 trips to the office, as well as 30 days awaiting benefits to be started. After all that and the loss of wages due to sitting around waiting at a food stamp office, it becomes even more challenging for those who actually could benefit POSITIVELY by receiving such benefits.

The current system does not provide any incentives to change one’s path. A max of $2,000 in checking and savings accounts is ridiculous. What is in incentive to save money to better yourself when you are basically punished for doing so?

13 Ryan

Katie,

Thanks again for weighing in on this topic. This is something I really don’t know much about, so I run the risk of looking at the situation with jaded eyes, or thinking I have a solution for things I have never dealt with. I think it is easy for a lot of people to fall into that trap.

You are right, there are many things many of the commentators and myself didn’t take into consideration, including the amount of time and energy involved. I sincerely appreciate your contributions to this discussion.

14 Darlene

First of all the comments about the military having help is not true. I’m retire wife of a navy man and we only had the other wives to help each other. One girl broke her foot and they offered to put her new baby in a foster home. All the teenagers on our boat took care of her and her baby until he came home. They also are paid, and live in free houses. If they live off base they are paid to do so.

The civilian sector I think should be given a time frame to be on welfare, but the system stops helping right at the point when a person starts to be self sufficient. They help with training and daycare for a year once you have a job. It may be longer now. I just heard a woman I work with say her daughter needed to stop working for awhile because she was in welfare housing and when they review her income they up her rent. Her rent was under $100 and she just didn’t want to pay it. So the mentality is to quit your job to keep the rent low for awhile. That is what’s wrong with our system. There is whole cultures of americans living this way. There are people who need it if they’ve been injured, and need a back up for awhile or real emergencies. Working people that have thing happen. Not for people to use because they are lazy. Or refuse to budget.

15 Ryan

Darlene:

Thank you for your comments. I agree that it is a good benefit when it is used properly, but there are many people who simply take advantage of the system. There need to be better checks and balances, but I don’t know how that can be done effectively.

16 Jocelyn Gallant

The Earn Income Means Testing for Public Assistance such as Food Stamp ,Assistance, SSI, SSDI, should be replace with a buy-in-program for recipients can keep all their benefits. Without being penalized. Barriers to employment still exist today against hiring persons with disabilities is not just persons with disabilities, welfare recipient as well still face employment barriers today.Because employers thinks it cost too much, to insured them. There is too, disincentive to work and wants to work and have savings account’s, save for their future there are at risk losing food stamp, cash assistance, SSI, SSDI, benefits. He or she should not be penalized for trying to better his or her self being successful in their own communities. There is a need for this change to happen that will enable recipients and persons with disabilities, senior citizens who is on fixed income to live comparable to live. They risk losing Food Stamp, Cash Assistance, SSI, SSDI, Benefit if they go to work, and wants to work, having savings accounts and wants to save for their future. Thank you for your attention in this matter. Sincerely, Salem, New Hampshire

17 Jocelyn Gallant

There is not work incentive in the food stamp-and-cash assistance include in SSI, SSDI, Monthly benefits for persons with disabilities in this Country.Congress needs to removed the work disincentive, personal savings disincentive from Public Assistance such as food stamp, cash assistance, SSI, SSDI, benefits rather replace it with a work incentive so people with disabilities like myself can still work without losing food stamp, cash assistance, SSI, SSDI, if they earning is high. The Current law is out dated with the changing times in this Country.Salem, New Hampshire

18 Jocelyn Gallant

Congress needs to relied the problem of growing population of hunger in American, Homeless and people losing their homes do to foreclosures in this Country. Both Republicans, Democrats, Independents needs to work as Americans not by party. We need to so loved problems. If they can figure land a frist human being a frist man on the moon. We cannot figure out how to so love the financial crisis in America, Such as hunger, homeless, facing foreclosure’s in this Country.Salem, New Hampshire

19 Jocelyn Gallant

Donation are down and people who got laid off from their jobs just cannot afford to give to food pantries and soup kitchens and food banks. That’s why food stamp is the best solution to that ends hunger in America.I totally disagree with you David. You do not understand what is like to be laid off then you would not be able to donate to food pantries. Soceity needs to changed their attitude toward those who are less fortunate. Churches cannot always help because there not rich. The Food Stamp earned income means testing and replace it with a buy-in-program in this Country Recipients can pay apposing of their share to keep their benefit such as food stamp, cash assistance, SSI, SSDI, benefits without losing any of Public Assistance Programs. Think again David. Someday you may end up in this situationsSalem, New Hampshire

