Why I Chose Not to Use Food Stamps Even When I was a Single Parent

This post has been on my mind lately, and although it is controversial, I chose to write it because I have been in a situation where I could have easily accepted food stamps.  Seeing as how the number of people in America who are receiving food stamps, almost 48 million, I thought it was time I shared.

Before anyone gets upset at me, let me assure you that this was not written to offend anyone.  Yes, I know there are those who have to receive government assistance, whether it is with food or housing or both.  There are some who cannot work because of physical limitations or who are working but can’t support themselves or their children.  I understand.  But, let’s be honest, out of the almost 48 million, on food stamps, how many have to have it?

I have a hard time swallowing the fact that 15% of Americans are receiving food handouts.  But, let me share with you my story.  I was one of those who really did need food stamps, but chose not to.

I was a single parent.  My ex-husband left my daughter and I when she was four months old.  He also left me with debt, and because I was in the military, I was held accountable to pay for it all.  My income as an airman was extremely low.  We are talking $25,000 a year low and that was just in 1995-98.  But, never once did I consider jumping on the food stamp bandwagon.  And I was working for the government!  During that time, I did not have a garden or a desire to be self sufficient, but I did want to be able to make it on my own, without any government help.  That, nowadays, is a form of self sufficiency!

Not only was I dirt poor, but my ex-husband did not pay child support.  How did I manage?  I worked and lived within my means.  I moved to an affordable apartment and continued to serve my country as an airman.  I never fought to receive child support either.  Some of you might not agree with me on this and that is okay. You see, I did not want to be dependent on someone who was not a good person.  If I received child support from a troubled soul, my rights as a mother would be stripped away and this evil person would have rights to my daughter.  Rights that I was not willing to give.  It was money or my daughter.  Was I willing to sacrifice my daughter so that I could get a few hundred dollars a month?  No way!  That being said, I am in no way suggesting other single parents do this, but it is something I feel strongly about and it needs to be said.

It troubles me to see someone in the checkout lane who is dressed better than I am, with an expensive phone that I could never afford and whips out their food stamp card.  You have all probably experienced the same. It troubles me to see single women with highlights in their hair, fake fingernails, expensive computers/tablets/you name it and/or phones who throw in a bunch of junk in their cart and bring out their food stamp card.  When you see this often enough, you know all of those expensive items and care were not given as gifts for most of those people.  Notice I did not say all, but most. This is their way of life.

What is wrong with America?  Until the people of this once great nation start to look within themselves and realize that they are part of the problem, we will continue to be a nation of handouts.  Until that single parent humbles herself and works at a less than glamorous job and lives within her means so she doesn’t have to be dependent on the government, she will be part of the problem, no matter whose fault it is of how she became a single parent.  Until that perfectly healthy man who chooses to sit on his rump and play video games all day sees what a bum he has become, he will continue to be the problem.

Until these people realize how hard they are making it for hardworking people like my husband, this nation will continue down a spiraling path.  Every time I look at my husband’s pay stub, I am angered.  Angered of all the taxes that are taken out to pay for those said people above.  Angered that they are living better, have  better cars, better health insurance, better clothes, better appliances, you name it.

But, I will continue to strive for self sufficiency because I know that is the right thing to do.  It is people like you and me who made America great, not those who chose to be on the food stamp bandwagon and continue to live for handouts and never better themselves.  Their children are watching.  Will it stop with the parents?  In most cases, no.  The handout syndrome will continue down from generation to generation.

So, let’s raise up generations of hardworking children that will follow our footsteps.  Let’s remind them of our forefathers and what they stood for.  Let their entrepreneurial minds flourish and teach them the satisfaction of being self sufficient.  They might notice that it’s easier to get a handout, but in their hearts they will know where that will lead.

Maybe others will see and notice.  Maybe they will change their mindset as well….

This may sound like a pretty harsh post for some.  Again, I do realize that there are those that really do need food assistance. 
 There are those that are working hard but cannot afford to buy food for their children.  They are by no means contributing to the real problem.  
But, I also know that one out of six Americans are on food stamps and the numbers are rising.  Does this mean that one sixth of us are not capable of making ends meet, or are some of us choosing the easy way out?  I think we all know the answer to that.
Update on this post: 
The majority who have commented understand the intent of this post.  There are some who for some reason or another see it as a judgmental one.  Some say that I have no say so and it is none of my business what others buy or wear when on food stamps(SNAP).  Others say I do not know what it is like, seeing as how I was never on food stamps(Wasn’t that one of the reasons I wrote it?  Read the title.)  Others are just downright nasty(but I’m the one judging?).  
Let me share with you another short story about myself.  When I remarried and became pregnant with my second child, I decided to take an honorable discharge and get out of the military so that I could stay at home with our children.  My husband was also an airman, so we were once again living on $25,000 with a mortgage.  We really wondered how in the world we could afford groceries!  
Although God did take care of us, I eventually rejoined the Air Force as a part-timer.  That once a month paycheck helped pay for some of our groceries.  It was during this time that I began to learn about eating healthier.  I also learned about how to cook from scratch.  No one taught me this, I did my own research and found out myself.  I will never forget how happy I was when I planted my first little patch of green beans!
We have struggled financially, still do at times(another judgmental comment seemed to think we are rich?).  But, we are striving to become more and more self sufficient.  Could we have used government assistance?  You bet!  Am I in some way “high almighty”(yep, heard that one too!) because we chose not to?  Let’s just put it this way, if that is the way you feel about this post, then I really believe you need to find out why you have taken offense to it.
How people abuse the system is concerning to me and it should be to any tax-paying adult.  Notice once again that I did not mention those who are not playing the system.  They are not the problem!
As I have mentioned numerous times before in replying to so many people judging me for this post, America is in deep trouble if it continues to go this route.  Do you really think this country is spiraling downward because of others being judgmental?  Or are you one of the ones who get this post and it’s intent?
Please, only encouraging comments will be posted below.
Are you up for a challenge that will help you become more self sufficient?

Cultures for Health
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89 comments on “Why I Chose Not to Use Food Stamps Even When I was a Single Parent

  1. I couldn't possibly agree more! I commend you for being willing to take the hard way when it's so easy and socially acceptable to take the easy way out. Personally, I don't have a problem with a person who falls on hard times and has to use welfare for a very limited amount of time while they turn their life around. If you are on food stamps for years and years (and don't have a serious medical reason) it's time to make a real change in your life.

