Would someone explain to me what is wrong with feeding the hungry? I can’t think of ANY faith or wisdom tradition that doesn’t ask its adherents to feed the hungry. And to take care of (not libel and humiliate) those of us who are less fortunate.
And yet people who are, ostensibly, America’s leaders, continue to liken those who need help to wild animals. Witness the most recent name-calling and superior attitudes. I’m not giving the name of the US Senate candidate, as she deserves no free publicity. If you’d like to do as I did, and go to her FB page to acquaint her with a few of the facts of food stamps, here they are (courtesy of Feeding America and others, as noted):
- In my state — Oklahoma — nearly half of all SNAP (food stamp recipients) are children: 272,000;
- “76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits.” (Feeding America)
- “83% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 100% of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013), and these households receive about 91% of all benefits.” (Feeding America)
- “The average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of $744; net monthly income of $338 after the standard deduction and, for certain households, deductions for child care, medical expenses, and shelter costs; and countable resources of $331, such as a bank account.” (Feeding America)
- In Oklahoma, “[a]ccording to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Oklahoma SNAP fact sheet (hat tip to OK Policy), almost 44 percent of all SNAP benefits go to working families.” (This Land Press)
- Food stamp usage at military base commissaries has more than quadrupled since 2007, hitting a record high; “[n]early $104 million of the $6.2 billion in total revenue the commissaries brought in during fiscal year 2013 came from food stamps.” (thinkprogress.org)
- Again in my home state, “59 percent of all public school students” qualify for free or reduced lunches. “In the Oklahoma City school district, the figure is 83.5 percent….Oklahoma is the fourth-hungriest state in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” (newsok.com)
What happened to feed the hungry? Doing good? Why is it only the hellish Old Testament that today’s politicans and ostensible Christians follow? I grew up in a Sunday-school-attending, vacation-Bible-school-summers, Okie family. I’ve actually read the entire Bible more than once — all of it. I took religion classes in college, and have made it a practice to study as many wisdom traditions as I can. And Jesus NEVER said The poor are wild animals. Do not feed. He DID say Blessed are the poor. And he DID say it’s hard for the rich to go to heaven — as hard as a camel going through the eye of a needle. And he said this more than once: Matthew 19, Mark 10, Luke 18. In other words? He felt pretty strongly about this.
I have family on food stamps. I’ve been on food stamps myself, for a whole month (used when I lost my job due to an injury, and — at the ripe age of 20 — had no resources; I was so very grateful). My sister could have used food stamps when she was in the military; a single parent’s salary w/ two kids is pretty minimal. Shouldn’t we be GRATEFUL that we’re a nation of such resources that we CAN feed the hungry? Isn’t that a GOOD thing?
So: don’t tell me you’re pro-family if you think kids can go hungry. Don’t pretend to support veterans if you don’t understand how hungry they are. Please don’t tell me about your faith when you don’t listen to your own teachers. And don’t even SPEAK to me if you honestly believe the unfortunate are no better than wild animals. Because you know what? You obviously don’t get it.