Here’s an interesting story about a mother and her struggle to feed her children with help from the Government.
If you want to know more about food stamps scroll down.
I was at the supermarket checkout line when the cashier asked me if I wanted to make a donation for the needy.
I would have liked to, but instead, I flashed my food stamps card and shook my head, saying: “I can’t. This time, I’m the needy.”
The poor guy blushed and mumbled an apology. I suppose he must have felt bad for me.
“It’s okay,” I said. “I’m glad to have the help.”
That day, almost three years ago now, I realized that I didn’t look like the type of person the cashier would have expected to be on food stamps. On other trips to the grocery store I had begun to notice that I was not alone. Well-dressed women ahead of me at the checkout would try to swipe their EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card inconspicuously, but I immediately recognized it. I wanted so badly to tell them not to be embarrassed. We were among the additional 20 million Americans who have had to go on Food Stamps since the recession. And my girls were among the 17 million children in this country who could be labeled as “food insecure,” meaning they do not know when or where their next meal will come.
RECESSION HITS HOME
I was a middle class hard-working professional, until my marriage ended around the same time as the recession hit. The publications I wrote for closed down or ran out of funding. I suddenly became the unemployed single mami of two girls, ages 4 and 7.
I moved out of our 4-bedroom family home with a pool to a small rental apartment, with my kids. My ex-husband also had been out of work and we’d gone through our savings. I had little income and a lot of debt. In order to pay the bills and buy groceries while I job-hunted, I had to resort to selling my jewelry, including family heirlooms, my wedding band, and gifts that my girls received when they were born. That was difficult and emotional. I held back the tears as the jeweler appraised my belongings, while my 4-year-old entertained herself admiring the sparkly gems in the store, unaware of what was happening.
SELLING OFF PRIZED POSSESSIONS
I sold my brand-name handbags, shoes, and clothes on eBay. Then I discovered direct sales. I peddled everything from jewelry to cosmetics, but it seemed these were difficult times for many. I couldn´t make enough income to cover the basics. I kept hoping I would soon find work again as a writer and that things would get better.
But nothing changed despite my best job-seeking efforts. Newspapers, which had been my bread and butter since arriving in the U.S. in 2004, kept laying off staff. The recession was in full swing. I was forced to accept handouts from friends and family. Around that time, I noticed that my neighbor, a mom of three boys, kept inviting my kids over for dinner. One day I discovered that it was because my girls had mentioned that our fridge was always empty. I was running out of options. I needed to feed my children.
A close friend suggested I apply for food stamps. His family had used them when they arrived in the U.S. from Cuba a few years back, until they got on their feet. At first I was appalled. I always imagined food stamps were only for the poor and the homeless. I couldn’t conceive that someone like me could qualify. Then I realized: I was poor! That night, thinking of my girls, I piggybacked off of the neighbors´ wireless signal and Googled “how to apply for food stamps.”
A few weeks later, it was a huge relief to trudge up the stairs to my apartment with my happy kids, carrying bags of fresh groceries. It felt better than Christmas.
These are tough times, and I learned the hard way that pride doesn’t put a warm meal on the table, but that The United States Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) does.
If you need help or know someone who does click the link below for more info and to see if you qualify http://www.mommypie.com/this-mom-says-foodstamps-helped-me-feed-my-kids-and-rebuild-my-life-heres-her-story/