My Food Stamp Experience

Last month I read a post at Living Almost Large titled “Still Hungry with Food Stamps”. It was in response to this CNN article about a woman who found it difficult to feed her and her baby on $280 a month in food stamps. LivingAlmostLarge thought that it shouldn’t be a problem to eat on that amount a month but some of the commenters disagreed with her. Since I’ve been on food stamps myself I wanted to do my own post on the subject and I’ve finally gotten around to it.

I was on food stamps in Texas for three months in 2003. I was employed at the time but not getting many hours and therefore not making much money. I was making just enough money to pay my bills but certainly wasn’t going hungry. Since I worked at a pizza restaurant I had access to free food several times a week. I debated whether to apply for food stamps but decided I should go ahead and take advantage of the program.

It was pretty easy to apply for the food stamps. I just filled out an application and dropped it off at the office. I was called about a week later and after a short interview I was declared eligible for $160 a month in food stamps. I don’t remember the exact details of documentation but I remember being surprised at how easy the process was. I was also surprised at the amount, $160 seemed like a lot to me for one person.

The food stamps were actually in the form of an EBT card which worked like a debit card. The first month I used my entire allotted amount. Some of this was due to buying food for a friend that visited and building up a supply of basic staples. The second month I didn’t come close to using all of my allotted amount. This amount rolled over to the next month resulting in me having much more than $160 to spend on groceries for the month. The third month I got a new job and canceled my food stamps. However, I was still able to use the amount remaining on my EBT card and used it to buy my groceries for the next couple months.

Overall, I would say my experience with food stamps was a positive one. I found a $160 a month to be plenty of money for groceries and I actually bought more expensive foods than I normally would have. I did occasionally get dirty looks when using the card but for the most part no one seemed to care that I was using them.

If I were in the same position again though I wouldn’t apply for food stamps. I was eligible for them so it was legal for me to do so but since I could have easily got by without them I don’t think it was ethical to do so. So far this year I’ve been averaging $100-$150 on food including restaurant food so I’d have to be pretty poor to not be able to afford food without food stamps.

117 thoughts on “My Food Stamp Experience”

  1. I looked at the food stamp program in Florida. It’s really strict. You can’t use food stamps to buy alcohol, tobacco, medicine, vitamins, hot food, food eaten in the store or any other nonfood items.


    • I’m not sure if that is strict. Think about this they can buy lobster, crab legs, steak, foreign and exotic foods! Why would any one need to buy alcohol or tobacco, with a FOOD benefit? And medicine/vitamins are covered by the medical benefit which I am sure most that are on food stamps are already on this. HOT FOOD seriously you should not have the luxury of prepared food when so many that do not receive the benefit can not even get it for themselves. Food stamps need to be much tighter and stricter and less abused!

  2. Hi, I read this article and felt I should throw in my two cents (EBT, FS). I’m currently an unemployed homeless man without kids, and, most importantly, on food stamps in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (Maryland).
    The day I applied for food stamps, I came in almost as soon as the office opened up at about 8:30am, and sat waiting until about 2pm. I could do that because of my situation, but I imagine there are people who wouldn’t be able to; not all homeless are unemployed.
    My case manager was rude, jabbing me with insults the entire interview, morbidly obese to the point of physical ailment, and smelled of awful hygiene practices.
    I enrolled in a job training program, and was told I would be lucky if I heard anything in less than three months. Something happened to my case manager where my case got shifted over and expedited. After a month, I was given short of the full allotted amount ($150) for two months ($300).
    Food stamps, as shoyu pointed out, is a USDA subsidized program only for food; those restrictions apply to all states. It makes it tough when you lack access to a refrigerator or a stove/microwave/oven. As an added bonus, food stamps are tax exempt.
    Now for a little math: You have $150 to spread equally among 30 days, what is your daily budget? That’s right; you have $5 a day.
    What factors might impact that budget? Recent flooding in the heartland and surges in gas prices (transportation costs). Nothing here costs less than $5.00, except for bottled water, and that s#!t ain’t cheap. You could argue that “why not just drink tap?” Have you seen the area’s water statistics? You can find gasoline, lead, and, of course, there was that WSSC water main break that had restaurants shut down and homes boiling water for three days.
    Now, you have $280 to spend on two people (one of them an infant) for 30 days; that’s less than $10 per day. Add in that extra $65 she gets (I just read the CNN piece), and we’re talking $345 — $11.50 per day, assuming she don’t use that $65 a month on other expenses. A single mother, who’s still menstruating (as I’m sure you all know, you lose a lot of nutrients when you bleed), and a growing four month old.
    Of course, there’s always the “alternative;” buy food at the dollar store. I’m limited to the (ready to open) canned food, and have you read the ingredients? It’s as if a chemical plant was under pressure to get rid of its waste products and said “Hey! We can just toss in some food and call it a day!” I can deal with it, I can eat it if I have to, but you better believe that’s not going near my kid. Besides, I haven’t seen baby food or formula at the dollar store.
    Food banks supply you with three days of food, at most, and comprise primarily of desserts and expired foods (not all expired food is spoiled).
    Anyways, at the end of the month (I admit I haven’t been frugal, nor particularly aiming for it) my two-months-worth of food stamps have nearly evaporated. Maybe I could do more with less if I had a kitchen with a refrigerator and an oven/stove/microwave, and I can stretch out my benefits as is, thank God, but there are some people who simply aren’t as fortunate, for whatever reason.
    While I agree that it’s possible to live on less (Hell, I can live on a dollar a day), I don’t think it’s right that Living Almost Large knocks on the woman in the article because she either doesn’t or simply can’t, and while I’m happy that Tight Fisted Miser had a pleasant experience, I don’t think it’s indicative of others’, by-and-large. At least not here. I hope this was helpful.

    • Agree with B! It’s not easy to obtain food stamps in GA.Not easy to obtain them in FL. Not easy anywhere! I get $14 a month, up from $10 in 2 years because I’m on SSDI. I can’t work, but still have to eat! I have monthly utilities and rent to pay. Can anyone who denies that single mom her food stamps live on $14 a MONTH?

