Food Stamps or other assistance

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Beeman, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I started this thread because of the thread of ZYG's that got sidetracked.
    I don't think many would deny that we need a support system in a developed society. Obviously our system has gotten out of control with abuse and corruption. Ever wonder why Congress can't fix anything? Just look at the disagreements that go on here. Imagine if we were the legislators for this country, things would be pretty much the same as it is now!
    Yes people need help at times, some people might need help forever. The problem always comes down to judging who needs the help and for how long. I've always believed that assistance like food stamps should come with pots and a cookbook along with some hands on lessons in shopping,gardening,cooking,and nutrition. That's a great idealistic way to approach the problem but we can't even teach that in school with fresh minds and 12 years. Families used to be the support and education group that kept people off of assistance but with the breakdown and seperation of families that isn't true any longer. I see the problem getting worse and not better, how do you see it?
     
  2. kasilofhome

    kasilofhome Well-Known Member

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    We do get food stamps. I am not proud of it but with my husband being disabled- he gets surgery and a body cast in less than two weeks and a "mentally challeged"10 year old boy we need it.

    Quite honestly the dollar amount is quite generouse for us. I waas fearfull at first because so many people complain about the "low amount". Now I shop carefully and wisely. We still eat just the same as before not a thing is different.

    This week I bought 73 pounds of meat and 5 hamberger helper boxes total 94 dollars. That will last quite some time

    The rest of the purchases were fresh fruit and veg. and milk about 21 a week.

    Next month I will stock up on can goods (they tend to go on sale in the fall)
    after that it will be restock the dry good month.

    Not a thing has change. except that the carry over from the past month grows each month.

    I grow a bit, raise chickens for meat and eggs.

    I feed 20 to 30 children each week at church from my food stamp buget a simple breakfast. and yet I have plenty of food.

    I just wish I could buy cleaning stuff, toilet paper, shampoo. my church helps me there. Light bulbs too I need
     

  3. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    Foods Stamps are there for the times you have no alternative. When you have no money at all, what are you suposed to do? Or not enough money to pay your normal living expenses.

    The problem with it, is that everyone associates food stamps and medicaid with people who don't have anything wrong with them, who could work but just don't want to. Or the women that have one child after another just to keep getting financial assistance and these programs.

    They don't get enough to live comfortably. But many of them cannot get jobs because they do not have any skills. When you apply for a job now, you apply and wait for months just to be interviewed, and then they take their time deciding who to hire, or hoping someone better will come along. People have to do something.

    I have learned alot about the poor. And I think the goverment wants to keep them poor. If they are on Food Stamps and they make a few dollars somewhere, they subtract that from the food stamps amount. So they can't get ahead no matter what. So what's the sense?

    In NY, or at least in my county, you can get food stamps if your income is less than $338. gross weekly income. Not too many people around here make that.

    But people seem to think that people on food stamps live on chips and ice cream. Not so, many people who pay for their groceries with food stamps buy the same as everyone else does. There is just as many people buying processed foods with their money as there is with food stamps.
     
  4. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Yes, I do believe that there are LOTS of people who take advantage of the food stamp program.... But (At least around here) They almost make it hard NOT to take advantage.

    Case in point.... My hubby was out of work for 4 months last year. First time EVER in his life he was off more than 2 weeks! We have 5 kids, He found a job, but it wouldnt start up for 6 weeks.. I went in to the food stamp office and explained my situation... I told them I only needed "help" for one month... They informed me that if I got food stamps it was for 6 months. period. No less. I actually argued w/ the woman saying I only wanted it for 1 month! I asked her what would happen to the funds I didnt use on my food card. I wanted to know if it would "go back" she said Nope... it sits on your account till you use it.

    silly huh? I actually got a letter last month asking me to use the funds in my account because is was costing the state $$ to leave it sit there!?!?!? What to do. geesh makes NO sence to me... its $425 a month for 5 months sitting there!.. I agree that there are times ppl need help.. but c'mon... there has to be a better way. seems like such a waste
     
  5. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    We were told to be able to get assistance we would have to give welfare a list of all the people we do business we sell a few eggs, lambs and a few woolproducts that are made here on the farm AM over 62and can not any assistance
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    The county I live in does teach shopping, nutrition, and cooking classes. I wonder if it wouldn't do more good to teach the kids to provide for themselves however?

    I live in a mostly agricultural area in a city of about 40,000+. The city allows poulty to be kept at residences when properly maintained and cared for. It seems that in this community we should be teaching kids in school to care for chickens and hands on cooking lessons to make use of the eggs.

    Perhaps once they "graduate" from the classes they could be provided with a chicken tractor/shelter and a half dozen hens. Possibly feeding themselves and their family would carry throughout their lifetime. Maybe even offer gardening classes, again to learn to feed themselves and their family. Gardening classes might be a summer school type of project that would also help to keep certain kids from just wandering the streets.