  2. Amen! Well said, Susie. And kudos to you for making it through such a difficult circumstance (been there myself).

    Funny how the state doesn't follow through with their evolutionary worldview and take the same stand they do toward feeding the wildlife… just sayin' πŸ™‚

    Loving your Replacing the Grocery Store Challenge, by the way.


    • PS: for the record, I don't believe that one should never avail themselves of using welfare or charity when in a desperate situation; it's the nanny state "entitlement" mind-set and abuse you mentioned above, Susie, that really is the problem. What would be so nice is if families and churches would once again provide for one another so that needy families wouldn't have to turn to the state.

    • Thanks, Lisa! I agree. The church does need to take a more proactive stance on this by not just giving others food, but helping them transform into a more self sufficient family economy.

    • Churches are indeed a part of the problem. They are the ones pushing my daughter whose husband abandoned her pregnant and with 2 little ones age 2 and 1 to get HUD housing, food stamps, etc. It seems fruitless to explain why that's not an option. Especially without seeming holier than thou. There is also too much of this irresponsibility going on. No one holds anybody accountable. The rascal isn't even looked down upon by his family or friends. We are left holding the bag and now have 4 extra people to house and provide for. I feel sorry for my poor husband who really should be thinking about slowing down as we were down to 2 older children. People think we're crazy for not putting her into those programs. Just not an option for the reasons and more that you listed. Thanks for having the bravery to speak out. Maybe the powers that be just want us to think that we are alone feeling that way. Although can't say anybody around here has been supportive except with words.

  3. I dont comment ever but i felt the need to today. I have always been against ever being on food stamps but I did just give in. We have had food stamps for a month and I cringe when i use the card. We are a family of four living on $25,000 a year. We just bought a house less then a year ago. We got a deal and our payments are less then most people pay in rent. We are working hard at being more self sufficient. We have chickens, for meat and eggs and just got our first meat calves. We are looking for a milk cow or a baby for a future milk cow, and will be having a big garden when it warms up. Winter is hard for us because work is hard to come by. Sorry for the rant but i just wanted to let everyone know that their are people that feel guilty every time they use that card. I for one can't wait until I don't ever have to see that card again.

    • You shouldnt feel guilty. Your family has paid for your share in assitance. Its opinions like this that shame those that have to use it..not everyone is out to abuse the system..be glad that it is there so your family has food on the table!

    • I feel the same way as you about feeling guilty when I used my card. My husband got laid off when I was 5 months pregnant from a really great paying job, and we lived well below our means. We thought surely he'd find another in a couple months seeing as he was in such a high position and very qualified in his field. We used all our emergency savings to pay our mortgage and bills for 2 months while he searched, but you know what? Overqualified at every job he applied for, or didn't have a bachelors degree so he didn't qualify for higher up type jobs. I fought him hard, but he insisted we go on food stamps because, after all, wasn't THIS the circumstance it was created for? And didn't we pay into the system our whole working lives through taxes? I felt judged at the office. The lady loudly read off my financials and everyone in the waiting room could hear her. She said, "You have $1000 in your bank account and you're applying for food stamps?" I explained our mortgage was $1500 due next week, and after we paid it to stay in the house (which we put on the market because it was becoming clear we weren't going to find a job in time) then we would have nothing. We were going to lose the house because we couldn't pay, and if we did even make a partial payment, all the money would be gone and how would we buy food or keep the electricity on? Our income source was gone!

      So here I am, decent clothes, decent car, cell phone (donated to me), applying for food stamps and feeling judged every time I was at the HHS office or in the check out line. I think a problem is that many people are NOT uncomfortable with it and see no incentive to pick themselves up and try to make it on their own. They see food stamps and welfare as a long term solution instead of temporary. Another problem is that for a family of 4 in Texas, they gave us $667/month in food. Tell me how in the world that amount is justified? I don't think I spend $300 on food now that we're off food stamps. How ridiculous is that? And, like I saw another person comment, there is a cutoff amount you can earn and then the food stamps automatically drop to $0. There's no good balance, where if you earn another $50/month you can get $50 less is food stamps, or something to that effect. They just cut you off. People can't get a better job because it's not enough to replace the food stamps, but then the stamps get cut off and you still can't afford food.

      (cont. below)

    • (continued:)

      I truly feel the system is set up with the goal of making people more comfortable with government dependency. Period. Let's give them a debit style food card so they don't feel so bad in line. Let's give them so much money that they won't ever want to get off (after all, wouldn't you want to stay on it if you got almost $700/month for a family of 4?) You know, even for someone as conservative as me, we started falling into some of those mindsets…and it took a wake-up call from the Holy Spirit to remind us what our responsibilities are. Now that we are on our feet again, I'm so happy not to be on food stamps. I wish we never had taken them. I wish we could have found another way. If I really reflect on it, I can be at peace with why we took it in the first place, but I can't justify how long we stayed on it, nor staying on them at a certain point when we probably could have done without (even though we still qualified for them based on our income…after all, you qualify, so why not, right? At least that was the attitude at the time).

      I've been the one being judged for looking better off than a food stamp recipient should be. I've been the one wondering why these people in line were obese, with a cart full of junk food, and chatting it up about what their expensive activities were going to be that night (such as going to the casino or barhopping). I've felt guilty about being on them, I've not felt guilty and felt too comfortable on them. I've been on both sides. I've had to justify vacations to my sister who hasn't been on one since her honeymoon. Ever since I've been engaged to my husband, my FIL has taken the entire family on a yearly vacation. He pays for it all. He has the means to do it and he wants his whole family there. She thought since we were on food stamps we shouldn't go, even though it didn't cost us any money. At the time my husband had become self-employed so it's not like he was skipping work (heck, he was still working on vacation on the computer!!!). So yeah, sometimes people don't know the whole story.

      I'll leave you with a quote from Ben Franklin: "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."

      God bless!

    • Growing up there were times that my parents were on food stamps because my father had been injured and unable to work. My mother worked hard but did not make enough to pay for everything. They were embarrassed of the food stamps which at that time were the paper monopoly money, so they would give them to me and my sister to go get what was needed at the store. I hated the embarrassment I felt and vowed to never be in that situation.

