Small Town America

Small Town America

The Mystery of Food Stamps

      If you have ever had to use food stamps, you will understand my purpose writing this blog.  It has been over 30 years since we used them, but some of the same rules apply.  I watched is disbelief at the grocery store today.  A young man was checking out in front of me and using food stamps.

     He bought 3 cases of soda pop, 3 packages of Mondo (glorified kool aid), a bags of candy and a box of sugary cereal.  No one questioned his choices or challenged his wisdom.  This program is designed to provide food for low income families.  You would think they would by food with them.  I guess the sugary cereal qualifies as food, but still maybe not the best choice.

     What you can’t buy with food stamps is dish soap, laundry soap, bath soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, paper towels, any cleaning supplies, or shampoo.  If you don’t have  money for these things, I guess you just stay dirty.  How would one find money for these things if they were out of work or at a minimum wage job?   They can eat their chips and candy and drink their soda pop…….but they sure won’t smell very good.


     Maybe with all the talk in Washington, DC regarding the government entitlement programs, someone could figure out a way so that people can eat healthy foods and still take a shower.   Maybe these people could sit down to dinner with clean clothes on and then wash the dishes when they are finished.  

     I thank God that I am not dependent on Government programs.  God is my source for all things and I know, “He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 4:19

     However, there are millions of families that desperately need these food stamps, but they also need soap, toothpaste and toilet paper.  Is there a way to regulate the program to allow these neccessities of  life and not allow junk foods and sugary drinks?

  • Luna

    Holy crap, do you realise how fucked up this is? Policing people’s food choices is a few steps away from things like genocide. (If you rationalize controlling nutrition, an essential aspect of life, rationalizing controlling life is not far off.) Aside from being so incredibly classist it would be a wonder if you didn’t get smacked by Jesus on sight for saying crap like this. Sorry to use such imagery but attitudes like this are incredibly harmful and lead to very dark roads, aside from being decidedly against Jesus’ teachings.

  • IHatePoliticalCorectness

    Why do you care if someone eats unhealthy, or has bad hygiene? Unless it directly affects you, but out. Don’t be like Rob Reiner thinking you know what’s best for everyone.

  • Funnyness

    There are bigger injustices in the world than someone buying sugary cereal. Please stop judging other people’s diet because they are poor.

    Soap is usually not a big deal. You can make soap, you can buy a bar of soap at the dollar store and it can go a long way.

  • http://cannotbuysoaportampons karen V

    I cannot buy soap. ** IF you do not have kids under 18 or you are not over 65, you cannot buy: soap. You cannot buy: dish soap, laundry detergent, paper towels, tissues, tampons, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, band aids, razors, a sponge (50 cents), or a light bulb.**

    I cannot believe I cannot buy soap and it does not matter to anybody, anywhere.

    Please read my story:

  • Gene

    There probably is a way, but a more likely scenario is that the food police will ban “unhealthy” foods and still not give people the option of hygiene. What happens then is people will have even less money for food. Most people know that generally speaking healthy food is quite a bit more expensive than unhealthy food. I don’t think much of anything is cheap these days.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ginny

    I agree that when given the benefit of food stamps it would make sense to buy good and healthy items since the lack of funds are the reason the food stamps were given to begin with. But it is quite judgmental of you to criticize the young man with the “sugary drinks” because you’ve been blessed by Jesus Christ to be well off now and not to need the State’s help. WWJD? Don’t forget that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Katie

    I would love to have a full time job with benefits but despite my considerable efforts I have been able to obtain only part-time temporary work at low pay and no benefits. Because of low income I do qualify for food stamps and hate it! I feel guilty every time I use the access card and worry about what the cashier and the people behind me in line think of me. I’m very conscious about the choices I make for these very reasons. I have seen people make poor choices and I admit that I have occasionally bought candy or potato chips. I try to buy nutritious foods, but it seems food prices go up each week. I buy generic or store brands, look for store special sales, and use coupons to stretch my dollars.
    I can’t say why others buy what they do, but only my own reasons. I would not want to make assumptions or judge others when I don’t know them or their story. Maybe that’s why I feel guilty—because I’m being judged when the person judging me has no idea of my circumstances.
    I also do not understand why there is not some way that basics like soap, toilet paper, etc cannot be a part of this program, but the system is already so bogged down with rules and regulations, policies that seemingly make no sense, that making those changes would be a nightmare. Reform is needed but should not be at the expense of those who desperately need this help.
    Perhaps people who qualify for food stamps should be required to take some classes on nutrition and how to prepare basic dishes for their families instead of relying on processed foods. Or instead of making it a requirement, make those classes an incentive in order to receive a little more in food stamps. I eat a lot of beans and rice, some cheese, very little meat. Unfortunately I eat little fruit or vegetables mainly due to cost and the quality of fresh produce is many times not so great in the large supermarket chains. It is much cheaper to eat casseroles heavy on starch and light on protein. I buy store brand white bread with little nutritional value because it is $1.19 a loaf while whole grain bread can cost two to four times as much. I read labels and try to make good choices, but some days, especially when I’m feeling depressed, the impulse to buy chocolate becomes difficult to resist. I realize that this comment is very long. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment chris