20 Stephanie

my husband recently retired from the Navy after 20 years , even with careful planning and trying to stay ahead we found ourselves in need of help. With two small children and one on the way we needed food stamps to help get us thru. I also get WIC. Beings that this is my first time ever needing government help, I had alot of opinions about how people should be allowed to spend their food stamps. I do agree that you should not be able to purchase candy, soda, bakery made birthday cakes ( that one kills me ) but at the same time if you are like me and you need the help after paying in to the gov. for so many years you feel almost entitled to that Hershey bar at the end of your grocery trip. I am really not saying that you should be able to buy cavier when the rest of us are getting fish sticks. Yet perhaps not all of us swiping the EBT card are really trying to abuse the system.

21 Tanya

I’d like to say that I’ve read both of these articles & all comments-the articles were well thought out, well written & thought provoking (& respectful). I thank the author for bringing this discussion about in a very polite & mature manner b/c this IS an important topic & yes, changes do need to be made to the system. Most of the comments have been interesting & respectful too, while showing both sides of the spectrum-tho there was 1 comment in particular that really hit home w/me & that was re:the other article & written by “Jane”.

Jane described her situation having been injured & fighting Soc Sec Disability & the length of time it takes to even get a hearing, let alone an approval, is ridiculous! I am battling the same situation myself. Yea-I’m a single mom, but certainly wasnt my choice to have my husband cheat on me w/multiple women while I was working 24-48hr shifts as a Paramedic-I honored MY vows diligently & lovingly. Anyway-after the divorce I had *finally* learned how to be self sufficient, was working full time, going to school full time (for my 2nd degree-I AM educated-graduated from college with honors & was on both the Dean’s & President’s lists in fact) & spending as much *quality* time with my kids as possible (studying at night while they slept & when work was slow). I had a goal-to finish my RN & buy my boys & I a nice house in FL where we’ve always longed to live. I opened an account with Merrill Lynch, bought a used, but decent truck, started a Roth-IRA & was doing a lot better than anyone gave me credit for (not to mention I battled cancer alone with NO kind of moral or other support & minimal time off work & still kept my volunteer Fire/Rescue position too!). For the first time in my life I was PROUD & happy with *me*.

It only took 1 shift @ work, 1 patient, to begin the process of eroding all I’d worked for. 7 & 1/2 yrs later, here I am-havent worked since my last shift in June 2005 (worked till I simply couldnt bear the pain anymore). I won’t go into all of the details of these last 4+ yrs but I will say that I now have 5 herniated discs in my back, my left leg has been “asleep” for over 2yrs, my balance is bad b/c of that & I fall a lot, & I live every moment of my life in terrible burning nerve pain in my legs & *normal* pain in my back & both hips…& I will admit, embarrassing as it is, that I am now homeless-I live in a tent in my old backyard where my ex-husband & his wife (cheat #3) & their son live-& I’ve just been told that I need to be gone ASAP but no later than 2wks from tomorrow. I got just over $2k from work comp after my atty & Blue Cross & Medicaid liens were taken from my award (yes-I had to pay back what Medicaid paid for my medical care so no, not everyone gets “free” help from the tax payers-of which I was one). I’ve agreed 2 let 2 of my 3 sons live with their dad b/c I can’t properly care for them when I’m homeless & eating once a day at most (my oldest son is from my 1st husband who isnt in the picture-again, not my choice & certainly not my 16yr old sons choice). I fear every day that the State is going to take him from me b/c I’m homeless but his father is a very abusive man & at least if he is with me I know he isnt being beaten like I was. I make sure he has food with the food $ I do get from the state but it isnt exactly easy to eat nutritious all the time when u live in a tent & have nothing! I have always been a min. 3 course balanced meal @ the family table kind of mother & can’t wait for the day we can be a *normal* family again! Problem is, when will that be??? I filed for Soc Sec Disability (ssdi) over 4yrs ago, have been denied 3 times & am currently waiting for a “reversal of denial based on new information” (ie: I’m a LOT worse than I was even at the last hearing via MRI, etc) with the Appeals Board-my atty even asked for a faster hearing date based on my living conditions but here I wait in a tent….still. (& before anyone says it-I’ve heard it a million x’s now, I’mot on a computer-its a phone & my dad is paying for it so that I am able to keep in contact w/my atty, Dr’s & so my folks can check to make sure I’m still alive since I’m 1500 miles away from them).