      Well, things did not work that way. My husband left me with two children, no job, and a pile of debt. I took a job that barely paid minimum wage, found a modest place to live.. my shopping mall was rummage sales and groceries were supplemented by going to the local food pantry.. which at the time, you had to sift through rotting potatoes and lettuce to find something good. It was heartbreaking. I did finally give into getting help, but worked my butt off to improve my life and get off of them. I worked my way up from a CNA, to a medical assistant to finally getting my degree in nursing. The day I said good-bye to government help and stood on my own two feet felt soooo incredible!!! I promised myself to never find myself there again and to never depend on anyone again. I started learning how to do my own car maintenance and car repairs… home repairs, sewing things, started a garden….. saving.

      Well, 4 years from getting my nursing degree, having a great job that I loved and my life feeling like it was going "fabulous"…… I was thrown another hook. On July 5th, 2010.. a man who was not legally suppose to drive, sped down his driveway failing to stop and plowed head on into the front of my car shattering my pelvis, injuring my back/ neck and left knee and partially tearing my achilles tendon and connective tissue in my right foot. Over the next 2 years the floor of my world fell. I had a big garden that year, but it went to waste as I was not able to care for it. The following year I planted another garden which helped. Last year was the first time I was able to get a good harvest, but gardening was very difficult due to pain and mobility issues. I had used up all money I had saved including the money that was suppose to go toward my income taxes as I was a private contract nurse for the state. At the last straw, my accident was settled in Oct of 2012. I have been trying to find a job, but due to economy and my injuries.. I have not been able to find a job which really can bring me down at times. I am thankful for the settlement because that is what is maintaining us. I have to really stick to a budget, but I do allow "treats" here and there. I am planting a huge garden this year and even getting plots at the community garden. I raise chickens for eggs and meat, I buy the rest of my meat from the discount bin. I buy things when on sale, or from second hand stores. I make things from scratch and eliminate the going out… I sew and bake, and sell extras. I am hoping to sell extra eggs, seedlings that I start and extras from the garden this summer. I never want to be on food stamps again, or housing.

    • I do believe that there is a place for food stamps. There are those that need it. I do get very angry with people that sell them for garbage… I have an aunt and cousin that use the system. My cousin even kept a baby she said she didn't want just so she would get housing, food stamps and a check for about $679 per month along with WIC. I tried turning them in, but it didn't matter. I also get angry at those that get food stamps and use it to buy steaks, shrimp, junk food and brand name things. I am 100% behind those on government assistance being drug tested, I also think that every person on assistance needs to be mandated to take a finance/budget class… put in some kind of community service in lieu of what they are getting, and be mandated to plant a garden whether in their yard or a community garden. They can not just get a free ride…. they need to learn how to take care of themselves, and that is the component that the government is failing at.. helping these people to get on their feet by learning to help themselves and be responsible.

    • Keep working to get off of them. We are a family of five who made 26.000 gross last year. We have no assistance at all, food stamps or otherwise and we never have. You can do it. They are meeting a need for you now, but are not permanent. Hugs!

  4. Thank you, Susie for your hardwork and respect for fellow working Americans! This is a hard subject to touch on, but you did it respectfully and with a kind spirit!

  5. I have applied to feed my family and was denied because we made "too much money." My income taxes said I made $8,000 last year before I was hurt on the job. My husband has congestive heart failure and other health issues and is too weak to work even part time, so it is up to me. I have two teenagers, and he has two children that we get half the time. I shop thrift stores to clothe my kids–and his. I haven't had my hair cut in 7 months. My cell phone was a gift. I get really ticked off with these welfare mothers with the hottest hairstyles, acrylic nails and brand name clothing, buying junk food. Just food shopping wears me out for days, but I do it for my family. We use a crockpot and my oldest child has learned to cook. I have limited mobility but my sister was kind enough to plant a garden for us so we can grow some food for this summer, and we have a small flock of chickens for meat and eggs. We get by without help…barely.

  6. I do agree that there are people who take advantage of the government and won't work and just want handouts and then their are those that truly need a little help sometimes. You said it might seem harsh to some people and I guess I'm one of those because some of the things you said do seem a little bit harsh and judgemental to me. I noticed some people on your facebook saying "yes I saw this person buying junk food and had fake nails and hair and talking on an expensive phone, etc., etc. and paying with a food stamp card." What I'm wondering is how in the world they know what these people are buying, what they're wearing, what they're talking on, what they're paying with? I don't think I've ever stared at someone in the grocery store long enough to notice all those things… and I don't have a clue what a food stamp card looks like so I wouldn't know if they were using one even if I WAS looking to see what they were paying with. Perhaps it could have been a debit card anyway and not a food stamp card. Lots of people have debit cards these days.. bank debit cards,work debit cards, prepaid debit cards, etc.. πŸ™‚

    • When you have seen it enough, it is very easy to identify. As far as being judgmental, I stated that most of these people I see have taken advantage of govt. handouts, not all. It's funny how I knew some would bring up being judgmental when this wasn't even what the post was about. I was in their shoes. I know what it is like and even if I could have gotten fake nails for free, I would not have done it. The mentality of most Americans is very materialistic, to look and act like we are rich when we do not have a dime. To those that are clearly playing the system, yes, I will judge because they are misusing our money. I see it within my extended family. Their food stamp money for a family of 4 is more than my grocery budget with 5 children! Are they making any effort to get off of assistance? No. A perfectly healthy person has chosen to take the easy way out. Anyway, I understand your concern. But, just know that it is real and it is happening more than even I would like to admit:(

  7. Even though your post isn't about being judgemental – you are judging others and its based on conjecture. Nothing you've said is based on FACTS about the people at the grocery store. Even though you think you've seen enough to know, you haven't. Like you said yourself, you haven't ever received food stamp benefits. How on earth do you think you KNOW all of this?

    Maybe you shouldn't judge random people at the grocery store and decide on your own that they are clearly playing the system. As for your family, well that's completely different. You have knowledge and understanding of their daily lives. Maybe you could find ways to encourage a healthy understanding of food and finances?

    Now I'm not on food stamps, but I do have some experience in being judged at the grocery store. I have a special needs son who can barely tolerate food. He doesn't gain weight, at all. I have to feed him anything he will actually keep down and as much fat / calories as possible. My husband works at a produce distributor, so I have access to incredibly cheap produce. The majority of my groceries I buy in bulk from Azure Standard. So that means when I'm at the grocery store, I'm only buying a few needed items for my pantry and food for my sick child. To a bystander it must look like I have a cart full of junk food. No fresh meat, no fresh produce, just processed food and cans of ensure. I can only imagine what people must think of me! I hope they don't judge me too harshly.

    I agree that there is a problem with people abusing assistance in America. And I agree that our culture is too materialistic. But I do not think its right to judge others. 2 wrongs don't make a right.

