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Preview: Comments on: Taking the Food Stamp Challenge

Comments on: Taking the Food Stamp Challenge

Christopher Lydon in conversation on arts, ideas and politics

Last Build Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:13:00 +0000


By: The Instant Profit Multiplier For Small Business! |

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 00:19:08 +0000

[...] ng the impact of computer-related technology trends, and whatever else catches my interest.Open Source » Blog Archive » Taking the Food Stamp Challe [...]

By: alwyzjas

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 03:11:26 +0000

Above is my Food Stamp Challenge documented. Now I'm sharing my experience with as many people possible so that I can make a change! It wasn't an easy project...but it def. opened my eyes!

By: alwyzjas

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 03:10:03 +0000

Check it out!

By: Music for diners » Taking the Food Stamp Challenge

Fri, 07 Dec 2007 03:00:12 +0000

[...] m last week: a bag of spinach ($1), … Want to read more? Full post is available at Open Source No Comments » No comments yet. RSS feed for [...]

By: Lexington Law WebLog » Blog Archive » Visual Basic Thunder

Sun, 22 Jul 2007 12:48:07 +0000

[...] 0; The job he has now does not pay a lot not with the health insur … wantlistpage [...]

By: allison

Wed, 18 Jul 2007 15:23:37 +0000

When I was at jury duty recently a judge came out to give us all our inspirational civics lesson. In it he reminded us that our founders did not fight to end taxation. They fought because they did not have a say over who got taxed how much and what the taxes were used for. Particularly, they were enraged because there was a jury system in England, but here in the colonies, the Crown sent over a judge who had unlimited power. The colonists were refusing to pay their taxes in protest to this unjust system. They would pointedly refuse to pay their taxes and then protest when a judge would make a unitary ruling. Not because they didn't see the need for everyone to support a government and a social system. The first point made in the Declaration of Independece is about consent: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" They go on to say they have the right to "throw off" a Despot. It goes on for quite some time outlining the despotic actions of King George. But also, early on, it claims that a government is supposed to be "laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." In this statement, it leaves it open for the People to decide how the government can effect their safety and happiness. (Not just safety.) As a society, we are charged with continually determining what we need from the government to best ensure our safety and happiness. There is room here for this to evolve. As Potter stated, our founders at first thought it best to have the government enforce the ideals of slavery. I'm glad we've moved on from there. It makes sense that we would also look at ways to ameliorate the sufferings of our citizens, since we are supposed to be considering how our government can effect the safety and happiness of everyone. Those with more resources - financial, health and emotional (which can directly effect the body's physical makeup and a person's ability to function healthfully) need less from the government, those with fewer resources need more help. It also makes sense that, as a society, we will eternally wrangle over where the lines are drawn. But the Declaration of our founders is pretty clear. They are not upset over the concept of taxation. They are upset over the abuse of the King and his unwillingness to provide for their safety and happiness.

By: Potter

Wed, 18 Jul 2007 01:30:55 +0000

RC21- Just as many quotes would be two to match what I gave you. I would like two quotes from founding fathers that hold the "opposite" of the views that Locke and Smith express. Remember "opposite"....( stating what that opposite view might be please). Please be so good as to concede as well that this country fought a revolution, not to be relieved of taxation ( paying for their government), but to HAVE a government of their own, for citizenship in it, for representation, which meant independence. Thanks.

By: herbert browne

Tue, 17 Jul 2007 22:49:44 +0000

Re "What we have now is a far cry from what was originally envisioned.."- That's true... on so many levels. We started out being free to make our own liquor, grow what we liked, and to move Westward with impunity (and to buy & sell human workers, & some other less savory social options). We have come a long ways... and discovered that the physical "freedoms" we once had became conflict zones between "free" individuals- and that government became an arbitrating force. We also felt, in general, that roads should be a common concern (not just a private one)... and that schools should be inclusive-and paid for by those who were taxed (land-owners, mostly... males who also had the right to vote). Many changes... with a general tendency to favor the greatest number with what was considered the greatest good, at the time... I don't imagine that the early founders of our country really saw a continent-wide settlement of 300 million people, or could have embraced wars with people halfway 'round the world with whom we shared no language, few customs, and virtually no physical contact (other than that encountered by the armed forces that we sent to those places). Lots of things have changed... and I'd certainly embrace a return to a number of the beliefs held by the early Americans... though not all. ^..^

By: rc21

Tue, 17 Jul 2007 15:09:35 +0000

I can give you just as many quotes supporting the opposite view. The fact is, and this is really not in dispute, that our country was founded on the belief that there would be a limited amount of taxation and that we would also have a very limited amount of central govt regulation in regards to our personal lives. What we have now is a far cry from what was originally envisioned.

By: Potter

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 20:43:23 +0000

RC21- The war of Independence was not about being taxed per se, but being taxed without representation... no inconsequential detail. The founders of our country conceived of taxes as part of a citizen's duty and responsibility so that the elected government could promote and provide for the general welfare. Says so in the Constitution..... Of those who greatly influenced our founding fathers, those who wrote the Constitution by which we live together,ratified by all states: John Locke said: 'Tis true that governments cannot be supported without great charge, and it is fit everyone who enjoys a share of protection should pay out of his estate his proportion of the maintenance of it. and this: The subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state ....[As Henry Home (Lord Kames) has written, a goal of taxation should be to] "remedy inequality of riches as much as possible, by relieving the poor and burdening the rich." Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776

By: rc21

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 13:31:08 +0000

Potter, I think the ''It's your money mantra" was actually started by the founders of our country way back in the 1700's culminating in a little thing we called our war of independence. But why get caught up in little inconsequnuential details.

By: rc21

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 13:22:38 +0000

First I also feel bad for people who get into tough situations,and if you read some of my earlier posts you will see I said people who have phisical and or mental disabilities should be helped by the govt. You and your family fit that criteria. Your husband had knee surgery which I'm sure prevented him from working, and your child has health problems. So I would have no problems with you getting help from the govt. Don't worry about being to harsh On this forum it's fairly common.