      I don’t know how Andy had job that paid his bills and living situation and still got $160 in food stamps, unless someone wasn’t playing fair in reporting income. To eat at a pizza place several times a week is fattening and unhealthy to boot. Did Andy want mama to take her infant to eat pizza? Please, Andy, you insult all women with your comments.

      • Thanks for your comment. Your situation isn’t really comparable to the woman mentioned in the article. I never said it would be easy for someone to live on $14 a month or that a mom should take her infant to eat pizza.

        I just shared the facts of my experience. For me it was a relatively easy and pleasant process and there was no need to lie about my income. I realize others have different experiences but I’m only reporting my own experience.

        • I am surprised at the amount you got, too. I am unemployed. My unemployment insurance is $1100 per month. My rent is $850; I live alone, and I rented the place before I lost my job, though not by much and I can’t get out of the lease without penalty. My car payment is $363 and since it’s actually my Ch. 13 bankruptcy payment, it’s not one that I can reduce or eliminate. As you can see, all my “income” is gone before it gets here. I’ve been out of work essentially since January, with very short-term temp jobs in between (basically just long enough to screw up my unemployment).
          I’ve just gotten approved for food stamps. A whopping $27 per month. While I don’t have a tremendous appetite, I have no idea how I’m expected to survive on that. I also am lucky enough to have Celiac’s as well as food allergies, so I can’t do a ramen noodle 16 pack or grab a couple loaves of bread, a jar of peanut butter and some jelly and call it a day. Although I am very happy to have the assistance, I wish someone could explain to me how I’m supposed to feed myself on 90 cents a day.

          • Oh my goodness. $27 per month. That’s just crazy. I just applied for food stamps for my family. My husband lost his job and my pay is peanuts. (former employer is fighting unemployment). With just my pay for a family of 4 our benefits should be approx $687. Mary I’m sorry they only gave you $27, I don’t know how they kept a straight face when they told you that amount. Good luck to you. I hope things turn around for you and others who posted those silly dollar amounts.

          • Sorry to hear that. I also applied for foodstamps… We’ll see… Have you thought to go and live in South America? I heard you can live pretty good on your unemployment. Just a thought.

    • B,

      Thank you so much for posting this! My heart goes out to you and even though your original post was in 2008, I hope that things have turned around for you. People don’t understand what it really means to struggle. Not to mention the COST of food. I appreciate your breakdown and for making it plain to those who just don’t get it.

  3. I totally understand why someone who has no access to cooking and refrigeration facilities would find it much more expensive to feed themselves. Your words offered a perspective I had not yet thoroughly considered. Thank you.

    I do want to put my two cents in regarding the new mother, however. When my son was born (and until he was 2yo), I feed my family of three on less than $250/mth. I breast fed the baby and cut grocery corners wherever I could w/o sacrificing nutrition. As the baby grew, I easily made homemade baby food by steaming and pureeing fruits and veggies. His rice cereal cost us about $8/mth. Many communities have produce markets where fresh fruits and veggies are sold for much less than they are in the grocery. To this day, we get much of our produce from these markets. Dried beans are sold in just about every grocery and are not only VERY inexpensive, but very nutritious. Pasta is affordable and flexible. Even though this year’s crop has been hurt, rice is still cheap and nutritious. Sales on chicken are something I still look for. Fish can reasonably make it to the frugal table once a week via can or freezer.

    My son’s first two years were spent in a neighborhood where food stamps were the norm. I heard the same complaints from the people around me–there was no way to feed their family on the amount of food stamps they got. It would upset me greatly because I KNEW these neighbors were eating more expensive (and often, less nutritious) foods than we were and that was why they were struggling with it. I wouldn’t offer my opinion here if I hadn’t lived it.

  4. I just felt like I had to put in my two cents worth on this one. I had received $389 in food stamps per month for a family of four. I did work but didn’t make enough money for everything. I found that shopping for family packs and breaking them down into 2 meals worked very well. Let’s say you get 8 pork chops, make 2 meals by giving each person one. With potatoes, a veggie and a slice of bread or a roll, that makes a great dinner. Also, any left overs I have, I put in baggies and toss them in the freezer, at the end of the month, I put all that into a big pot and make soup. The soup usually makes about three dinners. Bread and rice are good belly fillers. I really like rice because you can make many different tastes with it.

  5. I found the article to be interesting but I’m on food stamps and I don’t find it to be enough for my family. My husband only makes $11.75 and I stay home with our kids because it would cost more to school them than I could make, while were going to school. We receive $379 month in benefits in Florida and that is not enough for two 22yr olds, a 4 yr old and a 7mths old. We even prepare all our meals, and never buy freezer food. I can believe a single person could live on that little. But I couldn’t see myself and the baby living on only $280.

  6. Jewelie- I can see how $379 for four people would be difficult. I think $280 for an adult and a baby is very doable though. There are lots of tips in the comments on how to lower your food bill. You might try some and see if they work for you.

  7. You were able to live on 160 a month because you had free food given to you for working in the food industry. We are a family of 5 living in texas with a monthly income of 1600.00. which all goes on bills and what we receive a month on food stamps is only 55 dollars. texas is strict from what i can tell. we should be eligible for way more dont you agree.

  8. sandlinmix6- I lived in Texas when I received the $160 a month. I think the amount you receive depends on which county you live in. Receiving only $55 a month for a family of 5 is obviously not going to be enough.

  9. I live in FL. Been looking for a job everyday for 13 months. I was just denied food stamps because I am on unemployment. My daughter and I will just continue to eat Ramen soup and peanut butter sandwiches I guess. Isn’t that healthy? Thanks FL, NOT. The only people here that can get food stamps are homeless or have a ridiculous amount of children. It’s OK for the rest of us to go hungry. What a crappy place to live.

    • Sorry I have to call BS on this one.

      I’m in FL as well, and also currently on unemployment. What’s more, I’m on MARYLAND unemployment whish has a much higher cap than FL ($430 as opposed to $275 weekly). With a family of 4, we qualify for foodstamps and medicaid for the kids. We don’t get much, but since I’m being given something I’m not earning, I’m thankful for any little bit, rather than PO’ed because my handout isn’t as big as I’d like.