    • She was dead on on everything she said. I deal with statistics and the majority of people on food stamps today do not need them and abuse the system. Speaking the truth is NOT judging.

      We qualify for food stamps – $26.000 income last year for our family of five – and we never have taken any assistance. That is with a mortgage of $1150! It CAN be done!

    • Denise that is amazing!!!! Please share with others what you are doing because what you figured out, could encourage others. I really think education is the key here for many….the way of life these days revolves around convenience and that is a problem.

    • Denise, would you mind sharing the statistics? I know it is costing Americans millions of dollars a year because of food stamp abuse, but would love to know the statistics. Maybe this will help others see the real truth behind food stamp use! Again, I realize some do need it….

  8. I've been a single parent as well, at times without child support. I did it on my own, by the grace of God. In part because I was too stupid to know how to go about getting the help I probably qualified for lol. If you can afford a smart phone, fake nails, streaked and heavily styled hair and designer clothes….you can probably afford to buy your own food and pay your own rent. And yes, stand in lines at the grocery store long enough and what else are you going to notice but the people around you? I know the economy is still garbage, but 1 in 6 on food stamps? Really? I'd best not get on my soap box. I am blessed beyond belief and I know it, but I've been poor enough to count pennies. If you need it, get it. If you don't…get off your rear and take care of yourself.

  9. Thank you for the AMAZING post. MY husband WORKS in a grovcery store, and we see this all the time. I k now some precious single moms who have been in bad situations, and they are working their way off of assistance. However, I know MORE people who use it because they CAN.

    • Thanks, Heather! Your husband has seen first hand what really goes on most of the time which was what I knew and wrote about, but for some reason I am being judged for saying so? Appreciate your kind words!

  10. I totally agree with you and I did not read all the replies, but I know that they are probably not all supportive of your view. I thought I would chime in to say that there are some of us in agreement with you. I will also say that I don't think that others that choose the easier way or wrong entirely. I do think it is okay for people to accept help and provide a more comfortable life for their children as they go through hard times. Ultimately, it was a system that was started to help those who needed some help. It is totally failed system, though. Blessings to you.

  11. I do have experience in a grocery store. I worked in a large retail store for 3 years as a cashier. In those 3 years I saw a huge increase in food stamp card use. There was a very small percentage of customers that were responsible and bought healthy food. It was hard to watch customers use their cards to buy lobster, crab legs, soda,and junk food, when my family and I were on a limited grocery budget. I remember one experience when a customer screamed at me because she couldn't use her food stamp card for a roast chicken from the deli. I feel that you are spot on Suzie. This country is in serious trouble! Thank you for your voice of reason in such a difficult time.

    • Thank you for sharing, Terri! You have seen first hand the reality of what I was saying. Most, not all, are milking the system. It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who is and who isn't, although I'm sure some would peg me for judging them just for stating this as is evident in some of the comments! I really do appreciate you sharing this! This country is in big trouble, and judging others is the least of our worries! Not sure why it has been brought up so often….

  12. My husband lost his job back in November. We were a stolid middle class family–we have 6 kids, one is autistic, one has epilepsy, 2 have asthma, I have asthma, my husband has high blood pressure and other health issues–which means we rely on insurance for hundreds of dollars of prescription meds a month. We have a house, we have land, we have a decent van, we have phones and computers and tablets. Then my husband got laid off and 4 months later he's STILL trying to find work. We had to apply for unemployment, they automatically put us in for food stamps and Care Source for our kids. My husband and I don't have insurance so we have to pay for our meds out of pocket—we can't afford to get my main asthma medication and I can only afford to get my inhalers every other month. Yes, we're on food stamps as well. So, while those of you who make it your business to check out people's carts and what they use to pay for their stuff—know that my phone is a cheap $20 pay as you go phone, which I even had when we had money. My car was paid off 4 years ago. My clothes I get at Good Will. My nails, when I do them, I paint them myself. My hair, I do myself. I use my food stamp card (which I am NOT ashamed to use, my husband and I have worked for many, many years and put into the system that is designed to help people like us)to buy foods in bulk—because I cook and bake everything we eat from scratch. Something I did BEFORE we got a food stamp card. Now, those of you who make it your business to check out and judge other people may see me in the grocery store and judge me because I have a food stamp card yet I don't look like a bum. Shame on you. While I am using my food stamp card to feel my family, my house is going into foreclosure because we haven't been able to pay the mortgage. I have been without my asthma medicine for 4 months now and I am hanging on by a thread—but I look ok while I'm doing it! We were BARELY able to pay the electric bill last month—and I don't know how we're going to be able to get wood this month to heat our house because we're behind on other bills to be able to pay the electric. My husband has interviewed with 18 companies, sent out over 200 resumes. When our school levy failed and they cut busing, we had to pull my 16 year old out of high school because we didn't have the money to drive him to and from everyday. I was already homeschooling my 14 year old (they have both been homeschooled most of their life) but we haven't been able to get to many outings or extra curriculars because we don't have the money for gas or for activities. Luckily, we have chickens for eggs and meat, I can sell eggs, which I have done to earn money–as well as baking breads and bagels to sell. My point in telling you all this is so you can know—what you see at the grocery store—MAY NOT BE WHAT IT SEEMS! Stop judging, stop assuming, stop worrying about what others are doing and take care of your own. There is so much hate towards the poor, brought on by the conservatives—and it's not fair! We should all be working together to stop the bankers, stop Monsanto, stop the billionaires from taking over our country—NOT FIGHTING THOSE WHO CAN'T HELP THEIR SITUATION!! My husband just got hired for a job this week, he has to pass the physical to start, but his blood pressure has been way too high so we are trying to get it lowered using medications donated by our doctor. This SUCKS! I can't wait to be self sufficient again, I hate relying on anyone! So please, stop judging and take care of your own! Until you've walked a mile in someone's shoes, you have no idea. Thank you for listening!

    • I pray that everything works out for you and I so agree with EVERYTHING you have said..its easy for one to sit back and judge when they do not KNOW wht is going on…

      Keep your chin up and stay strong… just think some of those that choose to judge wouldnt last a day in your shoes!


    • No one is judging you here:) I applaud you and what you are doing. As I have stated numerous times, this post is NOT about judging others. If that is the way you feel, then I'm afraid you are judging me as well. You say to stop judging and take care of my own. Try telling that to my husband who is working his tail off to make ends meet and pay for everyone else who is on food stamps. It is becoming harder and harder to take care of our own when we have to take care of everyone else too! We would not mind this if we knew everyone was trying like you are, but you and I both know that is not happening.