By: 4gr8kidz

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 01:33:32 +0000

RC21, I think you in particular are really getting kinda slammed here, I was too harsh, and I read your further posts.....I agree on the "owe me" attitude SOME people have, along with those who abuse the system and milk it for anything they can get. ( My DH and I had our children when he was making PLENTY of money to care for them, by they way, after 8 yrs of infertility!) I agree also, that we should do everything in our power to better ourselves, and our education to get out of a bad situation. (We certainly do!) I too, use oatmeal, yogurt and other cheap healthy foods, and I like I said, we do make it. None of my children are obese/overweight. I am out in Upstate NY, so I dont' know about this congressman or his agenda. I don't have regular internet access, we only have 5 bills (Morgage, electric, propane,phone, water) We have no huge debt, credit cards etc. We ONLY get food stamps and WIC. We certainly don't intend to have them forever!! What I struggle with is the stigma, and attitude that EVERYONE blah blah blah. I differ from you, in that I DO feel bad for those worse off than we are! You can't always just pick up and move. First of all, houses are not selling here. No way to get a new place, if you cant' sell the old one. Second of all, some people have obligations, such as elderly family care, they can't move away from. If we could sell and move to find better jobs, we would. You do what you have to do! If it takes 3 jobs, well, you work and don't sleep. And sometimes, that still just isn't enough. I try not to feel bad about getting food stamps, but its' hard when there's so many people out there who want to make you feel like a lazy, slob who doesn't want to work. I think you present your arguments well, but I also think it's hard for some to take. And that's ok too, right!? Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for being harsh to you in particular, as you have many valid issues, just as those of us in this situation do as well.

By: 4gr8kidz

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 00:54:47 +0000

I can't believe some of the attitudes and comments like RC21. My family is on foodstamps. We hate it. We never thought we'd be in this situation. My Husband lost his job, and we had a new house, 4 small children. (Not like we can just sell the house, and move to a area with more jobs.) Then this year, in ONE month, our only car broke, my husband had knee surgery, my infant had health crisis....and here we are. My children are on Medicaid. We get WIC. Let me tell you, you have NO IDEA what your'e talking about rc21. There are people out here, who have an education, have worked since we were 14 yrs old...and thru no fault of our own, have to use this program. We get $400 a month for a family of 6, and this and WIC are our ONLY source of food. We have a child that had to be on a gluten-free diet for several months, and we could not afford to feed her. Thank God, she is ok now and we can stop gluten free food. You can not get much on $100 a week with good nutrition, but we manage. You can get 3 boxes of crappy powder mac n cheese for .99, but you can't get apples, bananas, lettuce, lean meat for less that twice that. Honestly, it's no wonder people on welfare and food stamps can be unhealthy!! You are forced to stretch your money as far as possible, shopping at places like ALDI's and Save-a-lot, where all they have is canned, processed, salt/sugar-free stuff I don't want to feed my kids! Do you realize you can get 2 liters of soda for 60c but you can't get a gallon of milk for less than $2. Spaghetti-o's may be 4 cans for a dollar, but have like NO nutrition at all! Luckily we have enough yard to have a nice garden. We make our own bread, I have a pasta maker for homemade pasta, I sew most of our clothes, diapers, house things like curtains, napkins. I consider myself lucky. At least I KNOW how to sew, cook, clean, can, garden etc. You have no idea how hard it is, when we can't find any jobs, and our children are there looking to us to care for them. If it was not for food stamps, we would not be able to do this. We do not get assistance, only food stamps, and we work our butts off EVERY DAY to scrape by on what jobs we found. We have to listen to our kids asking "Do we have money for fruit snacks? granola bars?" and have to say no. They see their friends having all sorts of ice cream, chips, snacks and colorful cereals, that just is not an option for us. How sad when my 7 yr old can tell my 4 yr old what we can and can't choose, and what stores we can or can't shop at. No, we didn't starve TODAY. But I have certainly lived on one meal a day so I can feed my children 3. There have been MANY weeks this past year, where we had nothing but cherrios, eggs and peanut butter for more than two days in a row. We do not drink, smoke, do drugs, we went to college, we got jobs, we still work. We still keep looking for better jobs. You best hope you never have injury, illness, job layoff, company fold, because then YOU will see how easy it is, and maybe YOU can go to bed hungry and walk in our shoes.

By: herbert browne

Fri, 13 Jul 2007 08:54:07 +0000

What I remember about Reagan and his "It's your money" mantra was that, when he came into office, the takeout for FICA on my paychecks was 5.85%- and when he left office it had nearly doubled. This was a tax on all of us at the "bottom" of the economic pile (since there's a cap on how much is taxed) with a greater effect on the working poor than on anybody else. And his deficit budgets essentially took that money to pay for arms programs- and left IOUs in the Social Security fund. So much for "it's your money". It 's Your Money when Your Picture is on it! To avail oneself of a government program is simply doing what's expected, no? If you're a farmer, and USDA will pay you NOT to grow something, do you tell them "No, thanks"? If we had a national health care guarantee of service, paid for by our taxes, would we resist going to see a doctor because it wouldn't be right to burden the government? At a time when corporations Pay people to go and GIVE MONEY to congresspersons, in order to encourage reciprocal "good will" on some level, just how selfish is it- if one legitimately qualifies, according to the rules- to take part in a government program? Is it "selfish" for someone who doesn't pay property taxes to send their children to the public schools? The principal motivation for me in those "days of wine and food stamps" was actually to be more self-sufficient WITHOUT taking the "More money is better" path- ie to pursue a kind of "subsidized pioneer" approach to living and raising a family. One reason that I took the wires off the house and had the meter removed was because the head of the Bonneville Power Authority was predicting huge energy shortages- and was instrumental in pushing for a consortium of public & private entities into floating bonds to build 5 nuclear power plants out here in the NW. (It was called WPPSS). I wanted to do my part to reduce demand (albeit an infinitesimal part). The plan was a colossal failure- one functioning plant was built- and the bonds became a joke. It was "conservation" that eliminated the "crisis" (eg insulated hot water tanks, thermopane windows, etc)... but the alarmist official went on to become Reagan's Energy Secretary. Anyway, the best education I ever got was the 12 years without AC current in my happy home. It forced a lot of adapting and rethinking on us- for the better, mostly. Having temporal constraints that were different from those imposed by a "9 to 5" job meant that I could exercise my curiosity about events in my neighborhood- like going to "public" meetings- which I wouldn't have been able to do, otherwise. When Nixon's administration promulgated the community planning mandates for places near the coast, the meetings were purely for the "self-interest" crowd- big property owners, commercial business people (marinas, sawmills, etc), realtors & county commissioners... & maybe someone from the regional weekly paper. There weren't any "ordinary" citizens- at first. When I showed up at one I was really the "odd duck" there... and when I asked a question, it was obvious right away that I was considered an idiot, to the 15 or so participants there. I wrote a "letter to the editor" of our weekly and said that the future of the area was being planned- and that if people couldn't make it to the meetings, that maybe they ought to send their high school aged children to the meetings, because they were the ones who would have to live with what was being p[...]