There are so many preconceived notions about ppl on welfare, yet how many ever *really* know WHY that person is getting assistance (btw-I have never rec’d $ assistance….I get food benefits & Medicaid but it doesnt cover much & certainly not the 1 thing I want most in this world…..SURGERY!!). See, I don’t WANT anyone else’s $, I hate having to get food stamps & medicaid…..I dont even really care about the monthly disability check I SHOULD be getting b/c I PAID into the system long enough…..all I want is to have a 4 level spine fusion done so that I can at least have a shot @ maybe being able to work again & provide for MYSELF…..but not one Dr in the entire state will accept Medicaid for such a surgery-in fact not many here even take Medicare for it, but there are many in FL that do so I’ll just move there b4 the surgery instead of after.

So I cant work, I live in a tent, I am very thankful for the food stamps so that at least my son wont starve (but we cant both eat 3 decent remotely healthy meals p/day on what I get which is why I eat 1 time p/day-if that…to save it for my son) but again its kinda hard to not eat “junk” when u have no oven/stove/micro/toaster/toaster oven, etc.! I went from $ in the bank & on my way to an even better paying career, etc & now I have nothing, have had to give up 2 of my kids, & live my life in miserable pain on all these stupid pills I hate even taking but have to…..etc…..ALL b/c I cant have an operation on my back so I can get back 2 working & supporting my family again (& not living in a tent-thats borrowed no less…..oh & DHS says that I’m NOT *homeless* b/c I have a tent….boy thats comforting to know they care so much considering lightening, heat, & WINTER just around the corner!!). I’ve lost everything thru no fault of my own….& live in a tent, & ppl judge me as “lazy” or b/c I buy hot dogs & chips instead of roast & potatoes ONLY b/c I have no way to store or cook them…..well I’m sorry but that just makes my blood boil!!!

Illegals can get welfare money in 30 days, but I am DISABLED & been out of work over 4yrs, homeless & have lost everything & I cant even get the Soc Sec Disability that I paid into all those yrs I worked?!?!?! Now tell me again how that is #1 FAIR, #2 MY fault, #3 “lazy/uneducated” & finally….AMERICAN!!

What are ppl in my position supposed to do for survival when the SSDI system is as broken as my body is????? If any of u can come up with something that will work (& I havent already tried), then by all means, please do. Hell I plan to be an advocate for the disabled in situations like mine someday if I ever get thru this, but seriously….to judge me without ever having walked in my shoes b/c u GUESS I’m just lazy????

“Judge not, lest ye be judged…”!

22 Sarah Z.

I in July 2009 I had my first experience in applying for food stamps. I am a self-employed emerging artist who lives a very minimal impact lifestyle – long story short, I reverted to building relationships with my local community (to view my entire story, please view at http://www.danasarah.blogspot.com).

In August 2009, my creative alternative to food stamps was to co-found a food reclamation project. “Serving Artists” is a personal adapted solution to receive local, organic produce. For the past 4 months I have only purchased soymilk and eggs (by choice) from the grocery story. Everything else has been provided – produce, bread, grains, herbs, etc! If you are interested in starting your own food reclamation project, view our recently posted “Serving Artists Tool Kit” at http://www.servingartists.blogspot.com

Blessings and bon appetit!

23 J Rodgers

I work with teenage mothers and other disadvantaged members of our community on a daily basis. I help them earn high school diplomas. Although I find it hard to compete with the vast number of government programs they qualify for, I attempt to teach them not to be victims.

I regularly ask students point blank about their finances. Almost all are on welfare or some sort of government aid and almost all of them spend ridiculous amounts of money on soda and other forms of junk food every month. Most of these purchases are made with food stamps. My students are being enabled by the government programs that are there to, supposedly, help them. I have done math problems with them at my desk pointing out how much they are spending on sodas and chips. They couldn’t care less. Soups and casseroles go a long way and do not cost much, and frozen vegetables can be very, very inexpensive and healthy, but my students aren’t interested. The government needs to show that it cares about poor people and remove junk food from the approved list of items that people are allowed to buy with food stamps.

