Comments about ‘Reducing food-stamp benefits would 'take food off the table,' recipients and advocates say’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 5 2013 6:05 p.m. MDT

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Cougsndawgs
West Point , UT

Little Stream:
"If congress does this, I don't want to hear from hypocritical Republicans about how Christian they are".

Did Christ ask his fishermen disciples to cast their nets in a certain place, or to come to shore so he could give them all the fish they needed? He could have done either, but there was a lesson that needed to be learned. Part of being a Christian is learning to have faith and trust in God, and then "go forward with faith". Christian teachings abound with ideas of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. I have been on welfare before, but while I was looking, praying, networking, and training for gainful employment so I could be self-sufficient. I appreciate the government welfare programs being in place when people are destitute and need them to feed their children as I did. What is frustrating for taxpayers is the lack of accountability or ideas on the governments part to get people back up and back to work, or ask them for anything in return. Repubs are asking for more accountability and less waste, neither of which is contrary to Christian values. They aren't seeking the abolishment of entitlements.

Loganhistorian
Hyrum, UT

What's wrong with these people now having to start clipping out coupons like many have to do to stretch? Also, there should be no pop, candy, chips or junk food that one can buy with it.(How much would that save the taxpayers so these people could just buy the necessary staples?) Don't have a problem with people getting fed. I do have a problem with them not appreciating the others who make it possible.

staypuffinpc
Provo, UT

Many who decry the abuse of foodstamps are accused of being cold-hearted to the plight of others. People like to take sides and name-call. If we wouldn't look at the other side as diametrically different, we might be able to realize that both sides can be right. Food stamp programs grant monies for food in excess. I've seen it, witnessed it, and lived it. If we were to cut food allowances in half, we could actually help MORE people. First, the money would be just enough to get by, so as to encourage people to not remain on food stamps forever; Second, with allowances cut in half, twice as many people could receive aid without increasing spending.

This is BYU's approach to tuition scholarships. Instead of granting full-tuition scholarships, the great majority are half-tuition, so that more students can receive help and so that students are encouraged to work hard while studying.

Sego Lilly
Salt Lake City, UT

there are a number of apartments that have on site managers - and in many cases they live rent and utility free with a paycheck in for living there should an emergency come up. Some have spouses/significant other and a kid or two. They pay cable and phone. When the hubby/significant other loses their job this family qualifies for over $500 a month in food stamps which is WRONG. I have seen this happen. As long a person is living rent free and has a income coming (meaning big enough to pay for their cell phones and make car payments they do not need food stamps. Especially when a disabled/senior pays rent and utilities but only gets $10 a month in food stamps.

staypuffinpc
Provo, UT

@bullet56, I'm sorry you are down and out and hope that you're able to get back on your feet. I'm not sure where you live, but in most places I've lived (including in Utah County now), fresh fruits can be had for fairly cheap prices, if you know where to shop, and are much more affordable than the alternative. In Utah county you find Lo-Lo's in Provo, Winco or the Sunflower market in Orem, Reams in Springville, and I'm unfamiliar with what there is further south, but being closer to the orchards, I bet you can get some great food down there.

My family survived through 8 years of university by learning to eat fresh food and it's so much cheaper than pre-processed food. Learning to prepare your food from scratch is one of the best ways to eat both economically and healthily.

joseywales
Park City, UT

When the economy tanked a few years ago, we sold what we could but still found ourselves short. We used this program for about 6 months. I think we received about 400 per month. We bought necessities and items that would stretch. At the Winco we went to there are many families using the cards and I noticed most of them bought snack cakes, ice cream, soda, boxed foods, sugary cereals and many items with no nutritional value. Then after checking out, they put their purchases into a shiny new Escalade with shiny rims. We had sold newer cars to buy older ones without payment, turned down the heat, turned off directv, wore old clothes and felt horrible about using the SNAP card, but some people just think it's their right to have the card and don't care about who is paying for it! I believe in "Workfare" not Welfare. I think almost everyone should have to work either at a government office cleaning or picking up trash on the highways, just a few hours of labor a week to keep on the card. Also, if you can afford an Escalade, no card!

Gosh-DUH
Burlington, CT

Does anyone know how the SNAP (food stamp) program is handled when children are also eligible for free breakfast, lunch, snacks during the school year, and meals throughout the summer? Not sure about someone who wrote about less than 1% fraud. I don’t know the specifics, but here in CT, not unusual to find widespread fraud of folks selling their SNAP benefits.

The Seamless Summer Food Program (SSFP) combines features of National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). It reduces paperwork and administrative burden, making it easier for schools to feed children from low-income areas during the traditional summer vacation periods. In the SSFP, school districts serve meals free of charge to children ages 18 and younger from low-income areas.

one example of fraud:
From approximately June 2010 to July 2012, ELQUAFAI conspired with Carlos Dominguez, the owner of CJ Express and Groceries, to redeem SNAP benefits at the store at a significantly discounted rate in exchange for cash and cigarettes. Since February 2010, it is estimated that $820,000 in illegal SNAP benefits were redeemed at the store.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Loganhistorian" the better question is how many more people could be helped for the same amount of money if the state purchased the food and the people who needed food picked up a box of food once a week.

The benefits that the welfare system gives out are far too generous and easy to obtain. There have been times when I have been waiting to purchase items at a grocery store and have seen a person use their WIC or SNAP benefits while talking on a smartphone and telling the cashier to ring up the carton of cigaretts and case of beer separately. As others have posted already, many of the recipiants have money for vices but can't afford food. Something is wrong with that.