By: Potter

Thu, 12 Jul 2007 10:30:06 +0000

RC21 says: You see this is what I find wrong with so many people, They really donâ€(image) t care about anyone but themselves. Speaking of selfishness: It was Ronald Reagan I believe who began this "it's your money" mantra and did us a great disservice. "And we want to give it back to you" was added. And so other Republicans since, including Bush1 and Bush 2 have repeated and rallied around that cry. How incredibly irresponsible! The mantra should be "it's YOUR government." In that "it's your money" cry I find a lot of what has gone wrong in this country... we are a lot more selfish and uncaring about the good of the whole society, indeed the world. And this gets rationalized in phrases like "trickle down" and "lifting all boats".

By: Potter

Thu, 12 Jul 2007 09:57:52 +0000

No sir! You pay for your government just like your employer pays for you. Your employer does not come to you and say "what are you doing with my money?" On the other hand your representatives are responsible to you and others. If you do not like what your reps are doing, then you can be heard. You can pressure or petition them or not vote for them. You can protest your grievances. But the money is no longer yours. It's what you pay to live here- travel on roads, have your borders protected, your air cleaner,your public parks and reserves, wildlife protected, your laws of conduct, banking and corporate laws, enforced, your social security, your air and airwaves regulated, so on and so on - so that you can live your life. Your quarrel is with the majority in this country who want to have social programs out of conscience to help the less fortunate. How can you blame anyone for taking advantage of what they are offered by your government? Your problem and mine is we are not happy with some things that the government is doing in our name. I am with Herbert Browne about spending money on war and giving breaks to corporations and the wealthy. And when he says "It's all the government's money". He is right.

By: rc21

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 22:42:57 +0000

Wrong. First it is my money. It is the money of every person who works and pays taxes. The Govt takes my hard earned money and spends it. Herbert has decided he would like to have some of my money and asks the govt if he may have some. It is not admirable to live the type of lifestyle you desire if it requires stealing money from other people, be it simple robbery or through a third party IE the govt. Just because the govt has set up social welfare programs does not mean that you should be looking to take advantage of them. They are supposed to be for people who have come on hard times through no fault of their own. They are not supposed to be for people who wish to lead a bohemian lifestyle because they think it is more spiritualy rewarding than the typical 9-5 grind most of us have to put up with.

By: Potter

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 19:28:25 +0000

Thank you Herbert and Flow. RC21- I don't see how leading the lifestyle one desires a la Herbert Browne, which includes much that ultimately benefits society as a whole means that one does not care about anyone else. And if you are not leading the lifestyle you desire- why not? Herbert Browne's history is admirable. First of all he did not take your hard earned money. When the government takes your money it's no longer your money. It's what you pay to be part of society. The government provides you as well with what you need. it seems that Herbert Browne took minimal advantage of what the government offered him while living mostly independently and very productively during that period. I would bet he paid back in spades, over the years, what he took. What I find wrong with so many these days is that they expect the government to provide all sorts of things but don't want to pay their share. As far as vaccinations go ( and preventative health care in general)- it's in everyone's interest, the common good, to prevent illness and disease.

By: rc21

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 17:38:02 +0000

So Herbert, You don't have a problem taking my hard earned money so that you may lead the lifestyle that you desire. You see this is what I find wrong with so many people, They really don't care about anyone but themselves.

By: flow

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 14:41:27 +0000

I'd like to add the power of integrity to the list.

By: flow

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 14:39:58 +0000

I'm with you herbert browne! I have a bit of a confession of my own. I once paid 180,000 dollars in a single year in income tax. I owned (without mortgagee) a 27-acre estate in a national scenic area. I was under 40 and "retired". I won't say I wasn't happy; I was by any contemporary cultural measure or sense. I was self-medicating, alcohol mostly, not heavy, just enough to "relax" at night and "loosen up" to enjoy the companionship of my co-patriots, but enough to keep my conscience soaked and my most of my dreams at bay. However, I made a few mistakes, I got rid of my TV. I turned off the radio and starting playing music. I stop taking the paper. I started getting up early to watch the sunrise. I began traveling to remote locations on the globe to walk in beautiful places, and meeting "impoverished" natives of many cultures (in their eyes I saw a spark and on their faces a genuine smile that was so unusually rare "where I come from."). I began a descent into the recesses of my heart, a search for soul. I started reading, but mostly I just started listening to the wind, and bird songs, and watching deer graze. And I began to feel something stir inside of me, to awaken. I don't care much for "institutional" or organized religions. I prefer finding my own path. I think the bible makes great poetry, good literature and bad history. Gradually, things changed in my life, mostly values. I took an inventory of my values and measured it against how I spent my time. I accepted personal responsibility for every thought, word and action in my life. Today, I have a small house, a garden, and a beautiful, loving woman in my life. I'm the director of marketing and communication for a non-profit organization. I live in an urban area surrounded by the most awe-inspiring, amazing beauty one can imagine. I don't make much money, I don't pay much in tax, but I dwell in a place of deep contentment. Of course there is the odd moment of frustration, emptiness or confusion, but invariably each moment quickly morphs into instruction regarding power management (the power of intention, the power of imagination, the power of intuition, the power of now). In my life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are irrevocable and inalienable. Real happiness, real liberty. Who was it that said, "seek and you shall find"?

