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Food Stamps Helped Me Serve My Country. Please Don't Cut Them Now


Society & Culture  (tags: family, americans, government, politics, hunger, food stamps, poverty, ethics, society, women )

Carrie
- 515 days ago - rawstory.com
I've eaten government food during two periods in my life: as a child and as a soldier. The first led to the second in more ways than one, and permanently influenced the way I look at food aid.



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Comments

Michael M. (59)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 2:04 pm
A sustainable society always has more equitable distribution than highly stratified societies.

Many civilisations seem to travel the same path to greater inequality, and in history and anthropology, it is noted that that is where they meet their end. Often associated with resource abuse and exhaustion the phenomena may be closely related.
 

Arlene Mary Baladi (40)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 3:43 pm
If someone needs food stamps they should be available to them. Everyone deserves to eat in this country. Peace,Light and Love.
 

Birgit W. (152)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 3:50 pm
We should do far more in order to help all the suffering people.
 

Esther Z. (96)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 4:06 pm
Noted. Shelter, food and healthcare should be a fundamental human right! The GOP thinks these rights as entitlements the 47% of lazy Americans want, without having to work for it. Empathy is totally lost on the GOP; these people have no heart and no soul.
 

Gloria picchetti (300)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 4:28 pm
The GOP will be delighted when we starve to death.
 

Jennifer C. (169)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 5:08 pm
Thanks.
 

Jason S. (57)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 7:43 pm
Good posting, thanks
 

Helen Porter (40)
Sunday July 21, 2013, 11:30 pm
Should we just let the little children starve?
 

cecily w. (0)
Monday July 22, 2013, 5:20 am
The food is there, or is in the planning-through-production process. It should be available for everyone to eat. It's that simple. (Please don't get me started on those who oppose Medicaid Expansion; that is at the forefront in my state right now.)
 

Mike M. (56)
Monday July 22, 2013, 5:24 am
The GOP, their benefactors and there meat puppets are cutting food stamps to raise food prices so those with money and power get more and to cause food riots and a internal war in the United States so they can bring in martial law and reap the benefits of a large population and military under their thumb that are expendable
 

Fi T. (16)
Monday July 22, 2013, 5:48 am
Treasure life
 

Diane K. (132)
Monday July 22, 2013, 7:58 am
Food stamps should not be cut out, since many poor depend on them, especially small children. thx for post.
 

Joanne Dixon (40)
Monday July 22, 2013, 9:22 am
If only Republicans would listen to facts. Yeah, right. And if only I could flap my arms and fly to the moon.
 

Vallee R. (254)
Monday July 22, 2013, 10:05 am
We get a wooping $16 a month - both on disability - maybe I can eat for 2-3 days on that if I don't eat much!
 

Gene Jacobson (255)
Monday July 22, 2013, 11:20 am
"There were good years, when we did pretty well. And then the economy sagged, and there were lean years Ė years of food stamps and bland government cheese...peering around the corner to watch my mother sobbing into piles of bills, wondering if the "bank" would get fed up with how often we were behind on the loan and kick us out.

...my having but one pair of jeans told the other kids that I was poor.

Then, I joined the army. Like most of my peers, I had many motivations for enlisting: I was seeking money to continue my education, but I also craved the discipline, a challenge, the chance to travel and acquire new skills.

And I was driven by a desire to give back to the country that had given so much to me."

I edited her story a bit because it is my story too. I grew up in what most Americans remember as the fabulous 50's, all was well and everyone prospered. Almost. My parents bought the farm adjoining my maternal grandparents for $3000 in 1956, the year I started first grade. Dad had dropped out of school after the 6th grade when his father became ill to run the farm, he was the oldest boy of 12 children, his mother pregnant with him on the way here from Sweden. My mother's family came from Sweden too but she was 3rd generation and finished high school. Those years were horrible. There weren't food stamps then but something called commodities - that was when I learned to hate spam. Dad couldn't make a living on the hilly rock of 80 acres we lived on so worked wherever he could, gone from dawn to dusk every day as he hired out to whatever farmer could pay him. I can't count the number of times our lights were shut off for non payment. I didn't peer around corners to see my mother sobbing over bills, I saw the bills myself and knew. I still remember the smell of those kerosene lanterns we used when the lights were shut off. They were constantly behind on payments to the banks, countless threatening letters of foreclosure. I can only imagine what kind of pressure they lived under, they didn't talk about it with we children, three of us, I'm the oldest, but I could feel it. Those years I had but one pair of jeans for school were horrible, kids are not kind and that community's were no different. I began working as soon as I got a learner's permit, cops weren't as watchful as they are now, not in the country.

The rest of her story is my story too. I graduated in 1967, no draft yet but we knew it was coming. Viet Nam was on our minds all through high school. I had no option for a deferment though and didn't want one. Despite it all, I felt an obligation to this country just as she did and after high school enlisted for the same reasons, I had no money for college and knew what taking a loan out meant, I did not want to repeat my parents horror, so the GI Bill was my ticket out and I did feel a strong sense of obligation to this country so Canada or seeking deferments was never an option I even considered. I, too, ate government food twice in my life, as a child in an intact home and as a teen in the Army.

I got through it, got my degree and a job. And I am still grateful. Cutting the SNAP program now is a horrid mistake, it is all that stands between many of our children and starvation. We are not a third world county that cannot feed its future, its children. Feeding them, educating them is an investment in our own future and the future of America. What I am ashamed of is that so many of my fellow Americans do not understand this simple concept of investing in America's future through caring for its children, regardless their race or creed. Charity begins at home, or so it is said. We would do well to remember that. Our children depend on us and we can't fail them. In this land of plenty, where a few have so much and the many so little, we can't become another third world nation that can't feed or care for its children or what happens in those countries will happen here. I can't believe even republicans want that. I would hope they are smart enough to realize they are creating the seeds around which an American Spring could begin. Out of blind hatred and ideology. No? Read about Ken Cuccinelli, I am my way to that story next. I know of him and I know he is worse than Governor ultrasound when it comes to his view of the poor and the middle class. I don't expect to be shocked, revolted perhaps, but not shocked. He is the vanguard of the republican party's makeover. The one that I expect to make them ultimately irrelevant in America because as we become less white, we will also become more caring. We need to or the American Dream is in the greatest jeopardy it has ever faced from within.
 

S J. (118)
Monday July 22, 2013, 1:51 pm
Noted with the hope that hungry kids will be fed and educated. Thanks Carrie.
 

Connie O. (44)
Monday July 22, 2013, 7:46 pm
Everyone deserves to eat...
 

GGmaSheila D. (169)
Monday July 22, 2013, 9:46 pm
Very good story. Noted and Than you.
 

Natasha Salgado (576)
Tuesday July 23, 2013, 4:47 am
Done-thx Carrie
 
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