    • I do know it is happening–the percent of people bilking the system is very, very low—studies have been done and have proven this to be fact. Most people on foodstamps/welfare are there because they need it and the programs do not allow anyone to stay on for years anymore (another common misperception) Everyone has a "when I worked here I saw this and that" story—but again, who are they to judge. My husband was working his tail off just as hard as yours—but we are not supporting the poor—we are supporting all the corporations who are taking far more welfare benefits than the poor! Please, stop listening to the stereotypes—most people on assistance are no different than me—and my husband and i are working OUR tails off to get off assistance and to be self sustaining again. I AM on foodstamps and I don't see what all you people claim to see. Sure it happens, but there are far more people on assistance who need to be there than there are people who are cheating the system. Your husband isn't caring for everyone else—that is a republican lie. But I know he's doing a great job taking care of his own—just like mine was and will again—and then we and all the other people on assistance will be giving back to the system again, just like we did before we hit hard times.

  13. In agreement! We were in the same situation, my husband being out of work for a year and a half, but no matter what, we would NOT do food stamps! God is good, and we never went without food. It's amazing how creative you get with a pretty sparce pantry. You may not like it, but a can of beans is plenty for a meal and fills ya up! I understand some people just can't do it, but to me food stamps should be like WIC, you can only purchase certain items. As is, there is no encouragement to get off it (other than YOUR conscience)- the government is encouraging it!

  14. I was once nicely dressed with salon hair, salon nails, and expensive cell phone. My husband left (with our money) when I was pregnant. Obviously he didn't take my clothes, hair or nails with him (I just learned to do my own hair & nails) so although I still looked the part of high-society, I was flat broke. I received WIC during that time but was often made to feel inferior when using it, maybe because I looked nice? One day I went to into the WIC office and my case worker asked me to turn off my cell phone before we began. Tears immediately came to my eyes and said to her "lady, if I could afford to have a cell phone, I wouldn't have any reason to be here." That was over 5 years ago and I still don't have a cell phone because to me it's not a need, it's a luxury. Although I could easily afford a phone now and no longer receive WIC, I feel like I have my priorities right. Shelter, food, clothes, then savings for future shelter, food, clothes. that's the necessities. Government assistance was established as a temporary emergency-type program for those in NEED, and has been a real blessing to many people who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances, like myself. However, just because someone meets the qualifications to receive it, doesn't mean they actually need it. Obviously you survived without it and that's great, but there's no shame in accepting help when you truly need it. My daughter was better off for me accepting assistance because she had healthy food to eat that some days I probably would not have been able to give her otherwise. Today we're self-sufficient, have all of our needs met and many of our wants, thanks in part to the assistance we received for a few short months till I got back on my feet. If everyone would use it strictly for that purpose, this wouldn't be an issue. However, what started as a good thing has become corrupt, like most things government-related!

  15. I have been in that same boat as you or at least in a boat close to you. My ex quit paying child support when he got out of the military. I did try to get assistance but because I had a court order for child support they took that into consideration. I made 50.00 too much. I think that the programs that we offer people are good, but there is one problem. There is no limitation. So if you apply and are approved there is no incentive to get out there and do it on your own. They are just giving you money/food. They are not helping you become self sufficient. God knows that if you make 1.00 over thier limit you get cut off. If they really wanted to help they would offer a time frame and help and not cut people off just when they start to rise and make it. I Thank GOD every day that my family was there for me and helped me. I do wish that things would change and real help not just a handout was availalbe. Unfortuantely it seems like we all too often just want a handout.

  16. In high school, I worked at a grocery store, and continued to do so every time I came home from collage for breaks. It would always make me so mad when people would come through and buy $50 of soda and candy on food stamps. Or the people that would withdraw EBT cash, and then buy cigarettes with the cash they just got. Or the lady that chewed me out because I rang up her can of dog food as a non-food item instead of grocery and refused to change it when she said she wanted to pay for it with her food stamps…I'm sure some of the people I saw truly needed some sort of help, but the ones playing the system are the ones you remember.

    • Thanks for sharing! You are the third person here who has seen first hand what really goes on! It is a shame that this is happening and we are paying for it! Yes, there are those who do need it. But most could do without. The mentality of America just might bring us to ruin.

    • I do not believe MOST can do without. I see the people when I go down to the "welfare" office—they are suffering, not taking. If you want to be angry about people bringing us to ruin, focus on the bankers and the CEO's and the oil companies and the bilionaires who are stealing from us left and right, and making us pay for their mistakes. Our countries problems aren't caused by the poor, they are caused by the RICH!

    • leslie, i never said i believed they were caused by the poor, i said the ones that played the system are the ones that stick in my memory. I believe we are not being ruined by just the rich or just the poor, but by greedy people in general. The people tha5 play the welfare system are greedy. The CEOs, bankers and oil companies that exploit people with no regard are greedy. It's an attitude, not an economic status.