By: herbert browne

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 09:28:36 +0000

I am reminded of some "words to live by"- from the Bible- something like "O Lord, be merciful to me, the sinner"... I got food stamps for my family & me for about 10 years (& welfare for a month of that time)... and WIC, too, for a few years... rented, all that time... never had work that lasted beyond a season, other than "self employment" (cutting wood to sell, fishing, harvesting mushrooms, selling produce from the garden- stuff like that). We lived with as little dependence on cash as possible. I "paid rent" by working for the owners of the properties we inhabited (reroofing one place, and digging a drainfield for the septic system that had never been "completely installed"... and pulling noxious weeds at another place- a farm- weeds that could kill cows & horses that grazed on them). We had no health insurance- and figured the best way to stay healthy was to learn about it. Our last four kids were born at home- no doc, no midwife- and that "saved" a little money. We made our own flour, our own bread, our own beer & wine, canned up several hundred quarts a season, dined on roadkill and fresh fish, crabs, mussels, berries, goat's milk, eggs, apples & pears from old abandoned homesteads, grocery store dumpsters, wherever there was food. We "bought" Special stuff- frozen juices, nut butter, raisins, dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter, etc), bananas & "foreign" fruits & vegetables, brown rice, condiments (tamari, etc), ovaltine, and the like, with our food stamps. Oh, yes- we got free inoculations, via WIC & "well baby" clinics, of the measles/mumps/pertussis variety... and eventually the polio vaccines, too- all on the government dole, bless 'em! The most money I made in a single year from 1969 to 1982 was well within 4 digits... and my wife worked as mom and homemaker all that time- for us- (although she sold some crocheted hats & socks, through consignment, sometimes). So, it was a one-paycheck family, when there were checks. It's true that there's so much opportunity, and so much wealth in this country that it's hard not to accumulate stuff of value. Look in any of the myriad dumpsters around... simply overflowing with value & abundance! But the idea of "bettering" oneself, class-wise, by the "make more money, own more stuff, commune with successful people" route is, in my humble opinion, highly over-rated. (How much do you want to know about someone's golf game, and wine preferences?) The poor, especially those who manage to achieve what the former president of Haiti sought for his countrymen, ie "Poverty with Dignity", are more interesting, more likely to wax philosophical, and more grounded than the majority of those who are "well-off"... and quite likely more honest, as well (you know, that Dylan line about "to live outside the law you must be honest" is based on a shrewd observation). There were no "vacations" in those years (unless activities like sitting by a beach fire while you extracted sea salt, and roasted mussels & potatoes counts as "vacation")... and not a lot of unnecessary travel, either. (I realized, upon flying to a conference in SF in 1999 that it had been 32 years since I'd last boarded a plane.) There was also no household electric power- so no tv, refri[...]

By: whatamess

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 22:27:13 +0000

I agree with RC21 100%. I would love to have more than one child, unfortunately, I have only one because that is what I can afford to support ON MY OWN. In our situation my husband has another child from a previous relationship he pays support for. No problem, I agree 100%. Problem is, the mother (same as kentucky mom here) seems to think it's ok to continue to have children (she now has 2 more), and then go after my husband for more money because she doesn't have enough for her first daughter. Well, go figure. Yes, my husband and I chose to have a child together, but it was based on what was left after he supported his daughter...and we never took away from her, or attempted to lower CS based on a new child. On the other hand, she, receives public assistance and gets all kinds of credits, etc...and expects us to support both her daughter and HER lifestyle with her other two children. I support my son 100%. My son has autism, and even though it is difficult for us, I cannot justify getting SSI and not selling my house in order to give him the best of what he deserves. I also throughout my son's diagnosis have found out that I am on that same autism/adhd area...(my son has both), yet I have had a job for 18+ years! Do I love my job? No! I don't! But as a responsible adult, I know that what I like, what I can deal with and what I need to do in life, are very separate things...therefore, I stay...It is very hard to focus...Sometimes it takes me an entire day to "do nothing" because my mind wonders, but I think of my son and soon realize that whether I like it or not, I have to do it for him. Period. We moved out of our comfortable area, where my parents were, my sisters/brothers, etc...just so that my husband could get a better paying job and bring us out of the whole his ex-wife put us under...we did and sacrificed because that's what parents do. It is hard for us. We have nobody to take care of our son, therefore, we are with him 24/7, no adult time to think of...period. And now with his diagnosis, it's even more difficult...but we do what we have to do. That's what parents do. With that said, we understand that care for our son might be better where we used to live and therefore, we might have to go from a nice house to a one/two bedroom apartment because my husband's ex-wife ruined his that our fault, no. Is it our son's fault, no. But it SURE ISN'T the TAXPAYER's fault! Therefore, we do what we have to do...and if it means we go to an apartment, that after working full time for over 18 years, making over 65K a year, just so that I can ensure a better future for our son, then that's what we do. By the way, it never ceases to amaze me when people complain about not having money to eat, want the tax-payers to pay their way...but have a computer and internet service...lovely...just lovely. Before you speak, I have it because my job pays for it, as it is required for my's not a luxury I chose to have.

