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The True Meaning of Food Stamps

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dbsr16
Words 1132
Pages 5
12 September 2013
The True Meaning of Food Stamps
Food Stamps, by definition, is a “federal assistance program that provides low income individuals with a monthly stipend that can only be used to purchase food products, the funds are credited to a debit card at the beginning of each month and then that card can be used at stores that accept food stamps (” A large number of Americans seem as if they are living the American dream. Having the family that loves them and the job that makes you happy or just gets you by from month to month, but after you enter into their lives you can experience a complete three hundred and sixty degree viewpoint on them as individuals. According to the article, “nearly forty nine million Americans were living in ‘food insecure’ households, meaning in the bureaucratic language of the agency, that some family members lacked ‘consistent access throughout the year to adequate food’ (Gay-Stolberg).” Even though some families are going through hard economic times, it is hard to say that Congress is willing to decrease the amount of money that a family receives in food stamps per month. This essay gives you just a glimpse into the lives of two individuals that are using food stamps to keep their families afloat and also some of the illogical reasoning behind their push to cut the cost on this important program.
Some say that food stamps are terrible because most people just use them so they can sell or profit off of them, but others prefer to say that they lend a hand to people in need. For example, Dustin Rigsby is a “struggling mechanic, who hunts deer, doves, and squirrels to help feed his family. He shops for grocery bargains; cooks budget-stretching stews and limits himself to one meal a day.” Most people at first glance see that Mr. Rigsby is doing well for himself, due to the fact that he has a job. Another person that shows that food stamps work is Tarnisha Adams. She was forced to quit her job “skinning hogs at a slaughterhouse when she became ill with cancer, gets three hundred and fifty-two dollars a month in food stamps for herself and three college-age sons. She buys discount meat and canned vegetables, cheaper than fresh. Like Mr. Rigsby, she eats once a day, ‘if I eat,’ she said (Gay-Stolberg).” In my opinion, families that receive food stamps, like Mr. Rigsby and Mrs. Adams, belong to a sensitive few percentage of Americans that work and also try and provide for their families. Unfortunately, if it was up to them they would not want food stamps, but they have to think beyond themselves.
This article presents food stamps as a ‘burden’ due to the fact that it offers plenty help to those in need by taking from the working-class and the government. Mr. Fincher says in the article that, “the role of citizens, of Christianity, of humanity, is to take care of each other, not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country (Gay-Stolberg).” Republicans want to “revamp and scale down the program while Democrats are resisting the cuts (Gay-Stolberg).” The article is partially fair since it gives you examples of why food stamps are needed in our community. It also gives you more reasons as to why there needs to be more restrictions, or revamp, like the welfare program did. “Robert Rector is a scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation, which argues that the food stamp program should be overhauled so that benefits are tied to work, much as welfare was revamped under President Bill Clinton. He advocates mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients, which is a position that draws support from Mr. Rigsby, who dreams of becoming a game warden and said it irritated him to see people ‘mooch off the system’ (Gay-Stolberg).”
I know people who get food stamps, and it is understandable to question, by appearance, how they are able to get them. After you get to know their story and as to the reason why they have to receive food stamps and other government assistance I seem to back off and let them go. Also, I understand, and have witnessed, somebody take advantage of food stamps and other government assistance that they qualify for. Having seen both points of views on this particular topic, I prefer a more balanced approach to help those in desperate need of any type of government assistance. First, I strongly believe that hard-working families that try and provide for their families, but fall short deserve to be put on food stamps. The way it is set up now, seemingly, anybody that works is denied the opportunity to have a little help from the government. Next, those that do not have a steady income of any kind seem to be the ones that are taking advantage of food stamps. In a plan that I favor is that they be put on a time limit. They should be on a time limit of about one year to find a job of any sort. Also, they have to meet all requirements set forth by the government. Some criteria’s that will have been set are drug testing, appropriate documentation of filing for jobs, and also documentation of where all of their money is going. In my opinion this is a good solid plan that can and will function and be more productive to the outpouring amount of money spent. In the article it stated that even though the Adams and Rigsby family are already skimming by that they need to prepare themselves for a twenty-nine dollar decrease on what they receive every month. This type of decrease to the normal individual does not seem like much, but to somebody who is struggling; this can be a huge difference. For a parent, watching or having your children grow up wondering where there next meal is coming from is a heartbreak, then for a child having to see their parent starve themselves to keep you fed leaves an emotional scare or can also make that child feel awful. The issue on how food stamps should be obtained, and the amount that each individual should be able get could is going to be the topic of discussion until Congress is able to make up their minds. Until they are willing to set down and communicate with those that do not take food stamps as a joke but as a blessing, they can and will never be able to come to a conclusion. Is this bad to say? Well, yes it is because they are playing with individuals and their families.…...

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