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

I am left speechless by such sentiments as "For their own good, the poor should suffer more."

On the evening when the multitude of 5000 surrounded Jesus, his disciples said, "Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Did Jesus say, "Right. That way they'll learn the valuable lesson that they have to fend for themselves"? No. He said, "You give them something to eat." And they fed them.

Or when he was among the crowd of 4000, did he say, "They are hungry, but they should learn the valuable lesson that they have to provide for themselves"? No. He said, "I don't want to send them away hungry since they may faint on the way." And he fed them.

Prior to this miracle he said to the Pharisees: "Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me ...'"

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed" - Herman Melville.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

If we are really concerned about fraud in govt. programs the first place we should look is Defense.

GAO reported serious accounting problems at two of the largest government agencies: the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Defense has a net cost of $799.1 billion to the federal budget, while the Department of Homeland Security has a net cost of $48.7 billion. (2013)

The DOD cannot account for how it spent $2.6 billion that belonged to the Iraqi government, according to the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

(Yet, we are fuming over the purchase of sushi)

re:Food Stamp fraud:
"USDA has permanently disqualified thousands of retail stores from the program for not following federal requirements. In fiscal year 2012, USDA’s retailer fraud investigations resulted in 342 convictions and $57.7 million in recoveries. When cases of SNAP fraud are reported in the news, it is because the offenders have been caught, evidence that states and USDA are aggressively combating fraud.
(CBPP 2013)

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Re Chris B

Bravo Bravo !!

But you left out the part how we need to decrease the surplus population.

GACougar
Atlanta, GA

"Getting on food stamps needs to be harder than getting a job."

Who would have ever thought that such wisdom could emanate from the mouth of Chris B? Any more comments like that and I just might have to start liking him a little bit. :-)

IDC
Boise, ID

Some need food stamps but there is far too much abuse. No more fast food using food stamp money. No more seafood, steak, sushi, junk food. Ground beef, wheat bread, and vegetables should be the staples. No taco bell, mtn dew, and oreos.

Serenity
Manti, UT

I believe in lending a helping hand with food stamps when there is a real need, but, good grief, some of these people make it a career to live off food stamps for generations. What ever happened to the stigma of living off freebies? Where is the shame? People are thinking that the Government owes them a living and they don't have to do anything except accept the doles. How disgusting. I also don't understand why the polygamists around the St George area get so many food stamps. These people have children who are not legal, in the name of religion, then they have the unmitigated gall to collect food stamps from the state which they despise and want to disregard both the state and its laws as "unclean". Yet they have no problem of taking millions of dollars in food stamps which are paid for by the people they consider as damned. Utah has no problem with that and just keeps doling out food stamps to these people and our taxes just keep going higher and higher. Take away some of their food stamps - please, please do.

Downtime
Saint George, UT

I ate better on food stamps than at any other time in my life. My food stamps were double what I spend on food. We had steak every night; the best sliced deli meats; and delicious fruits and vegetables. I argued that it was too much and our case worker said that is what we get. Other than for personal pride, there was really no reason to get a job.

worf
Mcallen, TX

If food stamps were bait. What kind of trap are we walking into? Or, is there a trap?

joseywales
Park City, UT

Serenity asks, "where is the shame"? well, certain elected officials have taken the shame out of it. They use the word Entitlement. I guess some of us feel differently. I too used the program, but ASAP, we got off of it. Our case worker was actually surprised when I told her we no longer needed the card. Instead of being happy, she was actually put off a little. Not sure why.

As a teaching tool for my younger kids, we put together a whole bunch of food and donated to the food bank the last few years. I wanted them to learn that it was a blessing that we could have the help, not an entitlement, and that we wanted to give back as soon as we could do so. I'm hoping we can do this every year from now on.

uwishtoo
MESA, AZ

I really hate when people say "get a job" like it's so easy. I was laid off at the age of 52, three college degrees and 30 years of experience. I literally couldn't get hired by McDonald's. I ran out of money, food, lost my home and car and my life savings. do you people really think those of us who lost everything did so because we wanted to or weren't trying?? I sent out or filled out an average of 200 job postings a week. In six months I never even got an interview or a phone call. So please keep your "get a job" garbage to yourself.

I was lucky when I got a high paying temporary job working for the Census in 2010 and saved enough money to be able to start my own business.

3 years later I am making more money than I ever did in the corporate world, no commute, no watching the clock, no one watching ME watch the clock and work when I want to.

uwishtoo
MESA, AZ

When I tried to get food stamps for the first time in my life because I had no other choice, and after paying into this system for 30 years I found out that I qualified for a whopping 12 dollars. And that would have entailed me going and standing in line for nearly 8 hours so I said forget it and I did without. I ate soup and crackers literally for nearly 4 months. IF I had gotten the food stamps I am sure one of you narrow minded people would have looked down their noses at me as if I were trash too without ever stopping to think that I had worked for years and was merely getting a small portion of what I had paid in for.

Judge no lest ye be judged. (In other words shut up if you don't know all the facts)

RN4moms
Bountiful, UT

I also want to help those who are in need but I have seen the amount given in food stamps and it is more generous than any budget I have ever had would allow. I spent my life pinching pennies, clipping coupons, making casseroles and shopping the ads; never buying anything that wasn't on sale. I have seen up close and personal families who are able to eat much, much better than I could on food stamps. I think the amounts could be reduced considerably and classes offered to teach budgeting, cooking and planning so they come off the relief with skills to serve them even in a less-than-ideal job situation. Reducing the amount wouldn't take food off the table but would encourage self-reliance and thrift.

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