By: rc21

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 15:38:36 +0000

Kentucky mom, wev'e gone over this, People have moved from the begining of time in order to better their situation. You seem to make poor choices in your your attempts to relocate. Is that my fault? You say relocating to a bigger city would not be good for your children. So instead of going where the jobs are you would rather have me help pay for you to stay in an area that is nice for your kids to grow up in but not condusive to better employment. No problem let me get out my check book. I'd hate to see your kids have to move to a different town. Job training and upgrading education. Once again you seem intent on blaming others for your lack of education and job skills. This is no ones fault but your own. School is free up until grade 12. College is pretty cheap when you use the JC and state school route. There are also all types of trade schools for young men and women. If you did not follow this path when you finished high school it is your fault. There is also the service. This is how I was able to get some of my education. It is free. It seems you had a great chance of doing something with your nursing program but you were dropped. This is your fault not mine or the tax payer. Yes your having 5 kids knowing you could not properly take care of them is a big issue. It speaks to personal responsibility. and accepting consequences for ones actions. As I said earlier I think your a good person who is doing their best to raise a family, I'm not totally against you recieving govt aid seeing as to how there seems to be some health issues. But go back and reread your posts. You seem to have a reason for all the things that have put you in the situation you are now in. With the exception of you and your husbands health issues,All came about through your actions. You seem to have fallen prey to the liberal socialist brainwashing of the Democratic party. Go out and do whatever you like. If things don't work out don't worry the govt will take care of you.Personal responsibility does not matter. We will provide welfare, housing, free education, free medical, food stamps, WIC, Head start, etc etc. The list is never ending. Just make sure you vote DEM come November. The problem is none of these programs and entitlements are really free. They are paid for by the tax payer. People like me who try and act responsible and make decisions based on what they can afford and what they can't. I call it common sense. Sorry to sound so harsh but this sense of entitlement that people seem to have come to expect drives me crazy some times. It would be one thing if this was Cuba or some other country where oppertunities are limited, but in the US If you want to make it you can. I understand you have some health issues but honestly go back in time do you think you always made the right choices when you were younger and even more recently. I know I didn't and have had to live with the consequences, Good luck I hope things get better for you and your family.

By: rc21

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 14:55:46 +0000

alabama mama, I guess you like responding to people without even reading or comprehending what they have written. Go back and read my posts. I believe I stated at least twice that people who are mentally or physically handicapped should be helped by the govt. In my june 14 5;28 post. I even state the govt could probably do more for the disabled. By the way are you trying to tell me the govt gives you and your family only 320 a month. My guess is you are recieving much more in aid from the govt. Has your husband applied for disability? Can you get on welfare? Do you recieve any subsidized housing? You also may be eligible for sec 8 assistance. Have you looked into WIC. Do your kids recieve any aid from the govt? Ther are many govt programs out there that you can take advantage of.

By: KentuckyMom

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 13:45:31 +0000

rc 21 "For all others there is a funny concept called a job." Most on food stamps do work. We do. 40+ hrs a week. ********************************************* "move" relocating cost a lot of money if you have a family. Where is this money going to come from. relocating to a larger city would not be good for the kids. Besides we have moved 5 times across country for better jobs. It didnt work and because with every change we lost our friends and people who knew us the job possibilities went down. We've learned that sometimes staying put and developing your contacts within the community you stand a better chance of landing a better job. This works in small towns. ********************************************* "upgrading your skills or training" This also cost money and time.....where is this money going to come from? with working 40 plus hrs a week there would have to be some extra time to go to the training. We are older and we do need to sleep at least 5 to 6 hrs a night(we don't always get this) Need time to do the cooking from scratch. Need time to wash the clothes out by hand. Need time to WALK to my job from my husbands job and then back(only one car) Need time to spend time with the kids, even though they are all above 12 yrs old now they still need and want time with us(strange huh?, teens that want to spend time with their parents!) My husband is disabled. He has ADHD and diabetes His ADHD is really bad enough he could more then likely get disability but he does not want to. He wants to work. The job he has now does not pay a lot not with the health insur. that comes right out of it and the life insurance. But it does have health and life and a retirement plan. Also with his ADHD he had a horrible problem keeping jobs in the first half of our marriage. However because of the nature of this job he as been able to stay on task for 12 yrs and keep this job.. Oh yeah, he also had to herniated disk in his neck about 19 years ago and had to have surgery on them. He can not do heavy lifting. And me? Well I have ADD but not any where as bad and others. I did try nursing school when I was just out of high school and couldn't make it. I got a B average on all of my classes but at the time I was so shy I could not talk to my fellow students let alone the patients. I had no self confidence at all. So I was dropped from the program. Since then besides raising the kids(my first from my first marriage was handicapped(died 4 yrs ago) and after the age of 6 my ex did not pay any child support at all!) I've worked at low wage jobs. Before I had all of the other 5 kids I did get a 2 yrs degree with the intent of going to a 4 yr school in Utah(elementary special ed) but got pregnant with twins. This was a shock because we had tried for over 2 yrs to get pregnant. I had every complication you could think of while pregnant and was put on bed rest. They tried to come 10 weeks early but with bed rest we gave them another 5 weeks. While they were born 5 weeks early by emergency c-section they were healthy enough to come home when only 4 days old. (4lbs 6oz and 5lbs 6oz). I never got back to college after that. I know you don't agree with us having had five kids together but it is a very deeply held religious belief that I re[...]

By: Brian Dunbar

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 03:53:05 +0000

brian, if youâ€(image) ll notice, i said “about”… Sure. I'm used to the phrase 'do the math' being followed by hard numbers. Probably just the company I keep.

By: alabama_mama

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 00:47:40 +0000

brian, if you'll notice, i said "about"...

By: Brian Dunbar

Tue, 03 Jul 2007 17:59:34 +0000

Our current monthly allotment is $340.00 a month, so you do the math and tell me what that averages out to per person for a week. A bout 20 bucks $19.83 per week, assuming a four-person family and a thirty day month. If you're going to say 'do the math' it helps if you do the math as well.

