Comments about ‘1 in 7 Utah households struggle to afford food, USDA reports’

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Published: Monday, Sept. 10 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

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John C. C.
Payson, UT

Out of 100 of these hungry people, how many can be pressured into getting a job by denying them food? Will the old, the school-aged children, and disabled among them become "enabled" if they are fed? It's time for conservatives to stop enlarging the holes in our safety net. Let's give these people the leeway to build or rebuild their tomorrows instead of scrounging for food today.

The children in these families are not likely to have parents ready to go out and fight for a seat across the valley in the newest, trendiest charter school. They will depend on the nearest regular public schools. Equal opportunity to me means making quality public schools the rule instead of the exception.

Dixie Dan
Saint George, UT

A two party legislature is a great first step in resolving this problem.

South Jordan, UT

This is what the anti-union movement has brought you. Salaries have been flat for 30 years, while inflation has continue unabated. Your purchasing power is a fraction of what it was in the 70s.

Ogden, Utah

1 in 7 households struggle to provide food, yet 7 out of 10 households have some sort of subscription tv, and 9 out of every 10 Americans owns a cell phone.

Being able to put food on the table is not the problem. Teaching people how to establish priorities in what are "wants" and "needs" is the problem.

Just another sign of the entitlement age screaming they have no food, but not willing to part with their cable tv and cell phones.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

It is sad, but Ironmomo has valid points. I have been involved in many circumstances where I saw food being distributed to people in need. I've seen people who were just delivered a good selection of food items going to the nearest fast food place rather than prepare food "from scratch." I've seen people who had limited means having large parties in the park, after which the excess food went into a trash can. I've seen chiildren dumping most of the food served to them in school breakfast (in fact, once I saw a group in which not one child ate the toast). I've known people who were "desperate" for food, but didn't want vegetables offered to them because they "didn't eat squash or eggplant." They were elated to have homemade grape jelly though! In our household we eat extremely well in the garden season because we have an abundance (which we are happy to share). We eat well enough the rest of the time. We don't have tv subscription because we don't have time for tv after harvesting the produce and distributing it.

American Fork, UT

Iron and Nan make good points. My test is always fairly simple. If you pay more than zero for tv, if you have a cel phone, if you have a pet...you have enough money. If you don't have enough food but do have some of these luxuries...you're making bad decisions.

South Jordan, UT

Having a cell phone is no longer a luxury. This isn't the 1990s. It's nearly impossible to get a job without a phone number. And cell phones are not expensive.

Florissant, MO

My parents were pretty much into food storage, that seems to be engrained in myself and my brothers. I am not some fanatic and I am sure there are things I need to add, but it sure is nice knowing that I have things on hand. Three times we lost power in Missouri for over a week each time, the 2nd and 3rd time, we were able to enjoy our full house generator and 15 house guests when they were without power, due to ice storms. As Latter Day Saints we have been told for about 70 years to plant gardens and store extra, that voice of warning needs to be heeded now. People use to laugh at members for doing that, now I hear about 72 hour kits like they are yesterdays news. We also have a NOAA radio since we are in a tornado area.

Patrick Henry
West Jordan, UT

So I wonder how many of those 1 in 7 have monthly luxury services in their house?

Like....cellphone service, cable tv, satellite tv, netflix, internet for their tablet, etc. You can find a job with a home-phone.

It won't be as convenient without a cellphone, but life is not about convenience. Part of what life is about is making choices about how to spend your limited money/resources in a manner that shows you are responsible for yourself.

I'd even say a regular phone is a luxury item when you can have a VOIP phone like I do for $30 a year. Yes $30 a year, not a month. Checkout magicjack. Anyone paying $30 a month for their home-phone is getting ripped off....no wonder they don't have enough to pay for their groceries.

Oh yes and shop at NPS (1700 S. and Empire Road), instead of the regular stores (I do and my wife makes 90K). Why should you pay full price for food when you get can it for much cheaper?