    • I wish I could buy dog food with my food stamps. When married and my kids were young, I couldn't afford to work. The cost of child care was almost as much as my salary. My husband made 17,000 a year so I stayed home with the kids and did childcare to make a little extra. I did not charge very much as all the children I watched were neighbors who were in the same situation I was in and couldn't afford to work and pay high prices. We never went on government assistance although we qualified for it. I did everything I could to stretch the dollar, cooked everything from scratch. When it came to Xmas, I would take a night job as a designer. I worked til 2am and was back up at 6am. My husband left me when my youngest was 4 yrs old. I had to go to work, thank God my two oldest were in school. I worked hard and soon became manager. I ended up buying the business by refinancing my house for the down payment and the shop became one of the busiest florists in the city. Yes I had fake nails, I traded a few flowers for my nails. When any of my or the employees kids were sick they came to the shop so noone needed to loose money and have to take off work. I had a section of the shop for the kids to relax or play. One morning I woke up weak and in pain. After much testing I was diagnosed with Lupus, severe RA, and my spine was disinegrating. Shortly after, while at work I had a stroke. I was unable to walk, talk or think streight for a year. I was given a service dog. I lost my business, my new SUV which had six payments left, My house of over 20yrs, and my children to their dad. I went to live with my Mom who died a year later and I was living on a little more than $800 a month. I finally applied for food stamps which are $200 a month. My dog is my mobility dog. She is a 5 yr old Great Pyrenees. I have gotten to the point where I am thinking of finding a new home for her because my pain levels, I can barely take her outside to go potty much less play with her. She is a big dog and needs more exersize. I have no fenced yard. When I take her out she is on leash. I take her over to her trainers house once a week where she can run and play in his yard for an hour or so. My hands are already deforming and I do not know how long I can care for her as I cannot even afford food for her. I love her very much and can't imagine life without her. There are days I cannot get out of bed. I so wish dog food for service dogs was available through food stamps. I share my meals with her as it is. I do not have fake nails anymore but I still have nice clothes as I needed them for setting up weddings and attending them at the brides request. My hair I cut myself but it doesnt look it. (I hope) I have accidently tried to buy a chicken from the deli with food stamps that I would have made several meals with and homemade dog food. I did not know I could'nt do that and yes I do buy some things like chocolate, marshmellows and graham crackers when on sale so I can make smores with my dog trainers children visit. I agree with most things said. I do not judge others, it's none of my business and to be honest I just do not pay attention to others. I feel no guilt, just remorse over my loss and determined to beat my health issues and become active again. I won't give up for Bella's sake. I want so bad to take her to the beach which is minutes away, to dog parks, and fix my home up to sell and get a new home with a yard for her. I pray every night for this but God may have other plans for me. Sometimes you just have to let go and let God. Help comes in many ways and if people are judging me in the grocery store let them. I could care less. I am focused on a goal and will not be bothered by such judgemental thinking. Sorry for rambling as since the stroke I cant stay focused as much as I use to. This was supposed to be about Dog Food! God bless you all!

  17. As foster parents, our foster children automatically qualified for WIC. We had a situation with one foster child whom the judge dismissed CPS but gave us custody. Once CPS was dismissed, he was no longer a foster child and lost his WIC. We had another foster child that was still receiving WIC and when we went to the office to renew that child's WIC, we were asked to give our financial info to see if the other child would still qualify. When he didn't, the WIC worker told me that when my husband's income dropped to this dollar amount, to call them so they could get my son back on WIC! They were pressuring me to get this child back on WIC as soon as possible so their office could meet their quota! They would even pressure us to apply for other assistance. So the system is encouraging more people to become dependent on the government.

  18. Until people become born again and experience Kingdom living they will not understand what your message is about. We are King's child not a government's pawn. Thanks for your story. It gives more respect for you and your family than I already had.

    • You know, I almost cried when I read your comment, Dan! I have gotten so much heat for being judgmental and someone even questioned my faith because of this post. Thank you!

    • So all the people that disagree with her are not born again?? My goodness… why would you even presume something like that and who are you to question someones salvation? Christians CAN and DO disagree. This takes the cake. And it offends me because I'm one of the people who didn't like the post and I assure you I am born again and living for my Lord and Saviour.

  19. This is a very good, true post and one that I am personally VERY familiar with. My family of 6 has been on Food Stamps about 3 different times due to unfortunate circumstances. I am very thankful for them. But I also know what it's like to be "too rich" for them and be denied them because we had a newer vehicle (that we couldn't pay for and couldn't sell) while at the same being "too poor" to buy my family groceries. I know what it's like to have to stand in the heat for hours for a food box. I've also saw the other side of the handouts… the side of people who are just lazy and think that everyone owes them something. They lie on their applications and make their children lie. I've heard their children talk about the future and they have no desire to work, but expect to get assistance just as their parents do.
    So I think I AM an expert on the subject (lol). As of right now my family is on Food Stamps because we can't seem to get back on our feet after my husband was laid off work and hasn't found employment after 2 years. We have lost everything but we are slowly becoming more self-reliant. But when you don't own land, and have no extra money for chickens or a milk cow… it is a very slow process. We invested (with our tax return) in a tiller and were able to grow a small garden at my parent's house last year and will do so again this year. I can't describe the joy and pride that growing food does for you, but unfortunately, we could not grow milk, eggs, meat or grains, so we continue to receive stamps.
    I recently had a conversation with a friend who is writing a paper for college on this very subject and I shared with her some of my ideas: one being that there has to be a weaning process to come off them after so long. I felt that if we (on food stamps) could use them for things to help us help ourselves, and have someone to help us and teach us how, and to be like a parole officer, that that would be a way to wean. Things like seed, and chickens and feed. She looked into it and found out that it is already an option to buy seed with food stamps at certified farmers markets. I thought that is a great idea and I just wish they could expand on it as well as make it mandatory. My family is on a journey to become more self-sufficient, but sometimes bumps come up in the road and we need help… but the greatest help we need is someone to love and support us, take us under their wing and to help us help ourselves.

    • Good luck to you Whim-Z, I totally relate to everything you said! It is a shame that people assume that most people on assistance don't need to be–the process wasn't easy to get on and they took nearly a month to check everything before we even got approved. Those who don't know, haven't been there–they really don't know what they are talking about, only what they are told. And for every person at the grocery store buying lobsters with their food stamps, there are 50 families trying to scrimp and save to stretch the food stamps out to last the whole month. Again, good luck to you and your family, I will keep you in my prayers!

  20. I forgot to add, I think we (the universal church in the US) are responsible for a large part of this mess when we abdicated our responsibility to care for the poor to the government, and stopped telling people about the saving blood of our Saviour.

  21. I do believe all people able should work or find ways to be self-sufficient. Those who need assistance I believe deserve to have it. If they do not need it and receive it, it's a problem with the government dealing with the service. Obviously the value system doesn't work anymore. But I am hoping any of you are also considering the fact that if someone takes on food stamps or any service the children need the food not matter what! If you are born to parents who CAN'T work or WON'T work, you still deserve not to be hungry. And no one should feel ashamed to utilize food stamps. There are many circumstances that lead to using this service. I have to have a handicap sticker but don't look as much that I need one. But I have heart failure and can't walk far. And more. But I wouldn't be very happy to think others are trying to decide if I deserve this or not by looking at me. I hope none of us do this to anyone. Yes, there may be some not deserving of food stamps. But there are many who need it desperately. There are diseases and mental illnesses that are not apparent by looking. There are many situations that warrant others needing help. And yes, there are the "loafers". But the children should not suffer for their parents lack of being a good citizen and support. There will always be the "loafers". But the government has a monster with this. The best way to help is to vote in the best candidates on the state and local/federal levels. And you be the example set forth to your children and others in learning how to be self sufficient and providing. AND get involved on a state and county level for welfare and food stamps. I think if many of you did, you would be amazed at the reality and statistics involved here. Yes there is misuse. But most of the time the people are desperate and we need to help out others. Because of the economy of today, many churches are having to turn away those who are in need. It's scary out there for so many. My family is fortunate to be able to take care of ourselves. We are blessed with the ability to do so. But so many are not. Because we can be self supporting, let's help those who are in need. I don't care if it's to feed them, help to clothe them, or direct them to assistance like food share, food stamps, etc. I have an educated sister who looked over a year for a job. We all helped her and she is now making more money than us! Good for her. Not everyone on assistance stays there. And if they need it, help them to hold their heads high and not feel shame. We all are humbled at some time in our lives. Has it happened to you yet?