    I once read a Campfire Girl manual. The participants earned uniform beads of different colors for doing certain things like cooking, sewing, etc. They even learned how to use a piece of cloth to make into a pack for loading items for a hike or day trip. No backpack needed.

    I fully agree that assistance programs are needed. I also believe that they should be used wisely as those posting do. Great job shopping, etc.
     
  7. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    TxClover Angel, We don't spend $425 a month on food for 7 people!!! If you need to use that $$ get your butt to the store and stock your pantries with high quality stuff you'll need in the next years like peanut butter, (smuckers is the best cause it contains no rape seed) canned fruit, raisins, I would have my pantry's FULL, thats a god send. You don't know what may come down the line with the gas prices, everything is going to go nowhere but Up! Maybe buy a 2nd freezer, and fill it full of things you can't grow on your farm, like for us that would be frozen fish.
     
  8. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I was on food stamps, medicaid and cash assistance from 1989 to 1992. I had 4 small children, no job skills and got dumped by my husband. I had already signed up for school before I got the aid in order to get some job skills.

    Back then, I was not required to work, go to school or do anything until my youngest child was 6. I didn't wait for that as I hated being on welfare, but had no alternative. I went to school, graduated with a 4.0 and got a job...end of welfare.

    The big "welfare to work" deal came about after I was long gone from the system, but that has changed everything. I would never have been allowed to do what I did under the new rules. I would have had to secure a job...any job...and go to work. I would probably still be working at whatever burger flipping deal I managed to find.

    Which way is better? I don't know. I saw lots of abuse of the system back then, people would sign up for school just to get their Pell grants, then drop all classes, things like that. I know I did the right thing and used it for what it was intended, but I'm the only one I know who did that. I'm so very grateful it was there when I needed it.

    Right now, I could probably qualify for food stamps again until I get a job. I do have more than one freezer full of meat though, so I figure that I don't really need it. I can always swap some meat for produce and dry goods are cheap. I don't plan on applying, but if I didn't have all that meat and my kids needed to eat....I'd be there in heartbeat until I got back on my feet.

    Jena
     
  9. freelove

    freelove Well-Known Member

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    TxCloverAngel, why don't you use the funds to buy canned goods, etc to donate to a food pantry? If you do not want to use it yourself then it goes back to the system that gave it to you.



    I feel that it is arrogant to suggest that all food stamp recipients should be required to take nutrition and cooking classes. Just because someone is poor does not mean that they are stupid. Yes, many people on food stamps make poor choices, but many who are not on food stamps make the same choices and are not criticized for it. If only the people receiving food stamps bought junk then there would be no junk food to buy - it would not be profitable to produce. Perhaps the old fashioned idea of homemaking classes for all students regardless of economic standing or gender would be a better solution. Also, some have suggested a prepackaged selection of food for those on food stamps would "serve them right" (my words) and solve some of the problems associated with this program. Just because someone is poor doesn't mean they should be sentenced to poor nutrition. Food stamps are also used to buy whole wheat flour, brown rice, fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, etc.

    There is corruption found in every institution in the world today. The church, banking, stock market, charities, medicine, the list goes on. Why do people choose the poor to unload their animosity on?

    I am not directing this to ANYONE in particular and I do not mean to be hostile or arguementative so please do not look at this as a criticism or challenge. I just have seen so many harsh comments about this recently and wonder why so many feel that the poor are to blame for the worlds problems when we should be placing the blame where it belongs, on those whose greed and power lust create a poverty class and make them a scapegoat. Tax money that funds food stamp and other assistence programs is also used for wasteful pork barrel spending and yet few get as irrate or critical about building bridle paths and reseeding highway areas as they do about feeding the poor. If you want a "public assistence" program to blame, how about the space program or some of the useless research programs - for example, thousands to study why children fall off of their bicycles... the research determined it was because they lost their balance.

    freelove
     
  10. Merrique

    Merrique Well-Known Member

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    Jena,

    First of all, I just want to congratulate you on your hard work and success! :goodjob: I think you really present the ideal of what the food stamp program should be used for. I really don't think that the program itself is the root of the problem, but the different attitudes of the people using it. Some people see it as a hand up, an aid toimproving their lives, and others see it as an easy way of life. When my ex-fiance walked out on me and my 9 month old son, I signed up for assistance and received food stamps for about a year. Then, when I had my life better fiancially organized, I also called them to stop the assistance.
    In the years I spent teaching GED classes, I saw many people with a great lack of ambition, drive or the simple hunger for success. I remember speaking to a woman who was bemoaning the fact that money was always tight. When I asked her if she had ever considered going back to school to train for a career, she said she just didn't like the whole school thing. So, it wasn't worth it for her to spend a little time in school to improve her family's situation. I have seen people really rise above their problems and choose to change their lives and have become great successes. It is the attitudes that must be changed, but I have no idea how to even attempt it.
     