By: alabama_mama

Tue, 03 Jul 2007 17:21:55 +0000

RC21...if you are not forced into using food stamps to survive then you have no idea how little the goverment gives for a person to survive on. The fact that no one starved last month in the Us (your words) is not the issue. We are a family of four. My husband became disabled on the job, and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I was forced to leave my job to take care of him because at this stage in his recovery he requires full time care. We have two small children in the home that were here before his injury, and going on fod stamps to keep them fed was our only option. Our current monthly allotment is $340.00 a month, so you do the math and tell me what that averages out to per person for a week. A bout 20 bucks. SO yes people are actually having to survive on that. The issue isnt that it is not enough to survive on, people can survive for onths on bread and water, the issue is that it isnt enough to survive good on. My children have went for a week without a single peice of fruit or vegetables. They are so expensive that to make sure they have them we have to sacrifice other things they like, like cookies. now you tellme that is fair, or better yet, try it yourself before you judge. I doubt you could do it.

By: KentuckyMom

Sat, 30 Jun 2007 18:29:31 +0000

"# 1st/14th Says: June 26th, 2007 at 1:14 pm Hereâ€(image) s an idea, get a job and pay for your food the same way I do." ************************************************************* I do have a job. 40 plus hrs a week. Took a higher paying job over a job that I loved. My husband does have a job(as always had a job). He's been at the same job for 12 years. It has health benefits and a retirement plan. He has pre-existing health conditions which would make dumping his current job just dumb. Like I said judging others is just well.........just not right unless you have been there yourself. I would not wish what I have been through on anyone just so they could understand, just so they could walk in another's shoe's. Blessings KentuckyMom

By: 1st/14th

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 17:14:29 +0000

Here's an idea, get a job and pay for your food the same way I do.

By: lotek0000

Sun, 24 Jun 2007 17:31:11 +0000

Let's continue to bring awareness to this issue. I have begun journaling our experience as we participate in this important challenge:

By: Greta

Sat, 23 Jun 2007 13:46:45 +0000

KentuckyMom, many thanks for sharing your story. And thanks to everyone on this thread for keeping things within the commenting guidelines -- as ever, when there's such a fundamental disagreement about economics, social programs, and the role of government, tempers are going to flare. Conventional wisdom right now says that the culture of anonymity on the web torpedoes fruitful disagreement. On our best days, this community proves that wrong.

By: KentuckyMom

Sat, 23 Jun 2007 05:23:47 +0000

We stay here because it's a very good place, a very safe place to raise children. Yes a bigger city would have better paying jobs, but it would also have higher crime and higher prices on housing. We own our own home. It also cost a lot to move anywhere.(we've moved five times over the years) Now here is something I'm sure will make some even more upset then they already are...we had six kids but our oldest died 4 yrs ago. He would be 26 now(from my first marriage). We have one car. I walk a LOT. I'm not obese. I would rather companies choose to locate in smaller communities and thus bring better paying jobs to Americans(at least American companies) but they don't , they choose to move these companies overseas so they don't have to pay higher wages...but that is their choice. I just got a new job making more then I ever had. This job has the possibility of upward movement. The job my husband has has health care insurance, profit sharing(12 years worth), life insurance etc.. He has pre-existing health problems so just droping this job would be foolish. I'm sorry if having a large family makes some people angry but we felt it was important. I have a question for those who are against things like medicaid or some sort of national health care. If its ok for us all to pay taxes for public schools, roads, bridges, police, firemen....things we all pay into and all reap the benifit of, then why would it be wrong to have something like national health care? Ok that was off track. Washing clothes in the bathtub. Boy was that a trip! Done it several times over the years. Found that its easier to wring the water out of the clothes if you have one of those wringer things on your mop pail(just make sure its clean!). When our dryer was busted found out that that a clothes line indoors(winter time) with a fan blowing on it works real well. I have two years of college. I was going to transfer to a four year school after my first two years at a local junior college but I got pregnant with twins and was put on bed rest. We had been trying for over 2 years to get pregnant. Didnt happen. So we thought I wouldn't be able to get pregnant....wrong! It couldn't have happened at the worst possible time. My husband had just been hurt in an on the job accident and had to have surgery. He also had to go on workmens comp. The doctor wanted him to not work for 4 months. But he went back to work after two. He worked Three different part time jobs(about 60+ hrs a week) when he went back to work(could no longer do the job he had been doing due to his injury). I couldn't go right back to work..I had an emergancy c-section with the twins. They are now 18 and have both graduated. Both have plans of college and one of them plans to go into the Air Force in about six months to a year. My younger ones, 12, 14 and 15 are all good kids. NONE of my kids have ever been in trouble at school or with the law. My youngest daughter at the age of 13(last summer) spent all summer with me at my former job(Infant-room teacher at a[...]

By: Brian Dunbar

Sat, 23 Jun 2007 02:35:02 +0000

So those of you that are judging. Please donâ€(image) t unless you walk in our shoes and not in yours alone. A pox on that. I've been poor - I've washed my clothes in the bathtub and all the rest of that crap you mention. I won't go there and mention that woe is me laundry list - it's boring and tedious and no one cares. You don't have to be fat to tell an obese person how to diet and exercise. You don't have to be poor to have an opinion on poverty. You improvise and adapt. You move to where the jobs are. You get an education. You get ambitious. You try like hell to make things better for yourself. No promises that you'll make it but you do have the opportunity here to elevate your social class and position.

