I love food!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for a frugal way of living. My home is located in South Florida and I live with my husband in a family neighborhood. This is the sub tropics so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!
Jo

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Everyone deserves to eat!


1 in 6 Americans Face Hunger



The news out of Washington never fails to amaze me. The last few weeks have been no exception.

There is hunger in America. More hunger than we can possibly know, or imagine, and our government in D.C. has found now to be a good time to balance the books on the backs of the hungry. Politicians are spouting rhetoric that is unfounded about illegal immigrants receiving benefits. (They can't as they are not eligible) We hear about fraud in SNAP, and there is more fraud in Social Security as well as in Medicare. We hear stories of people buying lobster and steak using Supplemental Nutrition Benefits.
There are countless other excuses. And that is what they are excuses!

The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.
                                                               Abigail Van Buren (Pauline Esther Friedman)

How much character do we, as Americans, honestly have?

We as a nation, have chosen to allow government to turn poverty into a crime! I have been poor. My family has been poor. At one point in time we used Food Stamps and qualified for reduced price lunches at school. It is doubtful my parents would even had applied for assistance had they been forced to undergo drug testing. Not because they were using drugs. (They were not) but because of the cost associated with the testing and the shame and stigma attached to the process. They were mortified enough due to simply needing assistance - that would have just compounded the issue. 

If you want drug testing for benefits fine. Everyone on Medicare and Social Security needs to be drug tested as well. The same for anyone employed by the government. My taxes pay for those so why not? We are willing to put undue hardship on others but can we handle it as well? 

What happens when a parent tests positive for drugs? We no longer allow their children to eat? Oh, wait...they are children of druggies so they don't matter? Really? Now the only meal those children will get will be when they go to school? Are we going to take children away from parents who test positive?  How is this all supposed to work? 

My family did not abuse the system. Why do we automatically assume that others lack the integrity to responsibly use SNAP benefits?  Because someone in D.C. said so? Because we read about rampant fraud and do not bother to check the facts- in any way?  

Hunger and poverty have become partisan political issues in the United States. We, as a nation, have chosen leaders focused not on the well being of the people but on their own political agendas. It is more important to "one up" the other party than to work to resolve issues. It is all about how the story spins in the media, not about protecting the rights of those they have been elected to serve. This story spins, and spins! We hear of "entitlements" and the surfer dude buying lobster. We rarely hear about poverty ridden areas where over 90% of children in school qualify for free or reduced price lunches.  

This is not just other people in the "inner cities." These are your neighbors, your coworkers or even your family.  Oh, you say but they don't abuse the system like the "others". Who are the "others"?? Tell me, please! The "others" are all around us. They are the elderly, the single mom down the street working two jobs, the young American Soldier living off base with a family or it could be you after a job loss or a medical crisis.

We can afford to pay for a space program, the world most hi-tech weaponry and countless staff for all of elected leaders.  Yet, we allow people to be hungry. Can someone explain this to me? 

There is not room on this blog to dispel all of the myths and rampant misinformation about SNAP benefits and hunger. The link below takes you to the Feeding America website and it rationally discusses the myths and realities of SNAP Benefits in the United States. Everyone should take the time to read this.
 http://feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-services/public-assistance-programs/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/snap-myths-realities.aspx

Sure, the Feeding America website  has a bias. However, they have cited RELIABLE sources for every one of the myths they dispel on the website.

Churches and hunger groups are struggling now with feeding those in need and we want them to take on even more? When will the craziness end? Because I don't see the end anywhere in sight!


2 comments:

  1. Good post. I promised not to rant on my blog and so I will not be addressing this there, but there are not enough words, even for me, to say how frustrated I am with how no one who has any power to do anything, "gets it". I hate the word "Entitlement". You're darn tootin' I'm "Entitled" to my Social Security and Medicare! I worked all my adult life, and paid in to those "Entitlements"! I was not given the opportunity to opt out. I was PROMISED I would be "taken care of" when I retired. Now they're talking about not giving Social Security Cost of Living increases so that eventually we old people can't keep up with inflation. Here's a news flash: those Cost of Living increases have not been enough to keep up with inflation at the grocery store for years. America has no business looking down its nose at other countries whose leaders wallow in riches while the poor starve in the streets. America puts everything on the backs of the Middle Class. Before long, there will BE no Middle Class. Only the very rich, and the very poor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Ilene-
    It is just outrageous and now the shutdown! Somehow congress has again managed to screw us instead of actually working at their jobs. Go figure. I tried not to rant but when I kept hearing about SNAP being an "entitlement" it pi**ed me off to no end. All I could think about where the hungry kids.
    It is all a bit much and is becoming more outrageous each day. I agree completely about the middle class.
    I just keep hoping.....sigh!

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are always appreciated and I love to hear what you think. Especially my overseas reader! Have a great day!