  22. How sad ( and judgemental) that someone would question your faith! If people would take the chip off their shoulder and really read what you wrote they would understand your motive. Of course there are people who really do need assistance with food for their family. There are also many these days who have jumped on the entitlement wagon and are abusing the system. Our government promotes entitlement mentality and look where its taken us.

  23. First and foremost let me say, THANK YOU for your service to our country! As for your post, absolutely agree, its supposed to be a hand up, not a handout to live off of. As for all they others, they are judging you, so how is that any different than what they are accusing you of. To me, you are stating the obvious. I also find it very hard to believe that the people saying not to judge, have not been where you, and I for that matter, have been, waiting in line with my couple items, because that's all I have the money for, and get frustrated for these people who have a cart full of junk food, hair, nails, iphone, etc. It is frustrating, and I don't believe anyone hasn't felt that frustration.

    • Thank you for your support! You are right, as I am feeling a little judged here just for stating the obvious and have been accused of being self righteous because I chose not to use food stamps. You got my point of the post:) Thanks for sharing!

  24. I am glad you posted this, it may be a way for me to get some answers about our situation, because I am a very embarrassed Food Stamp user:

    My husband and I paid taxes for many years before we accepted food stamps. It was not something we wanted to do, but he lost his job and we HAD to move out of New Orleans when our neighbor severely beat up his father, who later died as a result. It was the straw that broke the camels back. We wanted a safer place for our new baby. (after the layoff we couldn't afford to live in a better part of town, so we moved to a small country town).
    We used up all our savings trying to make ends meet, but the funds were exhausted pretty quickly. We got on food stamps as a last resort. Now,my husband is in school for IT and works full time as a janitor but does not make a living wage. He did have a better job but was laid off and couldn't find another one for a while in his field so he looked for work anywhere. It took him six months to get a job, and he is lucky to have it.

    We sacrifice everything, my parents pay for our telephone,I get on-line at the library and we don't have cable or anything, we have one car,and I stay home to care for our little one. I have been trying to grow things in our "garden", I am not an expert yet. My tomato plants produced one tomato last year,I don't want to talk about the squash, My basil got eaten by something, but the oregano is prolific!

    Going to the grocery store to buy food I have been confronted on a few occasions (5 out of the year and a half we have lived here)by other women who disapprove of my purchases. I guess real food looks like a luxury to some?

    I use a menu plan and I budget to the max to be economical. I don't buy junk food, I don't buy prepackaged food, sodas or anything that won't spoil naturally. I do buy conventionally grown vegetables but occasionally buy organic spinach,celery and apples since they are typically the most pesticide laden foods, I buy low temp pasteurized-non homogenized whole milk (raw milk is illegal here) and I am careful with the meat and poultry I buy.

    Is this an inappropriate use of the FS? Should I be buying corn syrup drenched fruit cups and frozen chicken patties so I don't hear,"it must be nice to buy those ORGANIC apples with someone else's money"?

    I wish I could explain that it actually is cheaper than buying all the processed crud, sure the apples might be more expensive than conventionally grown ones but I offset that by making all of our food from scratch. People don't care to think of it that way though, they also don't consider that we were once contributing members of society and paid the same taxes they do that fund EBT. They just see a stranger in line a head of them "abusing" their hard earned tax dollars. I don't want to defend FS abuse, it is wrong, but maybe I am unwittingly taking advantage. I hope not. Am I just not seeing the bigger picture and actually abusing the system as well?

    Where do I find an explanation of what is appropriate to buy and what isn't. I obviously know not to buy caviar and lobster, but fresh seafood is generally super cheap where I live so I do buy shrimp when it is on sale. Should I just buy regular milk? That stuff isn't healthy, maybe not buy it at all?

    I am not judgmental of anyone who can honestly answer me.

    • It sounds like you are doing your best in your situation! I know I sound like a broken record, but I am not judging you or anyone else who is at least trying to do the right thing. You are eating healthy and choosing to use the card in a good way. By no means are you abusing the system! Thanks for sharing!

  25. I am probably one of those people you see and wonder why and how we are on food stamps. While I totally agree with you, we found ourselves on foodstamps when the economy turned sour. My husband was an attorney for years and got really burned out. All of his money went into savings and when we moved from a big city to a smaller one to help out his parents as they got older, he decided to trade stocks with this money. He had dabbled in it during his lawyer days. Then his dad got sick with cancer and died. The stock market crashed while he was busy watching his dad die. He tried to fight back but then his mother showed signs of Dementia. She now has reverted to speaking only Ukrainian and he is the only one she will do things for. He cannot get a job out of the home since it would be impossible for anyone to take care of her. I stay at home to take care of our 20 month old and our other 3 kids when they are not in school. I guess what I am trying to say is, that you may not know what that person in line is going through. I had a nice job and nice clothes when I worked. Now I try to dress nice when I go out. I also have a bachelor's degree. While I totally agree that people are taking advantage to the government, I also know there are people out there that need some kind of help in this economy. Thank you so much for voicing your comments and being brave to do so.

    • Boy, I hope my post didn't feel judgemental. I have been judgemental of others in the past and just wanted to voice my opinion. I think our government is really causing part of the problem and giving people something they cannot get out of. Not only that, but their are so many things they are doing these days that are cause people to live beyond their means and causing the economy to do poorly. I just pray that our country will wake up and get their act together soon.

  26. Read ONLY your full post – no comments.

    I think you wrote a nicely organized, well thought out, clearly stated opinion which you reached from personal experience and what you have observed first hand. If you & I were talking in person, I'd give you feedback, we'd talk about people we knew who needed assistance & used it to get through a difficult time, people we knew who used it as a means to not have to be responsible, people who did need help and had to jump through far too many hoops, dealt with too much red tape and inept bureaucracy where getting "help" only caused more troubles, and on and on. We'd agree that it has a time & place for some to be sure, but no, not as many as are receiving. And we'd leave it at that.