When I was little, my parents qualified for food stamps. Instead of taking them, however, we saved. We had primarily staples in the house: no chips, no twinkies, and absolutely no soda. Just the basics. In those days, there were not Grocery Outlets
(a ridiculously inexpensive store) or Food Max establishments to save us money, so it was actually more expensive than it is today…especially since we lived in a rural area. But my parents weren’t about to be victims. Poor people are not ignorant, helpless puppies who are uneducated and don’t “understand” the dangers of junk food. To make such statements is absolutely insulting. The people I work with know that junk food is bad for the bodies. They’re not idiots.

Many of my students go from being on welfare to being on disability due to obesity. By removing junk food from the list of approved items, we are helping them help themselves. Isn’t that what these programs were originally meant to do? People who live off food stamps may still end up buying some junk food with the cash aid they receive, but the amount of unhealthy food purchased will be greatly reduced.

24 carolynewilkes

you must be kidding to think government should take from working responsible people to give it to other people that can’t or won’t even feed themselves. how did my generation get by without wic and food stamps. i work at walmart and can tell you it is sicking to see all these dead beat to expect others to talk care of them. if you cannot buy your child a piece of fruit, juice, a jar of baby food them it is not responsible to have a child…… where are the fathers of these children they are not held responsible. also, these companies should have to pay a livable salary and not expect tax payers to give benefits to their employees.
I am almost 70 years old and have purchased several pieces of property. The government (city , county, state and federal have just about distroyed me with property taxes and income taxes. I hope the tea party stops all of this give away. It is sicking.

25 carolynewilkes

no moderation…. the truth is the truth…. these people would make it just like i
did if they are expected to. how about you have some faith in them. they will
rise to the situation if they get hungry enough…….

26 carolynewilkes

i love neal brooze

27 Rose

Yes, who can judge. All I have to say is that I am one single person 61 years old who gets food stamps and lives on an income of $674.00 a month. My health concerns are many and I eat on $92.00 a month in food stamps. I can do it although around the end of the month things are scarce. Thank God I can cook and know how to stretch a nickle by buying meat on sale, and use coupons as well.

The thing that disappoints me is that I know a woman who gets over $300.00 a month in food stamps and lives with her boyfriend who is has his own construction company. You should see the house she lives in.

28 lisa

I believe that people spend way to much on food. I have talked to every women I know that has children and they all tell me that food is their biggest bill. That is crazy I eat well I am married and have 3 children at home 15,13,9 and I spend 70 dollars a week and have done it on 50. We have to many bills to spend crazy amounts on food. When you have a family and have to save you have no business buying frozen dinners or already prepared food. It cuts the price at least in half to make it yourself. I know we are all really busy I am a full time student and work to. I make larger portions and do a lot of my cooking for the week on the weekend.

29 shannon

This article caught my attention. First I want to start off by saying I myself is a foodstamp mom. Second same on some of you! I myself feed my kids healthy dinners, lunches breakfast etc… I even buy 1 percent milk to keep down the obesity rate however, on foodstamps you can buy no cooked or hot food. How many of you at the end of the day are tired and exhausted and hit the drive thru because ” you don’t feel like cooking”? People on such limited incomes can’t afford to do so, so we have to cook because that’s what we are able to buy. Now on to the soda and junk food issue I agree maybe there should be a limit as to how much you can buy but why punish everyone because of some stupid people. My daughter very rarely gets soda or popsicles or chips candy etc. But again keep in mind she is 6… Can you as a judging adult look my six year old in the eye after she brings home a straight A report card and say I’m sorry you can’t have a treat because 2 years ago mom got in a car accident and can’t work so she can’t afford to buy a treat and some judgemental people decided ice cream was bad on food stamps! People not in an income limited situation shouldn’t pass so much judgement!

30 lisa

I see your point you don’t want the government telling you what to eat but when your government is footing the bill I think they should really have the say. It is not the governments responsibility to give your child treats its yours and if you can not afford 50 cents how are you even raising a child?

31 lisa

I as well receive food stamps. I have 6 kids and have 3 at home full time. I do not see a problem in receiving vouchers to get food. I appreciate all the help the government gives me. I feel if we were to get vouchers that would allowed someone to have so much meat, potatoes, cheese, bread and so on there would be a lot less people selling their food stamps for cash. I do not see why the government hasn’t done this already. I feel if the government is paying for it they should be able to tell someone what you can bye with them. I also think there should be classes to show people how to feed their families. I know many different families that say their biggest bill is food. It should not be that way. I feed my family of 5 with 50 to 100 a week, all depending on sales.

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