By: rc21

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 13:19:26 +0000

Kentuckymom. I enjoyed your story. Am I supposed to feel bad for you? Listen This is a free country and you have plenty of options. Let me address a few of your points. First you say that there are not alot of high paying jobs where you live. MOVE. Relocate to an area of the country where the job market is better,people do this all the time. Second. What is the education level of you and your husband? In all the years that you have been togeather working low wage jobs did you ever give consideration to going back to school and upgrading your skills or training so that you could make more money? Third and this one really pisses me off 5 kids. Do you not understand that children are costly. When I was young and had my first child I loved it but we quickly realized how expensive raising a child was. We had originally planned on having a big family, Our circumstances were not unlike yours I was making 6 dollars an hour working construction my wife was making slightly less as a secretary. (This was 1984 In Mass a very expensive state) We understood right away a large family was just something we could never afford. We had one more kid and then went to work at bettering our circumstances through increased job training and cotinuing our education. (many long hard days and nights. Many sacrifices) In this way we never had to go on food stamps, welfare,medicade or any other type of government hand out program. In so doing I missed out on the big family,but at least I wasn't making other working Americans help pay for my family. You made the choice to have 5 children. Now you want me to help you feed them. Is it ok if me and my wife decide to continue our family and I send you the food bill? Your story is pretty much what I see wrong in this country. people no longer want to take any kind of responsibility for their decisions. They feel that there should be some sort of govt program to help them. Why is it people feel they are entitled to all these programs? Why do they get so upset when someone advocates for personal responsibility over govt handouts? I applaud the fact that you both work and have stayed togeather for 20 years. I'm sure you are a fine family who tries there best. It's a tough world that I will grant you. I'm sorry if I sound so harsh but as I said we all are free to make decisions and with these decisions come consequences,and responsibilities. You are correct it could be worse. You could live in a country where there is no chance to better yourself. Instead you live in a country where oppertunities for success are everywhere. People risk death just for the chance to be part of the American economic system. So yes you have my sympathies and understanding. I just don't want you to have my hard earned money. I would rather spend my money on my family. Is that so hard for you to understand?

By: KentuckyMom

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 00:54:02 +0000

I am married. I have 5 kids. My husband works 40 plus hrs a week(at the same job for 12 yrs now). I work 40 hrs a week. We still get food stamps and have a hard time making ends meet. How much food stamps do you think we get? About $89 to $149 per month to feed a family of 7. Lazy? Don't work? Frankly we did better when I didn't work and we got around 240 a month on food stamps. We ate better(I only used food stamps...didn't buy extra, but made everything myself). We had fewer bills. However when the kids got older we wanted them to see both parents working and doing everything we could to take care of ourselves and them. Better paying jobs would certainly help. But in eastern KY there isn't many of those to go around. So before some of you try to get rid of the food stamp program try walking a month or two in our shoes. Working more then full time, take care of your children, spend time with your children(not your buddies at the bar complaining how lazy we food stamp people are) Try washing your families clothes out by hand because you would rather buy your kids food then pay a repairman to fix the washing machine. Go without air conditioning in KY summer heat guessed it, you choose to buy your kids good food instead of paying a repairman. Cook the food yourself. Only go out with your husband/wife once a year because most of the extra money is going where?(yep food). Oh and you can not go out for steak because that is to expensive. Be married for 20 plus years. Don't ever go out for drinks. Don't ever take illegal drugs. Be true to each other for the whole 20 plus years. Don't go to the doctor because you can't afford it.(I haven't in 12 yrs). Do all this and then maybe you can complain and whine about how lazy and stupid food stamp people are! This is NOT directed at anyone here except those that think they know all about people who happen to have to use food stamps. Hoping at least for us, the stigma of food stamps will be leaving us. I have a new job that will more then likely knock us out of food stamps. However for a family of 7 we are still gonna be far below what most people take for granted. Being able to buy the food they need when they need it(not the extras). Between us we will still only make under 2500 a month. Plus we will more then likely not have food stamps or free lunch or medicaid.(the kids have/had medicaid...not us) We still think its better to be working. It could be worse. We could be one of those lazy welfare people! Right? Or maybe a better word would be the working poor. Which isn't gonna change with this new job....not really. So those of you that are judging. Please don't unless you walk in our shoes and not in yours alone. KentuckyMom

By: Dick King

Wed, 20 Jun 2007 17:16:46 +0000

Yes, $21/week is the average food stamp benefit, but the reason the average does not equal the significantly larger allotment from this table is that almost all food stamp recipients have incomes high enough that the formulae assume the person will spend some money from other sources to supplement their food budget. There are food stamp recipients that are only getting $25 per month, but these people are suffering a lot less than the ones who are receiving the average $21/week or the maximum $35/week because their incomes are higher. I find the food stamp challenge to be disengenuous for that reason alone. The people who promulgate it are in a position to understand the fact that nobody is expected to feed themselves on $21, and they don't recalibrate it to match the lowest amount with which anyone is expected to feed themselves, or even explain this issue. -dk

By: Pie and Coffee » Grace Ross talks about the food stamp diet

Wed, 20 Jun 2007 00:48:40 +0000

[...] Congress, have taken the challenge to eat on $3 a day, the average US food stamp benefit. Open Source did a great show about the food stamp challenge.  Grace Ross [...]

By: plnelson

Tue, 19 Jun 2007 20:25:10 +0000

Well, itâ€(image) s only a Small fortune The 2002 Farm Bill (that authorized the current subsidy prgram) was $180 billion. That's a Big fortune in my book. Think about the alchemy of farming- ie “something from Nothing”- and remember that the “something” is the first and foremost of the “3 necessities”- food, shelter & clothing. Itâ€(image) s the only one that one canâ€(image) t live without. . . . which is precisely why you don't need a subsidy. Food IS a necessity so the demand guaratees that someone will grow it. If the U.S. didnâ€(image) t subsidize farmers, then we would be alone among the developed world in Not doing so- because every country realizes the importance of food production. That's not why they do it. These issues come up for debate regularly in many countries. If you look at recent debates over farm subsidies in Japan and France, you see that the real reason they're hard to defeat politically is sentimental. Most nations - France and Japan being good examples - identify with their rural past. Th small family farmer embodies the virtues of honesty, goodness and self-reliance that they romatically connect to. I FULLY UNDERSTAND THIS - I wrote a blog entry on the moral virtues of cow manure recently - But the reality is much of the money goes to corporate farms, not small family farmers, and the very idea of accepting government mony (to grow or not to grow) flies in the face of the very virtues that we claim to admire about farmers.

