Archive for the ‘Food Stamps’ Category

1 in 50

1 in 50. The number of Americans whose ONLY cash income is food stamps, according to the New York Times. And according to the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, the average monthly benefit in Philadelphia in November was $264. Nationally, the averages were $101 per person and $227 per household in FY 2008. (according to the USDA).

Considering that I grew up in the 80s and my mom had $100 a week for groceries, $227 per month these days doesn’t seem like a whole lot of money, especially since you can’t buy non-food products like toilet paper and laundry detergent with food stamps. We did okay and my mom was a crafty shopper. Week after week, she stretched the $100 to feed the five of us. We ate stew made with cheap meat, mixed frozen vegetables (with baby lima beans that I picked out) and frozen flounder, the discount fish. The freezer was stocked with frozen chicken that was bought on sale. Simple food that was inexpensive. My mom shopped sales, always, and never spent more than the allotted amount. The BOGO was her BFF. We were never hungry but we never ate out and we never really ate anything “fancy.” Our food splurge for the week was a large cheese pizza from Italian Delight on Saturdays after 5:30 mass.

The lack of compassion from the commenters really got me down. It’s really disheartening to read such negativity, especially since we’ve been floundering around in this recession for a while now. Thanks (for once) to the media, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not just “poor” people who are struggling. We’ve all heard the story about the couple in the foreclosure, struggling to make ends meet after one, then the other loses their job. Everybody needs a hand sometimes, ya know? And guess what? Food stamps = economic stimulus for everyone.


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