  11. buttercup

    buttercup Well-Known Member

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    I think food stamps should run more like WIC, where people get staples and take lessons on how to cook frugally. I totally support government welfare but I think it should be run a bit differently. In Idaho a family of 2 (parent, child) gets a maximum of 250.00. Thats a lot of money for food. My family of 3 (parent, parent, child) doesn't even spend that much and we eat very well. Only we process our food. We don't buy it preprocessed. I'm sure not everyone on food stamps buys only processed foods, but I'm sure some of them could benefit greatly from learning how to prepare nutritious, whole foods for their families. I also understand that with any program there is going to be an element of fraud. I'm not happy with the idea of children going hungry or the idea of lots of people being hungry with nothing to lose.

    Buttercup
     
  12. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I would like to address freeloves comments:

    1) If someone is spending THEIR OWN money on anything then why is it your (or anyones) business? If someone receiving assistance is abusing it or wasting OUR MONEY that is taken from us through taxes then American TAXPAYERS have every right to comment. This is not charity, it is a transfer payment.

    That doesn't mean that the comments will make sense, be cogent, be nice or even civil.

    2) If I belonged to a particular church or other institution that was corrupt or wasteful I would speak up or leave that organization. When the government of my country has problems I have the right to exercise freedom of speech and the ballot box. Your comparison is a poor one and desperately needs assistance.

    3) You are absolutely right about other wasteful government spending. I would advocate the elimination of a wide swath of federal programs which give ongoing funds to states, local governments and businesses. The giving tends to distort economic activity in negative ways (overall) to the benefit of a small subset of the overall population (for any given largess from the federal government).

    4) I don't buy your argument that "a poverty class" is created by others ("those whose greed and power lust..."). If one accepts your argument at its face then the individual has no responsibility for their own actions or circumstances over the long run.

    5) Public assistance has become an industry with hundreds of thousands of workers. In the past I have suggested that there be a negative income tax per Milton Friedmans writings. This would actually be more cost effective than the current approach and eliminate all the "supervisors" of peoples lives. There might be some situations where a guardian might be needed.

    Please note that my opposition to government assistance programs (other than locally funded ones) should in no means be construed as my being against charity or charitable donations.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  13. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    IF your not going to use them, take and buy items that the local food kpantry can use. That way you know that someone will get to use them that really need them. Also when you buy the food, buy food that has to be prepared. My local food pantry gives out stuff like boxed chicken n dumplings. Who ever heard of such a thing??? The cost involved in the purchase of one box to feed one or two people could feed a whole family for three days if one would buy a chicken and make dumplings from scratch. Sheesh! My pet peeve!

    Anyway, also buy foods that are not high in salt, or sugar. I know i am not in your area but i am one who can't get foodstamps and i can't get food cause i don't have enough money. If my son in the Marine corp didn't pay for the phone bill, i wouldn't be able to have the internet/phone in my house. Wierd they give me internet for free with my phone.

    Again back to my point, when buying foods, make sure you get lowsaltf or no salt items to donate, that way more things will be available for people like me who can't have salt or diebetics who can't have sugar.
    I went to the pantry the other day and half of the food they were to give me i couldn't eat because of the salt and sugar. I politely refused the items as someone else can eat them and i cannot. But that cut down what they coudl give me. They aren't allowed to double up on some things if you can't have the other things.
    So i got several canned goods, unfortunately loaded with salt and sugar but i make it with those.
    Peanut butter is a biggie. that is something they can always use. Spam is not a good thing! It has no nutritional value whatsoever but everyone buys spam and donates to a food pantry. Tuna is good, canned chicken is tolerable but frozen chicken is better if you can get them to accept it.
    Mac n cheese, veggies, and soup, but get other soup than tomato soup. everyone buys tomato soup! I got lucky, and they had a bag of fresh green beans someone donated, and I am cooking them up right now.

    Anyway, just a tip or suggestion on what to do with foodstamps your not going to use!
     
  14. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately 425 dollars wouldn't feed a family of 7 here in north georgia. prices are way too high. gallon of milk is 4 -5 bucks, flour is 2.50 a bag, mac n cheese is .50 cents a box for the generic, or if you go get the pound box of mac its soething like 2 bucks or more and cheese is 8 bucks for a 2 lb bag of shredded cheddar, and thats the generic.