Mcallen, TX

So why do we have an obesity crisis?

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

This is because businesses like Wal-Mart are the largest employer in the country. But candidates like Mitt Romney aren't interested in the plight of the working poor. They just want to know why half of all Americans don't pay federal income tax.

Harwich, MA

Considering over 50% of the population gives 10% of their income, or more, to the Church maybe they ought to take a break and keep the money for their families.

Bountiful, UT

Re John C C

Yes, these food insecure people need to get a Job. Better yet a high
paying job, high enough paying so they don't qualify for food
Stamps. If not they deserve to go hungry.

The fact there is high unemployment and not enough jobs to go
around is not an excuse.

Tooele, UT

We also have food storage and it has helped us alot as the price for food goes higher and higher. We don't have cable TV, or any toys of any kind, we don't have junk food, and we don't even go to fast food places. We don't drive a luxury car and our house is humble in comparison to today's standards. I might also add that to help our needs for food we have a garden and it's been super abundant and a great blessing. I have been able to make our own pickles, bottle tomatoes, store squash, and jams. We are also able to keep egg laying chickens which has also been a great blessing. Hard work pays off :)

Springville, UT

"I've seen people who were just delivered a good selection of food items going to the nearest fast food place rather than prepare food 'from scratch.'"

Many low income families work a lot of hours just to scrape by. At the end of the day it is sometimes easier to buy fast food than spend even 30 more minutes working to prepare a meal for the family and then spend more time washing dishes. I am not saying it's right, but there is a level of exhaustion among low income families which more economically comfortable families do not understand.

Of course we want to encourage healthy eating and fresh food is absolutely less expensive, but even when low income families take the time to shop at grocery stores, they usually end up buying the unhealthy food, (the sugary, processed food)because it is cheapest and their money goes farther. The results are the same: Unhealthy eating leading to obesity and other health problems for a group of people who cannot afford proper medical care or escape the vicious cycle into which they have fallen.

It's not right, but it is what's real.

  • 6:46 a.m. Sept. 11, 2012
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"Americans oppose cuts to SNAP. They believe it is a program worth funding and that government should — and must — do more to address hunger."

Yes, let's get the government involved some more. Only government can solve problems like this.
Its impossible for me to understand how our nation ever came to be great before we had such massive amounts of government. Surely as we continue to vote to send back to Congress those politicians who have gotten us into such an era of unemployment, things will certainly change?

More government, less individual responsibility and without God's help! That's the solution.

Taylorsville, 00

It's better to have a guaranteed level of income for all, even if some is misused according to some personal standards, than to 'sit on our thrones while our fellow humans perish around us'. It isn't unconstitutional to not have desperation and starvation haunt our country.

Hayden, ID

There are always reasons why people are poor (addictions, poor choices, bad habits, lack of job skills, mental issues or laziness to name a few)! If they (and only they can) change themselves, change the reasons they are poor, they are never poor again. Giving them free food only makes them more dependant and they almost always remain poor. I know liberals don’t like to hear that but nevertheless it is still true. Which is more compassionate, to help them change or to make them forever dependant, permanently poor?

Wasatch Front, UT

Utah has its owN unique cultural challenges when addressing the hunger problem. We have a large number of young women/men who marry young (< 21), and whether they marry extraordinarily young or not, tend to have more than an average number of children. This keeps family centered financial help constrained by the sheer number of people per household. We also have lower wages generally here in Utah, in part driven by the large supply of labor from a large working age population, but also due in part to very few large, for-profit corporations which tend to pay higher wages and benefits.

Blaming anti-unionism, politics, etc. is simply naive and is uneccessarily politicizing the issue. In addition to the above, a failure to better prepare our youth in 20th century job market skills such as math, critical thinking/communication, and science will be a long term weight on these people's ability to create sufficient value to support themselves.

Springville, UT

And so we are going to vote for the party that wants to cut any help at all, who wants to erode the safety net in our affluent society? What madness!

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