  27. I wish I could express to you how I AGREE COMPLETELY with you on every point you have made. We are on a tight budget with only one income, and it makes me super mad to see women with their hair and nails done and their fancy phone and their expensive clothes.. with a FOOD STAMP CARD… and here's me and my kids and we are wearing our thrift store//clearance rack clothes and I am mentally calculating how many meals I can get from the hamburger I just bought with the money that I had to budget to shop with.

    And yes I have been there, and I was once on foodstamps myself for eight months. It was years ago and I am not proud of it but at the time it was either use them or starve. And after those 8 months my situation improved and though I was still poor (below the poverty level) I could at least buy my own food so I got OFF the foodstamps. I paid my OWN way. And though we are doing better now, it is only with careful budgeting that we get by now.

    God bless you!!

  28. Loved the post. I, myself, see many folks buying pop, chips, beer, highly processed crap food type items on FS. These folks get welfare checks and have fancy nails, fancy dyed hair, latest style clothes, etc. and using those fancy phones. It makes me MAD. I was on FS once when I got divorced and had to leave my job as I ahd to leave the city. Then got WIC a few months after hubby got laid off and we had had 3 children with low iron levels. I made msot of our food from scratch but that cereal, milk, cheese, and P. butter helped us out. We ahve paid , or hubby mostly as I was a SAHM to 3 kids, into the system and I don't regret using it when needed. it wasn't for long. And I then and still shopped 2nd hand for most all the kids clothes and lots of supplies and toys. Had a garden also which helped us. FS should not permit candy, chips, pop, beer, and crap like that. Be unable to use it when purchasing those items. No one NEEDS that crap food type items anyway. We would have so many fewer obese kids and adults. WORK for what you want and need. Some of actually do. I garden and put away all the food I can and it's REAL food. Folks should get off their BUTTS and do something with their life. I HATE paying for lazy people's food. Not saying anything about those folks who actually need assistance, I undestand SOME need the assistance. ANYONE can put dirt in a pot and grow some seeds. I get the pots from recycling centers, trash piles, etc. All free. Even 1 tomato plant is a great start. I'm glad some places FS can buy seeds. Start now so we have less lazy a$$ed kids in the world. They need to get a grip and realize the world is only getting worse with more and more folks abusing the system. Anyone who buys 'crap' food is ABUSING the system. I have a cheap phone, no landline, hubby drives a 35 yr. old car, old house that needs assistance, but have no debt or assistance even though we might possibly qualify as hubby is in school full time and I don't work outside the home due to medical issues. Won't even try as I work very, very hard to provide for my family by what's free, what I cna grow, or forage. GREAT article. Also as far as I'm concernbed a drug test should be done randomly because if you cna buy cigs, drugs, etc. you DON'T need gov't. assiatance at all. Deb

  29. Wow, Susie! you stirred up a hornet's nest πŸ™‚ I couldn't agree with you more and it is a hard topic to write on without someone taking offense. We, too, have been there and ate mac and cheese until our work started to bear fruit. Working hard to be self-sufficient is good for us and makes us into people who look to the Lord (hopefully) instead of to the government. My heart goes out to those who must use assistance to weather a storm, but I agree with you…the Lord will provide for those who trust in Him! Love Dan the Bella owner's comment!!! We love and respect your family, too!

  30. thank you for your insight and your willingness to share. regardless of whether a reader agrees or disagrees with the use of food stamps, you are right about the fact that the CHURCH should be ashamed of herself. She is not doing right by her people by encouraging many things…….encouraging mamas to go to work outside the home, encouraging folks to rely on the government, and pretty much not caring for the widows and orphans as they should. Shame on them.

  31. I would like to add to my previous post without rambling. You cannot judge people in a grocery check out line. Most people buying junk food are either just uneducated on eating healthy or junk food is cheaper than healthier food and they are just trying to do their best feeding their children. Although most of us know their is a better way, we cannot educate them in the few minutes we see them in the checkout line. I myself have dyed hair. I refuse to have gray roots and have found hair color for $1.50 and do it myself. I do this every other month. As myself, I am sure a lot of people have nice clothes from before they came on hard times. To me this proves they were once hardworking people and have not been on food stamps that long. The nails maybe a stretch unless they are REAL or maybe their best friend is a nail tech and comes over for coffee and does their nails free. What I am getting at is that we just DO NOT KNOW and jump to conclusions. I do think that education on healthy food choices is a must and it would be nice if the government would offer those to people on food stamps. I do wish dog food for medically needed service dogs was available with documentation on food stamps and last but not least… if their are any nail techs who want to be my best friend would please contact me via this post…. Sorry, I said I would not ramble. Just remember.. Judge not less ye be judged!

  32. One more thing, my nice cell phone was a Christmas present from my grown children. I cannot afford phone service and they wanted to make sure I had a way to call them and call for help if I need it. They pay for the service.

  33. Getting to this post a bit late but wanted to say KUDOS for having the guts to publish such a non-politically correct post. I live in Wisconsin where we're dealing with a statewide scandal involving rampant fraud in our state funded daycare program (daycares collecting state subsides for children they aren't actually caring for). Now they're investigating a new one – food stamp recipients selling their cards for cash. (A household of four can get up to $800/month!!!)

    I believe it's humane and Christian to help the hungry, the disabled, and innocent victims. But these freebies discourage marriage (why get married when Uncle Sam will help me raise my kids an pay my bills?) and encourage fraud and take away services from those who truly need help.

    Great post!

  34. I am a single male who has worked since I was 16 and I am now 46, I was laid of off a job that paid me 16.00 an hour a year ago. My unemployment ran out three weeks ago and I just had to apply for food stamps, the Carelink health program, utility and rent assistance and I can honestly say that I am not ashamed as I have paid my taxes every year since I was 16 so why should I be ashamed to use these programs as long as I need them. I think, even though you say you are not being judgmental that you are being judgmental

    • You know, I could say you are being judgmental about me for accusing and assuming that I am being judgmental, but I choose to not hop on that vicious cycle. I'm not even sure you read the whole post. If you are actively seeking for a job and not sitting on your bum all day, than obviously this post was not directed towards you. Please reread the post, all of it, and if you believe I am still being judgmental, then maybe you need to look within yourself and ask why does it bother you so much?

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