Food Stamps and Choices
For some time I have heard negative things about the lazy money suckling leaches on the food stamp system. Living the high life on steak and lobster. I am not sure where that is, but I admit to shamefully having a cell phone.
Most who know us know it’s been a tough year. Some have stood with us, cried and sweated with us, marveled at attitudes and discussed what is needed or not needed. That’s easy to do from the outside and a difference of opinion. In June when a storm changed much, a setback was an understatement.
Picking up the pieces has not been easy. Asking for help…not easy. Asking again…resent doing it. Losses…many this year. Income is in the extreme poverty definition. Shall I hang my head now?
Last month with a little pushing I swallowed the last bit of pride and applied for food stamps. Perhaps someone reading this will sit smugly in judgment. Perhaps ignoring the many offers of things for sale and wanting to work where there is none. So the windfall arrived this week, and am grateful for it. The food budget is a whopping $100 per month.
That is breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks for two people for a month. It’s not going to be steak…probably not a lot of beef unless I find burger on sale. I see that 99 cents to $1.50 pork, potatoes, rice, homemade things. I see bargain hunting and taking advantage of $5 off $25 that most folks throw away. I see soup and crackers for some lunches. Connor likes Ramen so some meals stretch with that. Grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwich or other stretchers are normal anyway.
Some people will undoubtedly resent that $100. Assume money is being squandered somehow and resent for the first time in 8 years we have television. For the first time ever a smart phone to connect with those not nearby. Forgive handwashed clothes as there isn’t a washer here. Yet. We have electricity, hand drawn water, wood heat (thankfully not much needed this year yet.).
We aren’t partying on the help food stamps provides. I don’t resent those with new cars, vacations and expansive Christmas displays. The truck is sidelined so no Christmas parades this year. The Christmas list is pitiful to some.
But we’ve found what we can do without and leading that is prying into managing other people’s lives as it’s enough to deal with this one. Simple things are sometimes good things.
For those who resent our watching a movie or tv show, or discussing not really needing a pantry or should do <whatever > different I am blessed to have the peace of mind to know what I want is possible even in the humbling times this year.
Sometimes the biggest negative times are eye opening. This too shall pass. Who will be there when it does?