      FL will NOT deny you based on whether ot not you are on unemployment. They WILL deny you if your assets are above limits, etc. So they did not deny you because you are on unemployment.

      • I have to disagree too. I’m currently receiving food stamps in FL and am not homeless nor do I have any kids. Not pregnant either. I am unemployed but am not receiving unemployment. I only pay about $140 in housing costs a month but when you have no income that’s a lot. I also have no assets whatsoever. I’m sorry for your situation and do not necessarily agree with the way they base the decision. Like how if you have a life insurance policy that’s factored in. So I guess you’re supposed to borrow on your life insurance so that your family is completely screwed if something happens to you. It’s ridiculous but it’s how it is.

  10. I applied for food stamps when my husband lost his job in new york. It took them six weeks to process my application and now that I got my food stamps for the time applied through the end of January. All of a sudden there is a problem with my February stamps. I just didnt get them and guess what no one answer the phone or calls you back. I am a family of five. We are still in tough shape. God people we need to fix the system. When I applied the worker was the most unfriendly person I ever met. Where do they find these people. It is as if they hate their jobs. People be human.

  11. I read the post, and some of the comments, and I just wanted to put in a few words. I myself, am currently waiting for foodstamp benefits, so I can definately in some way understand the way that some of the previous commenters are feeling; however, I wanted to say a few words against all the complaining. #1, yes, I agree, the process in my state, TX has been rediculous, and the caseworkers are normally very rude, and always treat you like you are lying. But I wanted to say to those complaining about the amount of benefits that they recieved. That $160 or $250, or whatever you recieved is more that nothing. Keep in mind that there are families that are struggling, and are not able to receive these benefits. This is an ASSISTANCE program. These programs exist to help you in a time of need, not to support you. It is your job to provide for your family, yourself, your children. Not the governments. I am not saying that there are not people out there that need these services, I am one of them. I am just saying, be greatful for the HELP that you do get. That is what the program is for… to help. If you cannot feed your family on the amount that you are given in the form of assistance, then it is your responsibility to do what you need to do to feed your family. Coupons, sales, like the one person mentioned about the markets. Instead of buying that extra bag of chips, or that box of hot pockets, but things for meals.

    Like I said, I do understand that yes, there are problems with the system. But it is irritating when people receive help, something is given to them, and they are ungreatful for what they have been given. Just remember, that amount that you received, is better than nothing.

    • I completely agree. It’s very frustrating to be on that is not on foodstamps, supporting myself on a minimum wage job, getting more and more taxes taken out, which go towards food stamps. There are some in need of them, I understand-I am not against them. But it is a bit ridiculous when one believes that the government (better yet, people who are working, trying to survive themselves,) should support them and their family. Very very frustrating. Be a bit more appreciative.

  12. 1- I’m a caseworker in the FS office in Texas, and have worked there almost 17 years. I’m not one of the “rude” ones, but I get treated rudely on a daily basis by my clients- I didn’t put them in their particular situations, but please believe it’s always “our” fault.

    2- I’m also a single mother of 2. 2 TEENAGERS. I feed us on around $250 per month and so I know it’s doable. Many that get FS with babies also get WIC- so in essence, that $260 being received by the mom and her baby is plenty- IF she knows what to do with it. I struggle too, yet am unable to get assistance- so I don’t buy the $4 boxes of cereal, soda, etc. I buy lots of chicken and hamburger meat. Potatoes. Vegetables. My kids don’t and never have “lacked” in food- then, you know there is angelfoodministries that sells pretty good stuff and they take FS as well. There IS a way.

    3- Texas isn’t “strict” insomuch as FS are regulated by the Feds, so but for some very minor differences, cases are worked the same nationwide- income limits aren’t determined in local offices, they are determined by the FEDS. Deductions allowed are also determined by the feds.

    • I was just discontinued from Food stamps becouse i chose to go to school to better my families lives. My husband suffered a heart attack in Jan, It jeft him with a electrical blockage . yes he went back to work full time but we have no health insurance. We went from help for a family of 4 $ 365.00 in food stamps to 199.00 his hrs at work are only 32 a week. I only eat once a day so the rest can eat.. Boy bet the feds dont worry what they’ll eat at nite. By the way im in oklahoma.

      • The government didn’t make you have babies so why are they supposed to pay for ALL your food. People put themselves in these situations. Where’s your plan B? The FEDS may not have to worry about what they eat at night because they don’t start popping out kids and expect the government to pay for their mistakes.

        • Ok first of all you are wrong for your comment. She know the government didnt make her” pop “out kids. This is a natural things for women. Do you have kids, I guess not! You read that her husband had a heart attack, but you still decide to down grade her. You should be ashame!!! Dont comment on some you dont have knowledge about!!!

  13. What do you do with a worker who is incredibly rude? She has got to be the worst person to deal with in a situation that’s both embarrassing and necessary.

    What do we do?

  14. I just went and applied for food assistance last Friday. Luckily my caseworker was decent. I was already humiliated asking for assistance, so my caseworker treating me like a human helped a bit.
    I couldn’t manage $260 a month in assistance. That breaks down to like $63 or a so a week. Not including the month with 5 weeks. And baby food is NOT cheap!! Sure she can get WIC, but WIC does not cover the cost of baby foods, which a 10 month old would be on right now.
    Leave it to the Government to give as little as possible!

  15. After reading this article and the comments I just wanted to toss me 2 cents in.

    I am on disability (which is a WHOLE other issue in and of itself lol) and I receive Food stamp benefits in Massachusetts.

    I recently got an increase in my food stamps and I get $172 a month in food stamps. If you split that buy 30 days that is about 5.33 per day for meals.

    Split that by 3 meals a day that is 1.77 per meal. Realistically I don’t know how people are expected to live off of that.

    I have tried living off of boxed macaroni and cheese (which is like 3 for a dollar at my local super market and surprisingly good lol) as well as living off of Ramen (soup/noodles)which is like 5 dollars for 25 packages and still struggled.

    And there have been times where I still came up short and I had to go to a food pantry at the end of the month just to have food to last me until I got my food stampos again.