By: Zucchini Matters « Terrific Whistlers

Mon, 18 Jun 2007 16:05:53 +0000

[...] s not an easy task to make $21 cover a weekâ€(image) s worth of groceries. In a recent episode of Radio Open Source devoted to this topic, blogger and homemaker extraordinaire, Mi [...]

By: rc21

Sun, 17 Jun 2007 01:56:30 +0000

Thanks for the kind words. Could you please point out where I said being on food stamps makes someone any less of a person. I've been poor. I work 2 sometimes 3 jobs. That is how I support my family. Please you know nothing about me. I'm entitled to judge just like everyone else. Who gave you the right to decide who may and may not comment about this issue. I am educated bout this subject certainly as educated as you. Why are you afraid to discuss ideas with people who do not agree with you. You seem a bit close minded. I certainly would not want myself or my family to be around someone who is so intolerant of others. Have a nice day.

By: heather21230

Sun, 17 Jun 2007 00:02:05 +0000

I have to address some comments I found quite appalling from member "rc21." First... you said something about people on foodstamps are on other government-funded programs? Where'd you hear that? Sorry to burst your IGNORANCE "bubble," but that is not always the case! Believe it or not, there are MANY MORE people out there on foodstamps who WORK, and simply cannot afford to pay for groceries... in addition to all of the other, many bills they pay! Secondly... you talk about people "just getting jobs?!" Why don't YOU put yourself in poverty, living life as a single parent, with no help from anyone other than YOURSELF... then, MAYBE, you'd be "entitled" to judge a bit! NOT!!! I can only say, that... most of what you say if obviously born out of complete ignorance of other people and the way we all live. We are NOT all the same. We have different backgrounds, different values, different upbringings and so on. Being on foodstamps or any other government-subsidized program does NOT make anyone "less of a person," as you presume. Believe it or NOT... many people on foodstamps, and other government programs, are actually intelligent, college-educated, functioning people in society who just happened to have fallen on bad times! Educate yourself on these matters, please, before you go out assuming everyone/everyone's situation is the same/should be treated as such!!! This is how IGNORANCE is bred and I, for one, would not want anyone with ideas such as yours coming within 1,000 feet of me/or my family!!!!!

By: mr. closets

Sat, 16 Jun 2007 23:02:37 +0000

Why should our government give food money to poor people when they cannot afford to pay for maintaining our military. As one of the worlds wealthies nations we have no excuse for this treatment of our more unfortunatel citizens. I do not believe in a large welfare government, but many honest and hard working families fall on hard times. Anyone who has purchased groceries in Europe (where food and fuel is not subsidized as much) would not complain about the prices we pay in the States.

By: herbert browne

Sat, 16 Jun 2007 07:35:08 +0000

Re "These farm subsidies are costing taxpayers a fortune and grossly distorting the markets. If we got rid of them some wheat farmers would go out of business UNTIL the supply of wheat declined enough to drive up wheat prices to where the remaining farmers could make a buck at farming. The current situation is irrational.."- Well, it's only a Small fortune... and it's perfectly rational. The "multiplier" effect of all the jobs and general hubbub produced by agricultural output is absolutely grand- especially when compared to something like, say, the Defense budget (which converts a host of precious resources, at a cost of half a trillion or so, per year, into useless artifacts in order to produce FEAR, mostly). Think about the alchemy of farming- ie "something from Nothing"- and remember that the "something" is the first and foremost of the "3 necessities"- food, shelter & clothing. It's the only one that one can't live without. If the U.S. didn't subsidize farmers, then we would be alone among the developed world in Not doing so- because every country realizes the importance of food production. If we got to the point of economic "tough love" for Montana wheat growers, the Canadians & the Aussies would see to it that the marketplace remained well-supplied. As we all should know, there will be more & more consumers for the foreseeable future... so the importance of farm production- especially with the "bio-fuels" market opening up- is assured. The ways that we're encouraged (or "driven") to go about it, however, leaves much to be desired- socially, emotionally, & economically... ^..^

By: Food Stamp Challenge - Shopping Boards

Sat, 16 Jun 2007 02:15:06 +0000

[...] with it. I already try to keep our groceries cheap (especially the last couple months!). Open Source » Blog Archive » Taking the Food Stamp Challenge [...]

By: plnelson

Fri, 15 Jun 2007 18:56:21 +0000

"We all understood that the food being distributed had been purchased by our government to keep commodity prices up above a certain point, so that farmers wouldnâ€(image) t “crash” because of overproduction. The USDA still does this- and the food ends up at schools & institutions. If it werenâ€(image) t for the subsidies in the Farm Bill, there wouldnâ€(image) t be a solvent wheat farmer in all of Montana." Could someone please explain WHY this is the case? Why do farmers INSIST on producing more food than there's a rational market for, or insist on being paid to NOT produce food? If there's a town with 10 plumbers and only enough business to keep 6 of them employed, you don't pay the other 4 just to sit around. You assume that the four least competitive ones will seek other work. These farm subsidies are costing taxpayers a fortune and grossly distorting the markets. If we got rid of them some wheat farmers would go out of business UNTIL the supply of wheat declined enough to drive up wheat prices to where the remaining farmers could make a buck at farming. The current situation is irrational.

By: HisLittleAnnie

Fri, 15 Jun 2007 14:43:30 +0000

Those that took the food stamp challenge cheated. They went to Taco Bell and White Castle Hambuger. You can not use food stamps to get "HOT" food like fast food. So this challegene was not like living on food stamps. Sorry so you had to live on $21 try living on $21 and buying your food at only the grocery store.