    I usually end up spending if i have it, 35.00 a week for one person in the store. Thats for basics, eggs when my chickens don't lay enough, milk, flour 1 pack of ground beef at 9.00 for the 70%/30% for a 3pound pack, and chicken legs and quarters went up to 1.60 a pound recently. Beans cost 1.50 a pound for pintos and white beans.
     
  15. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    Yeah you can say that the fraud is around. i was in the grocery store the other day, just to get milk and a couple other items i needed to make some bread. i saw this cow of a woman climb out of her lincoln navigator, with her herd of kids go into the store, and come in at the same time i came in. While i spent about a hour trying to make my 15 dollars go as far as it could, took me about a hour to go through everything to find the cheapesst i coudl find, she showed up at the register with 9.85 a pound t-bone steaks, 15.00 a pound seafood, two hams and a ton of junk food like cakes cookies little debbies, frozen pizzas, pot pies, and general microwave crap.
    She whipped out the EBT card paid for the groceries loaded them up total came up to around 250 bucks. She crumbled up the reciept and tossed it on the ground when she walked out the door, so naturally i was curious and went and picked it up and saw where she had over 2300 bucks on the foodstamp card.
    Now I am not one that begrudges anyone from getting assistance when they need it, but damn when I have to choose between my medicine for my heart, and food, something is wrong here! I called up the foodstamp people and asked why they allow someone to ridea round in a 50k vehicle and get foodstamps, and i can't qualify being disabled and driving a 20 year old truck that is on its last leg. They essentially said what business is it of mine. Well i can say that its my and every other taxpayors business, and I paid my fair share before i became disabled! Now that i might need a few bucks to help out, (not asking for much 50 bucks would do), they can't accomodate me cause i make 15 dollar too much on my disability check.

    The good thing about it is, i don't have to answer to the sorry bunch up there. They don't pry into my private life, and my business is my business.
     
  16. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes people on Food Stamps are homeless. They may not want to eat the prepackaged food, but what do you do it you have on refrigerator or stove. I am currently getting Food Stamps. I avoided applying for the longest time, but when my job cut me back to 3 days per week and I don't make enough to cover living expenses, I had to ask for help. When the girls and I were camping out on out land while clearing some trees, I had to buy differently than I do when we in a home with refrigerator, pantry space, counter space to prepare things, all my mixing bowls, measuring spoons, etc. You get the point. For instance, I would never buy boneless, skinless chicken breast at home, but when I don't have my good knife to debone the chicken and having to bag up all garbage and drive it back out to the main road to dispose of, paying $4.00 for chicken breast didn't seem to bad. I looked at it like this. If I bought a chicken meal in a fast food place, I'd pay more than that for one meal. This fed all three of us, so though it wasn't the best bargain, it still beat eating out.
     
  17. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    Ever wonder why congress can't fix anything?

    Thats simple. If they fixed things then they would be out of a job, and need to go to work. They might even need foor stamps. :shrug:
     
  18. froggirl

    froggirl Feelin' Froggy

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    Good question, Beeman. I see it getting worse AND getting better. The opportunities for people nowadays are incredible. Access to education, training, etc is available in most areas. So in that sense it's getting better. However, I do see the abuse of social services getting worse simply due to the breakdown of basic morals and ethics. I'm sure this is happening for many reasons...I'm no scholar but I think one reason is there are so many things that are being played out in the media and on TV as "o.k." now that weren't "o.k." say 40 years ago.
    JMHO.
    --f.g.
     
  19. elliemaeg

    elliemaeg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a few thoughts on welfare and food stamps. I had a grandmother who never had anything except provided staples. She did whatever she could to get by. She made layettes for babies (sewing by hand) and gave most away but did earn a little occasionally. At that time there was commodities. This was good. The poor was supplied excess food that supplied their needs.
    The family and church made up the difference. My Grandmother was truely in need. Yet her needs were met. I have a favorite bible quote as I saw it in action. "I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed out begging for bread" Proverbs
    I had to be on welfare and foodstamps when my four children were little, briefly. Someone had to tell me this was availabe for me as I and my belated husband had always taken care of our family with the help of the Lord. ANd believe me when I say it was the Lord.(No money, No anything)
    My thoughts on this is that we have allowed a society that knows nothing except welfare and foodstamps. They do not know any other way. It saddens me. (Please note that I realize there are times when we can do no different) I wish I could help them see the state they are in. Where I live this is prevalent. There are people here who have never learned to work and can't imagine being able to support themselves or a family. I often wonder if they would like to know the pride in providing independent of others. I believe they just don't know the difference.
    Anyway, I believe if the church and family provided we would have a better more self efficient society and less taxes. I believe this is the way God intended.
     
  20. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Here in NC the programs keep running out of funds so it may be a moot point before long.

    If a program is available and you truly need it...USE IT! If you don't need it..Avoid it like the plague.