    Let me take that a step further. With the little you get with food stamps it is even more difficult to be able to afford to eat healthier and or to even afford fresh produce and other dairy items. Especially with the rising costs of food. Milk alone is almost 4 dollars a gallon where I live.

    I do not know how people with children make it each month.

    Don’t get me wrong food stamps help me out. Without them I would surely STARVE but as my Food Stamp worker informed me “Food stamps are not supposed to pay for all of your groceries per month. They are meant to subsidize you grocery costs. The DTA (Department OF Transitional Assistance {“welfare” ion my state} expects people to pay for their groceries also”

    I am NOT knocking the food stamp program down. Not by any means. It has helped me. Without them I would surely starve. I just think you have to make creative use of your food stamps.

    My best advice is cut coupons and shop according to what your supermarket has in their sales flier that week.

  16. I am currently on disability, but I used to be a food stamp caseworker in Texas, for many years. “Rude” is the favorite term clients have for their caseworkers.

    I will explain a few things, but notexplore how food stamps are spent.

    Many caseworks work VERY hard for clients, and many of the clients don’t realize the caseworkers don’t make the policy, and care more about the FS recipients than anyone else. The politicians don’t care; they think they’re being generous already.

    I worked about a year longer than I should have, dragging myself to work in a chronically understaffed FS office to help people. Maybe the “overweight” stinky DC caseworker had similar problems as I did, still trying to give it his all. that ill caseworker gave him? The caseworker went to work SICK, but the homeless man wasn’t working. I doubt the DC food stamp office had a fully trained person waiting to replace him.

    Golly gee, I’ve heard chronically unemployed welfare recipients call caseworkers “lazy” lots of times.

    Food stamps go on formulas EVERYWHERE. Things like rent and utility expenses are budgeted against income. Sometimes the caseworker does make a mistake. You can ask for a supervisor or file a formal appeal.

    Government has cutoffs. Has to. Even if they do not seem fair.

    You may not know your neighbor’s situation in full. Ten years ago, I could give a working mother with 2 children maybe $125 in food stamps if she was $1 under the limit. But if she went $1 over the income limit, she got nothing.

    I was too busy doing my daily job to worry about how my clients spent their food stamps. Almost everybody who came in said they didn’t have any food. Yet, if we made a food bank referral. very few would actually go. That’s how we knew most were not really out of food. Who really runs out of food can vary according to office location.

    The DC homeless man spent approximately 6 hours in the office and eventually got almost $300 in food stamps. That paid a lot better than 6 hours at minimum wage.

    Everything in life has a price, whether it’s waiting in a social service office a few hours for help or working some job for minimum wage.

    I worked close to urban homelessness, but most homeless eat at the soup kitchens. I don’t know about DC, but in Texas, there aren’t many social services for the homeless either. But my homeless clients seemed to eat. I would believe a homeless person claiming not to have any food, but most food stamps recipients everywhere live in homes. Most have some food left in their homes, too, they just don’t want what they got.

    Again, if they were really hungry and we couldn’t give them FS as quick as they wanted, they’d go to a food bank. Not very many ever went to the food bank.

    If you think your worker is rude, talk to a supervisor or call a main office. However, most of the complaints we ever got were unjustified. Most people just wanted their food stamps instantly, and it takes time.

    In Texas, almost everybody wants emergency food stamps the same day without waiting. Not every household is eligible for emergency food stamps. The regulations say eligible households will get food stamps in 30 days.

    30 days doesn’t always happen either. Why? The programs are woefully underfunded. Clients don’t return adequate info. There are computer problems and staffing problems. It takes nerves of steel to keep working welfare and have people screaming at you for food when many things are beyond your control.

    But if you WORK at a job, you almost always get your paycheck timely. Once I didn’t get paid timely because the IRS had seized one of my employer’s accounts. The laws are stricter about paychecks. American employers used to pay late and stiff employees, but laws were passed with penalties.

    WORK, folks, is a much more reliable way to get stuff. I don’t see social services getting any easier to obtain in the near future.

  17. More ramblings on posts:

    I always found it strange when caseworkers said stuff like the department expects you to pay for part of your food yourself and FS are meant to subsidize food costs. That’s a comment I’d report to a supervisor.

    It’s true that FS were meant as a subsidy. Nevertheless,the program has changed such that there are people who have 0 income and use FS as their only means to buy food.

    Zero income is usually a temp situation. The homeless or unemployed should eventually get a job or disability.

    Welfare parents also get cash assistance. However, now we have whole generations who have grown up on food stamps and school lunches who don’t associate food with work.
    There are other things that the caseworker is required by law to tell the applicant and probably never did; eg, the interview is confidential, you have the right to appeal, etc.

    Telling people to buy only generic food brands and to use coupons is also inappropriate. Such statements are only appropriate if asked.

    FS may be used to buy seeds to grow food and any food not meant to be consumed on the premises. No alcohol, cigs, or paper products. The FS recipient is free to spend their benefit as he or she pleases on any allowable food. That includes cheap or expensive foods.

    Anyone who has a problem with a whole generation growing up eating on assistance or buying candy and steaks should contact their politicians. That’s the way the program is.

    It’s never true that only the homeless or people with kids get FS. Unemployment comp is income, and if the income is high enough, a person may not also get FS. You are expected to spend job income, worker’s comp, Soc Sec, unemployment comp, etc., to buy food.

  18. I came upon this article becasue I was looking for what can and cannnot be bought with food stamps in the state of Florida. Myself and my S.O. have both recently lost our jobs,there is no income what so ever coming into our household at the moment. I didn’t think we would be eligible for food stamps being that we don’t have children and we are not a married couple. Much to my suprise we were eligible at the amount of $364.00 per month, which I was also suprised at!

    I just wanted to say a few things to a previous response made by “B” the out of work homeless man….

    While I agree that it certainly would be very difficult for someone without a home to perpare meals and I am sorry for your stituation but maybe you could sell your computer to help you out??? I mean how exactly does a homeless person have a computer without having a home and electricity to use it in?

