Can you spend just $28 for a week's food and beverages? 'Food stamp' challenge issued

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  • calu Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    I agree with Mpetrie when she says the amount of food stamps given is misleading. My neighbor who has two small children and is single gets about $550.00 in food stamps. She sells them at 50 cents on the dollar to buy other things. I have seen this go on alot for many years especially when the recipient is a drug user.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 30, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    For five months in 2008 we had to go on to food stamps. We had a family of 10 and a monthly income of $900. TANF gave us over $900/month in food stamps. I was shocked. Even in our best times the most I ever spent on groceries was $700 a month.

    Then again, we cook everything from scratch (oatmeal and wheat toast are super cheap and filling breakfasts), we eat out maybe three times a year (when you realize how cheap the ingredients are, it's impossible to enjoy an overly priced meal), and rarely allow junk like soda and chips in the house (only for birthdays, but eligible to be purchased with food stamps. Go figure).

    Each month we had at least $200 left over on our TANF card, except in December when I bought "forbidden" goodies for our children's Christmas presents. We still had $100 left at the end of the month.

    Live on $28/week per person? No problem! We've been doing that for the past 20 years.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    Oct. 30, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    "If your entire food budget is food stamps, you have to be really thoughtful how you spend your dollars," said Gina Cornia, executive director of Utahns Against Hunger. I WOULD HOPE SO!!!! Food stamps are a gift from your fellow citizens, not an entitlement.

    As a young mother with a working, college-educated husband and four children, I had more financial resources than the young "welfare" mothers who used to stand in front of me in the grocery checkout line. I was buying beans, rice, fresh vegetables and fruit, no soda, no dessert, and no prepared foods. They, however, were buying ice cream, soda, prepackaged meat and cheese lunches, chips, popcorn, prepared foods, etc.

    DN Subscriber above is SOOOO right.

    Poor and struggling doesn't have to equal stupid when it comes to food choices. These were not isolated incidents and they left a poor taste in my mouth...which I struggled to keep shut.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Oct. 29, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    Believe it or not, I lived on $5 a week, for many months, and, I could not get Food Stamps. Food Banks helped me, local Church's to, but they never helped me pay my bills or house payment or put gas in the car etc. So I took a second job in a Bikers Bar as a bouncer, for 10 hours a night, 7 days a week, to make ends meet. Being poor is bad.

    I am a constituent, calling to urge Senator/Congress(wo)man __________ to co-sponsor the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act. This legislation is about to be introduced in the House and Senate. It will help boost farm income, improve access to healthy foods, and secure funding for critically important programs like the Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grant Program. CFP is an innovative program that increases access to nutritious food in low-income communities, helps communities become self-reliant and food secure, and promotes systemic and long-term solutions to hunger. [If you have personal experience with CFP, tell a brief story about its impact in your community.]
    Can I count on Senator/Congress(wo)man_________ to be a co-sponsor?

  • Sego Lilly Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    Up until a couple months ago we were getting about $125 a month with income of less than $1000 a month. After addition income of a little more than $300 per month and increase in our rent our FS went down to $22 a month. It was time to get recertified and we just decided that although we could use that $22 we really didn't need it. It feels good to not have to report every penny that we receive to the FS office.

    We are also on section 8 and our share of the rent is over half even with only one third of our income paying it. Hopefully in the next year or two we will be able to get off of section 8 also but we will need an apartment that is handicapped accessible.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 29, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    The recipients should be thankful for the generosity of the hard working taxpayers who provide $28 per week, not complain that they would like more.

    Welfare (the real description of food stamps) is not intended to provide a life of luxury, but bare essentials. Beans and rice and rice and beans may not be your preferred menu, but it beats starvation. If you want more choices, find a job and earn more money, don't expect taxpayers to pay for your food, health care, cable TV converter box, rent, cars or anything else. (But we already provide most of that!)

    Too many "charitable" organizations are aimed at getting people on to the government welfare plantation and keeping them there for life. (And some groups have the added goal of getting reliable votes for one political party which embraces handouts instead of jobs.)

    All food stamps and other welfare programs should have three added requirements:
    a. Proof of legal residency in the state
    b. Pass a drug test weekly
    c. Mandatory work requirement

    Charity for the truly needy is one thing, but enabling a lifestyle devoid of work or self reliance of any kind is harmful to people.

  • MPetrie Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 29, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    This challenge is really misleading. Sure, the average monthly benefit for a FS recipient is $125/mo. But they typically are employed and have additional income from a low-paying or part-time job to help supplement their food budget. Most are NOT only surviving on $125/mo for food, so it's a little unfair to do this challenge this way. For an unemployed person with zero income, the FS issuance is $200/mo. I spend less than $200/mo for both myself and my wife and we have plenty of food in the house.