I’m one of a family of three adults who receive SNAP benefits. My family is my mom and her younger brother, both of whom are physically disabled, and myself. In 1968 the tie rod end broke on my grandpa’s car and it plunged 50 feet over the side of a steep hill.
This was in the days before car seats. My grandma was holding her eight month old twins. One, my uncle, was ejected from the car and landed next to the road, where a passing motorist found him (and realized the car was at the bottom of the hill in the brush).
My grandma remained conscious long enough to hand her daughter out to grandpa, and then grandma went into a six month coma. My uncle’s skull was fractured in four places, all of his ribs were broken, and he had numerous internal injuries. His twin sister had numerous internal injuries as well. My mom was fifteen at the time of the accident. She and her older sister both dropped out of high school to take care of their dad and, as they were eventually released from the hospital, their mom and the twins.
So my uncle has had numerous serious physical difficulties throughout his entire life. My mom’s disabilities are the result of working shitty, low paying jobs for years and years because that’s all that she could get in our rural area. My income alone isn’t enough to pay our monthly bills and purchase food. Without food stamps we would go hungry. Period. We’re still poor–and I’m not ashamed of that because I work–but things would be unbearable if we were going hungry on a regular basis. And at times in the past, we’ve done just that.
Writing this out is probably like pissing in the wind. But I see some unbelievably ignorant comments on facebook sometimes regarding people who use food stamps/SNAP/welfare benefits. The fact is that sometimes really bad things happen for no goddamned good reason and all you can do is keep your head up, keep pushing forward trying to better your lot in life.
I also read a comment recently, about how someone was seen purchasing steaks with food stamps, and how horrible that was to do. You know what? If I can find a cheap piece of steak or roast that’s been marked down because it’s close to the sell-by date, you bet your ass I’m gonna jump on that deal. A tough cut of meat can spend the day in my slow cooker and become the foundation of a big pot of stew, vegetable soup, a big stir fry, or some other nutritious meal that will feed us for a couple of days. And once in a while I’ll buy a treat, like a bag of store brand chips (when I have a coupon) or a box of brownie mix. Because sometimes you need a little something that makes you smile when you’re physically exhausted from working a job you hate, and know you have to go back to.
Walk a mile in our shoes.. see what we see, hear what we hear, feel what we feel.. THEN maybe you’ll understand why we do what we do.. till then please don’t judge us people who live on food stamps.
Powerful message. SHARE this with friends by clicking below!