    Oh how rude of me, maybe your using one at the public library? Maybe you should try using it to, I don’t know LOOK FOR A JOB, instead of posting on a blog site?? I’m just saying I find it hard to believe your situation as you stated it and funny that no one else called you out on it before me, that’s all.

    However the facet that you have broken down the amounts into a “daily allowance” is why it seems almost impossible to survive on the amounts that were given. But if you’re smarter than your average bear, you know that it’s best to shop on a weekly bases anyways. So with that being said, try this out instead…. for the lady that was on her own and given $160/month, she would have $40/week, to spend on food. And for the lady and her infant child that was alotted $280/month, that breaks down to $70/per week. And I’m sure, I’d be safe to assume that if she was receiving food stamps, she was also receiving WIC for her baby, so none of the $280 would have to be used for formula and the cash benifits she was given would be used for diapers, wipes or things of that nature. Now if she couldn’t make $70 a week work for just one person, then she has bigger problems than we know about!!! And I only say this because before we received food stamps, $70/week was close to what I budged for 2 and we had plenty.

    • @joanny: im alittle confused at how u are coming at everyone when u and your s.o are getting fs with no children. You r telling the homeless guy to use the computer to get a job but u are also unemployed and using the computer to blog. Shouldnt u follow your own advice?

  19. Here’s my experience. My husband lost his job over a year ago and we tried to make it without food stamps for as long as possible. He could only find a job at a pizza place making less than a 1/3 of what he made at his tech job, which isn’t much especially with over $500 in student loans a month and the rest of the bills. Needless to say we had no money for food. My parents would give us about $50 a month for food and we lived off that for over half a year. We finally broke down and decided to apply for food stamps. It took them 2 1/2 months to finally approve us. We received $313 a month for a family of 3. We have a 1 year old son. We found that amount to be quite enough for us. My husband and I don’t usually eat very much as it is so getting an extra $250 a month to buy food was great. We were able to buy food that we hadn’t had in over a year. Shrimp, Steak, Salmon, you name it we got it. We were like two kids in a candy store. We even stocked up on canned, baking, and dried goods for the next few months and still had enough left over for treats. My son is still on formula and he also eats quite a bit of 3rd stage baby food and the cost can add up quick. But we managed to have plenty of money to buy everything we needed and then some. I do think that a mother and baby can live off of $280 a month. But it really depends on how much you eat. Some people eat a little some people eat a lot, most of the people I know eat a lot sorry to say but that’s why America is Obese.

    • You bought steak and shrimp with food stamps??? That blows my mind when I made the earlier comment with the husband with electrical blockage in heart. My food stamps dropped to 133 a month when he went to work full time. Now we really do have nights hungry since gas is $4.00 gal. we decide weekly if i will miss school or not eat. Yes I’m currently seeking employment, And will probably have to drop out of school.

  20. im 32 years old guy currently unemploye wich is very thankfull with the childrens and familys departament,i just got a EBT card for me and my 7 years old Princess for $367 is so much food ! i dont even know how to eat all that !
    thanks God and thanks to the goverment for it !

    i would recomend to everyone in need to keep calling and to apply online;IS DEFINITLY THE BEST WAY.


  21. Hm. Okay. I have never been on food stamps, let me start by saying that. However, my family has never been wealthy by any means. We cut coupons, we go sale shopping, and we go to the Dollar Store to get food simply because it is cheaper, and will save money. I’m 18 years old and I’ve worked 2 jobs for the past three years while still in high school to save money. I’m now in college, still working. Let me first say that I am not against food stamps…when it comes to situations where the individuals NEED them. Not want them, but NEED them.
    I worked in a local grocery store for 3 years, where food stamps were accepted. I understand that situations such as single mothers/fathers, or a disaster occurs in the area, that assistance is surely needed until stability is regained. Yet it seems as though more and more food stamps are being handed out left and right to ones who are not in need. I have watched countless people buy cookies, cakes, soft drinks, and candy with their Food Stamp cards…yet then complain because the “government thinks poverty is a joke” because they aren’t given enough money. This always humors me.

    Whats extremely frustrating, is for me, working 2 jobs in high school, watch unemployed people buy countless useless items, the most expensive brand foods, as I watch my paycheck go down the drain, continually being hit with more taxes, which go toward the food stamp program. With the rise of poverty and economical crisis this country is experiencing, life is getting tough. Tough, however, does not mean impossible.

    Lastly, I think that the newer Food Stamp card, that can also be used as a debit card is absolutely shameful. What exactly is the point of this? Because from my experience, this has just allowed them free cash to do as they please. Are we now handing out cash to pay their bills too?! Individuals purchase cartons of cigs, and magazines…using their EBT Debit Card…or better yet, using my paycheck, seeing as when using the Debit Card version, items do not have to be food items to be paid for with EBT. It is normal for people to come in and buy a pack of .25 gum, use their EBT Debit Card to pay, and then when given the option for cash back (just like a normal debit card), withdrawel every single dime off of their EBT card.

    The money is given as a gift. It is not your right to have it, and honestly, you did not earn the money, and you certainly aren’t entitled to any of it. I hate to downplay the families that are actually in need of food stamps, and who do use them wisely, because I know they exist, and I respect them for that. But honestly people, be appreciative, because I worked two jobs my high school career to support myself…and you…and not with the intent to help you buy expensive cereal, cookies, soft drinks, cigs, and magazines…but instead to try to assist you in survival. And there was a time when people were surviving on a lot less, and were a lot more appreciative of what they had, not expecting nor demanding that someone feed them, and provide them with their idea of an acceptable amount of money every month.

    • I dont know where you live, but that most def. Doesnt happen here in tx.! There is no option, its just swipe and the and the amount it costs gets deducted and thats it. Now, it used to be that way back in the early 90s, but not niw a days, so that must of been several years ago or a really outdated system. Just thought I would let you know that.