    My family is slowly coming out of dire straits. we eat well but pinch pennies, have access to freash vegtables with our food stamps, buy cheap meats that can be streached for 3 adults and 2 kids,use a near by food bank,receive gift cards for those other things,and use the dollar stores for TP, cleaning stuff,Etc.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Catherine Wood

    I think that the government should try living on minimum wage and see if they can afford the things that they are buying right now. The things that they have now are because of what we tax payers are paying for and we can not have the luxuries that the govrenment has. We are living in poverty and they are living like the rich people.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Patricia Miller

    I have seen similar shoppers in the market. I can’t understand either, why they cannot purchase soap, toothpaste, etc.

    I feel irritated when I see a Food Stamp shopper loading up on things I’d love to buy, but my budget doesn’t allow those “goodies”. We need to stick to fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish. No extra funds for fancy coffees, candy, soda, etc.

    I wonder if the marketing machines could be adjusted to reject the junk food and only process the important things we tax payers are willing to provide. Guess that is too much “food” policing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment David Ameen

    I’m disabled by heart problems and arthritis. The last time I obtained a paying job (weekends only, driving 50 miles each way to earn $40 a day, I paid for my own gas) the local foodstamp office informed me that I was “making too much money” and reduced my allotment to $5 a month. Sorry I caused the taxpayers soo muuch trrooubbble! How inconsiderate of me to choose what I buy instead of buying what YOU think I should eat.

  • Cheryl Talbert

    I wish they would let them get toiletries and no junk food. Do you know someone on food stamps cannot purchase cooked food at the grocery. How are homeless people on food stamps suppose to cook? There really should not be homeless people in America. The government should take a portion of the assistance money and give them a place to live. Alot of homeless make poor decisions with the money given to them.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment tracy willis

    It’s the one’s that really need it and can’t get it because some of the ones on it make more money then if they went to work so say could buy the dish soap luandry soap and soap.So you when you figure out how they can buy all the healthy food and get clean please let me know.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary

    It is interesting to note that other Americans hold the same view that i have .My thoughts on the matter was food stamp recipients are people who for one reason or another are struggling right now.The idea then should be to enable them not only to purchase food but also other basic necessities like you mentioned as well.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pat

    So many folks are worried about nutrition…including the gov. Why not make food prices cheaper. Then maybe folks who want to eat healthier can. many folks looking on someone with them but yo never know what you will have to just might need them. Had them in the past many years ago. I told them to keep them. We eat pinto and potatoes before we turn out lives inside out. Meaning telling them your life story just to get hem. No thanks. As far as the food choices. maybe they need educating on nutrition and learn how to make better food choices.

  • dhanny

    I agree !00%.

  • http://Foodstamps inga

    I read the blog about food stamps. In the 70,s i had to use them, because my husband did not want the responsibility of a family, so he ran out!I wanted to work, but had no available sitter or day care at the time, so i was forced to be a receiver of welfare I used my food stamps for food, because as a woman someone would have said some thing to me if i bought junk.People do not need programs, to support their kids they need jobs, and reliable daycare. people need to use common sense, when it comes to shopping.I used to take any change from the food stamps and buy soap. Each time i went shopping, i would take any change and buy toilet paper or any thing i would need along that line.People need jobs, not the government!A man or woman needs the self-respect of knowing they can support their children, and buy what they need.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment P ketchum

    You hit the nail on the head. I do not understand how it was decided that toilet paper and paper towels are a bad idea for someone on assistance. But sugary junk is fine. We talk about the importance of eating a healthy diet and then we pay for people to eat junk. I know there is a tremendous need for this aid right now but it needs to be re evaluated as to what is healthy and necessary and what is a complete junk and fueling the nations health problems. We need Michele Obama to take an interest in this!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Terry Harmon

    The problem with the food stamps is that they you with the idea you need them to survive. But is not true. It was set up for the indians to get the supples like food. THe commodities were to before the people of really low income. The indians were those people . Then when the USDA got involved wanting make better foods . Over the years it has grown into a big mess. I have been on them and when I got off them I felt better about my self. Now today they issue a card with haw many dollars that felt you should get . This is a sorry way to in life. And the government does not care about either.

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