    • Well stated Emily. I agree 100% with you and you spelled it out so much better than I ever could. I also worked at a grocery store through High School and College. After College I worked in the medical field. Like you I also witnessed wasteful spending of taxpayer money (food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, etc.). It is disgusting when you are a proud person working and sacrificing to make your own way and you see your gov. take your hard earned money to give it to those who do nothing to make a contribution to society. People on food stamps DO buy food I would never buy (and my husband and I are far from poverty..when you work for your $ you are very careful what you spend it on) I also believe we should take care of those “in true need” but only them…not all the scammers. 🙂

      • I know these are old comments are old, but I had to comment to correct Emily’s statement. People are not using food stamps as “cash” the EBT cards are also used for cash assistance that some people may get. In this case the cash is put onto the card and able to be used as any other debit/credit card. Ahh to be young again… at 18, you have all the answers to ALL the problems. Hopefully, at some point, you grow up and realize you have no idea “why” or “what” a person is going through. As a cashier at a store you can’t possible have any idea what your customers life is like, so maybe you should withhold judgement.

  22. I live in florida with my boyfriend and our 18 month old daughter. We only receive $160 for the three of us. I find it very diffucult to make it last the full month. I find ourselves running out of money with in two weeks. i shop at the cheapest stores i can, and purchase the cheapest foods i can. Food stamps in florida can only be spent on food and that is it. We do not purchase soft drinks, if we purchase drinks at all it is kool-aid. But some other people have informed me that there is a good chance that we receive this low amount due to not being married. I have heard of them giveing one person $160, and that being plenty but there are 3 of us and $160 is not enough. Our income from jobs is enough to pay bills and that is it.

  23. If that woman also “had access to free food several times a week”, I’m sure she too would think that amount was more than enough.

  24. Anonymous – If you would have read the article you would see that she did have access to free food several times a week. That fact is mentioned in the second sentence of the article.

  25. I have a friend in Florida that is on Food Stamps and other government assistance. She needed phone service and found a company that helped her get discount phone service. Now she feels safer and more in control of her life and safety. Her kids feel safer because they have a phone to call mommy or 911 in case of an emergency. She lives in Florida and the only qualifications were that she is on government assistance and is in a Southern Bell (AT&T) region. I thought I’d pass this on via this website so that others can take advantage of these benefits. The name of the company is EASY Telephone and the toll free number is 888-871-6350. Their website is for those that have access. There’s no deposit, no credit check, and you get call waiting, caller ID, and some free long distance minutes. I hope this helps some of you out there.

  26. WIC in michigan….I was a bottle and breastfeeding mother. my baby got 4/5 cans of formula ( not breastfeed babies get 9 cans) 24 oz of infant cereal. 32 jars baby food. PLUS since I was breastfeeding I got milk, cheese, cereal, egg’s, peanutbutter and juice. now that she is over one she gets the food i was getting and i do not. If it were just my baby and I on WIC AND getting $280 in food assistance I KNOW we would be fine. I feed a family of 5 ( 2 kids get wic) on LESS than $300 a month and have been since my husband was laid of in early November it IS a struggle but we are making it. thank goodness for all the free food at family gatherings over Christmas!

  27. I am in the process of applying for food stamps for myself my husband and our 2 children. We recently move in with my in-laws in Florida from New Jersey because we could no longer to afford our home-our baby sitter who was about 1/4 of the cost of daycare weekly-in addition with our household and personal bills (credit cards, cell phone, car payments) would still have cost me more than i brought home a month. Most of the time I was the only one with money left from my paycheck for groceries. My husband had a job lined up and i was going to stay home just for a few months to take care of our 4 y/o and 3 m/o -he was told all he had to do was go in and talk to the manager oncer we moved (1000 miles mind you) and then that fell through so we are both unemployed. I saved enough of my disability income to cover MY bills alone for about 4 months and now I have to help pay my husbands personal bills, which are about 3 times the amount of mine, until he gets a job. The day he didnt get the job he was anticipating, we knew we were going to need help. My in-laws have been doing fine for just the two of them on my f-i-l’s meager SSI and pension, but we didnt want to depend on them to pay for our food and other necessities, not to mention baby items. Every location my husband tried to apply to re

  28. Finding ways to cut down expenses that aren’t needed helped my family get through. As a family of 4 & the economy so bad, I found doing a strict budget on paper & sticking to it helped a great deal. We got a magic jack for our phone which is only 20/yr. Also TV is expensive & there are cheaper alternatives & well, getting off the couch is the best alternative. If you’re stuck in a contract, paying the termination fee can save a lot. It may seem like a lot but $60/mo for 5 months usually equals the termination fee. If you can’t come up with the money at once, reduce to a basic package. My internet is only 20/month & I keep that cause I’m currently in school. Sams Club also helps a lot too on certain things. I also clip coupons, buy generic and drink water. Energy light bulbs, hanging my clothes outside to dry & when we got our taxes we went to a buy here pay here car dealership & got a decent car we own with low payments & we now owe nothing. I also unplug items when not in use. Family packs of meat when on sale can be divided & frozen for meals. We got a filter for our tap water & I make pitchers of sun tea for my husband & son & for my daughter I make pitchers of kool-aid. A large can of peanut butter goes a long way too; luckily none of us are allergic! It’s hard for a lot of people right now but getting rid of small things may help. Good Luck!

  29. It amazes me the abuses that many people do on government assistance. True it does really help some people save money on food, but it also is severely abused.

    If you have a computer, TV, phone, electronics and a vehicle, I don’t see why you think it is right to force people at gunpoint (yes gunpoint because if people don’t pay taxes for your food men with guns come to visit them) to pay for your food.

    It’s not right. Many people struggle. Do you make home made bread? Do you save money on power and electricity? Do you learn how to live very frugally and make your own homemade laundry detergent?

    Learn to live frugally, learn to save money, then you may not need food stamps or SNAP.

    • Frugal Dad, what you say is true however I would bet that you are not in need of the SNAP Program. I find people who have not yet been humbled by the experience of going through it themselves are rather preachy to others in that situation.

      The program is designed to help you through a bad period in your life, not to be a permanent means to buying food. The other point I would like for you and others to consider is this: Do you actually think people who need these programs NEVER WORKED A DAY IN THEIR LIVES? It’s time for Americans who are doing better than those that are not to wake up out of their “I’m better than you, coma” to realize that with things going the way they are and life as it is, IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. Very easily.

      Cease looking down your frugal nose at others, stereotyping them and assuming so much. You are closed minded and want others to be just like you. Sorry, no thank you.

  30. I know I’m a little late to the party here, but I felt the need to leave my 2 cents. My husband and I live in FL and have 4 kids (9 ,4, 3 & 1). My husband has suffered from mental illness for years, but had a severe “breakdown” almost 2 years ago (and before anyone comments, the baby was the only child NOT planned – big oops, but…). Because his mental status can change from day-to-day with no warning, I have to stay home to help care for him and the 3 little ones who are not in school. He receives SSDI (a whole other challange!) and we receive $380/month in food stamps. This is our only income. We also receive WIC (which is GREAT in FL – it varies by state though). By learning to shop very frugaly I am able to comfortably feed our family of 6. I shop sales. I clip coupons. I make most of our food from scratch. We eat pleanty of veggies & meat. It’s been a learning process, but it IS do-able . For those in need check out (they take FS), and These 3 sites have helped me sooo much. Good luck to all!

  31. I just recently applied for food benefits in the state of Tx! They gave me $102 but denied my 16 mo old son? im really not understanding why!

  32. Check this out there are approximately 40 million Americans obese…. But then there are approximately 40 million Americans on food stamps. I agree I struggled and made 160 a week from unemployment and was denied food stamps some how I made too much money. But I paid all my bills and let go of many luxuries. I bought more rice and beans and ate less than the HUGE meals I used to. It ended up being better for me if I had been on stamps I would have bought luxury foods that are unnecessary for survival and most people on stamps just use it to maintain a specific lifestyle when it is supposed to be there to help you maintain your life its not for your enjoyment. I don’t think the program needs to be totally abolished there are people that actually need it but I feel like there should be other self improvement to create independence instead of spoiledness and dependency.

  33. I’m not sure if anyone is still responding to this post but I’m 9 months pregnant, engaged but not yet married & lost my job last year. I’m on unemployment which only provides me with $275 per week in FL & being that I used to earn over 30k prior to losing my job I obviously have bills from my former lifestyle & $275 does not cut it! Plus rent, food, baby necessities etc. I was denied EBT & I thought it was because I am on unemployment but I just read a post on here that stated otherwise! So what assets are they considering? A car? Am I to sell my car to buy food? A home? (I don’t own one! But I’m just asking!) do they expect you to sell your home? I agree some people abuse the system but then there are situations like the one I’m in, I apply for 5 jobs per week, interview at least once a month but no one is going to hire a woman that is about to give birth! Regardless of their credentials! They may not “say” it but it’s obvious to me when they ask me if I’m planning to stay home with my newborn! Yes I will have to at least for a few weeks if not longer!

    However, I have friends that don’t have kids & get 160 a month on EBT!!! What gives?!? I have friends with husbands that make more money than my fiance that get 200! On EBT! What’s going on here?!

  34. Well Andy and all others who bash those on food stamps wake up be real Do some simple math. This is 2011 not 2003 and $160.00 wont feed you now. I worked 7 days a week 365 10 to 12 hours a day some times less or more. I had to get food stamps I find its disgusting and a disgrace and a bad joke and total invasion of privacy. If Companies Where not so freaking greedy that applies to both employers and product suppliers of not just foods but across the board most people wouldn’t and shouldn’t need to beg the gov/state for food. Hot food many families live homeless or stuck in motels that either don’t allow cooking or rooms they can cook from whatever source cost extra enough they can’t afford. Hot food can be saved at least a day goes further to feed a family other foods spoil and goto waste Then the Health Factor Microwave Foods Cause Serous long term health effects and cancer deaths. Like the Old AMCO TV ADD PAY ME NOW A LITTLE OR PAY ME A LOT LATER Poor eatting creates long term serous health problems, every person should have basic health and dental care working or not working child or adult because little things left go turn to big things later and we all pay that bill. bad Dental is proven to cause heart attacks and strokes My last Stroke Cost more than my freaking house did for just 2 days in the hospital one test alone was over 10 grand that is a new car for some. I have never owned a new car in my life. Like the homeless fella from Maryland here said do some math I am dying disabled can’t be cured was poisoned at worl no one held accountable get less than a grand a mount for family of 3 was getting 240 now she went to work part time puts income up to 1500 a month home needs major repairs family is prisoner in home bills where always behind no home insurance and with her extra 500 coming in that reduced the food stamp amount to 93 a month so much for paying the bills on time getting rid of the late fees or getting insurance forget ever going anywhere to do family or fun thing is that what I get for working 45 years of my life away never mind having to loose everything before being deemed disabled How Disgusting is America or Will America Get.

    • It’s terrible that you are going through that and how yes you have worked 45 years of your life away to have only debt and 93 in fs. I am not here to bash fs or government assistance. It’s shameful how people are quick to judge on this blog. I have worked my whole adult life and I’ve seen people struggle and though I haven’t had it rough or fell into hard times like many on here I would never judge on what a family can or can not survive on. I do think yes maybe in some cases there is some abused of the system going on in ways but I think most people are just trying to get by with the little help they get. As a young adult in my early 20s, I feel like I am glad that my taxes out of my paycheck go to help these people in need.

      • I never had a problem with working, especially for this need. People should be happy in the food they buy, not embarrassed, I mean, if I had foodstamps and I needed fish to eat, I will get it, mostly for nutritional purposes, but because I like it too. And cokes, why cant kids get cokes just because of fs? Their situation is not their fault and be put under scrutiny because they wanted something to enjoy, thats what makes people hate other people. And I did want to say one thing, if people here are struggling, then get on fs and quit complaining! Thats what they are there for and why we pay taxes! I dont hold any anger to those who get what they need, but im discouraged by the ABUSERS of it.

  35. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I worked in retail all through college. Let it be known, while in college, I paid all my own bills on a tiny income. It frustrates me that in order to “make something” of myself, I had to go hungry a lot of the time. But I did it because it was MY CHOICE to only work 20 hours a week at low pay. However, when I was at that job (retail pharmacy store CVS) I saw SO much abuse of the system. I saw people come in and use a LoneStar (Texas ebt) card to buy $2.99 coffee drinks, sodas, gummy worms, chips, and candy. I was appalled that people living on tax dollars were able to buy these nutritionally bankrupt foods (some while talking on an iPhone). Tax dollars are not there to subsadize junk food or help budget a fancy phone. So, the anti-SNAP attitudes may come from limited and negative experiences with it. Do I think all people on SNAP are lazy, lazy-good-for-nothing, cheats who abuse the system? Of course not! But I think there are some poorly written policies in the program that allow a few bad apples to ruin my sympathies for SNAP recipients. Not being ugly, just giving a point of refernence for the root of some bad perceptions.

    I am also not so quick to feel sorry for families of four, five, or fifty. It disgusts me that people with JOBS not careers have multiple children. I am a 25 year old women. I do not have children. Guess what, I am not on SNAP benefits. I have planned to have A child (one, uno, singular) only when I have $20,000 in the bank. I’m a teacher so it will be another 3 to 4 years for me to do that. I made good choices by getting educated, working my whole life, and controlling irresponsible child bearing. It disgusts me that people don’t take responsibility for their irresponsible choices. But I guess even irresponsible people need food.

    And rant over.

    • @Taylor – I think this is one of the most ignorant responses I’ve read thus far. If you call yourself a teacher and take this attitude towards services designed to help people, then no wonder America’s educational system is not up to par.

      First, how can you even say that people with multiple children working jobs disgust you?

      The reality of it, is yes, many people have JOBS, not careers. I had a career at AT&T but it felt like a JOB because I hated working for them.

      Also, some people are just not cut out for college and choose to work JOBS. Who’s going to take my order at McDonald’s if everyone is a doctor or lawyer? We need these people who work JOBS just as much as we need those who have careers. And anyway, the difference between a job and a career is perspective.

      That cashier at Wal-Mart might be happy with her job and considers that her career while the executive at AT&T hates his career and views it a job – a means to make money and not very fulfilling. My sister-in-law has worked as a cashier at Lowe’s for 6 years and loves it. I worked for corporate America and hated every minute of it.

      So I find you ignorant to stay that it disgusts you that people with multiple children work jobs. At least their working trying to take care of their children instead of relying solely on government benefits to help them! Or maybe those people with multiple children working JOBS had careers but was laid off!

      Also, when you work, you’re not going to get that much help from the government. Some working people JOBS only receive $10 in food stamps and don’t qualify for welfare and medicaid. And the trouble you have to go through to get that isn’t it worth it half the time.

      However, just because a person has multiple children working a JOB doesn’t mean they’re getting government assistance. That is a narrow-minded stereotype.

      It’s not a crime to have 2, 3, 4, or 50 children. Let people have children because those same children are going to grow up and get jobs and have money cut out of their checks to fund services for YOU when you’re old, disabled, and/or retired.

      And don’t you dare for one second think you’ll never end up needing services because of your RESPONSIBLE decisions.

      You know where you’ve been but you don’t know where you’re going. You could walk out of your door and end up in car accident that leaves you injured and unable to work. And then when you apply for disability, they’ll deny you and tell you that you can find other work due to your educational background and while you get your lawyer and fight social security, you’ll need those food stamps to help feed you. But when your friend calls on your iPhone that got before you were disabled and the cashier gives you a disgusted look for paying for that ice cream you’ve been dying for with food stamps – remember what you posted on this website.

      Cause like I said previously, you know where you’ve been but you don’t know where you’re going. You have no idea what tomorrow holds for you.

      Secondly, I think you show your ignorance to judge people based on what you saw without knowing their whole story. Did you ask those people in CVS buying junk food with food stamps how they got their iPhone or why they were buying junk food or how they ended up needing food stamps in the first place or did you just automatically make an assumption?

      I know a girl that receives a check once a month, lives in public housing, receives max food stamps, has $500 cell phone, wears not exactly expensive but pricey clothes, and drives a 2010 dodge charger.

      And if you saw her, the first thing you’d say is she’s abusing the system; I hate my taxes go to help people like her; something needs to be done about the system to keep people like her from abusing it.

      On the outside, it does look like that.

      But guess what? This girl has boyfriend who bought her the cell phone by adding her to his plan – and guess what? They received the cell phone free for adding a new line to his account. The car – it belongs to her boyfriend. If they break up, she no longer has transportation. The clothes – he keeps her looking nice. Of course, he has a volatile temper and will hit her when he gets angry. And the one time she called me to come get her, he had locked her in the house beat her until she almost died. And it’s not easy to get out of abusive relationships because of FEAR and LOW SELF-ESTEEM.

      Just makes you sick to your stomach to see how great her life is, doesn’t it, spending your hard earn money on a bag chips?

      Not only that – but the girl is certifiably crazy. She was raped by her own father at the age of 16 and kicked out of the house when she told her own MOTHER. Her mother believed her husband over her own child. And this girl was eating out trash cans and sleeping on park benches until someone finally took her in.

      To make matters worse, the girl got pregnant by her father (currently in prison now) and the baby was taken into DHR custody because the girl suffers from post traumatic stress. And she goes through hell and back dealing with DHR because they want to give her back her child but they don’t know if she can handle taking care of the baby. One minute she wants the child and the next she can’t stand to look at the girl and breaks down into tears. And yeah, she thought abortion, but reputable clinics show you videos about what happens when they give you an abortion and it freaked my friend out and she decided to just have the baby.

      So yeah, that check she gets once a month – she deserves it. She can’t hold a steady job, is always jumping into bad relationships, and takes crazy pills. And maybe she could do better but she can’t. Not everyone has that kind of strength or even that great of a support system.

      No, she’s not abusing the system. She needs that check to come to her once a month and it’s really not much. And she needs those food stamps to help her buy food. And she needs those social services they offer to help her get our that bad relationship she’s in even though this guy does take care of her.

      But if you just looked at her from the outside without truly knowing her situation, you’d think she was just abusing the system and making irresponsible choices.

      You need to quit looking at people who have government assistance just because you see them do something YOU don’t approve because in reality, you have no idea how many of these people may go home and cry their eyes out at night – just like the girl I told you about.

      So who really cares if they want some damn coffee and gummi bears with their food stamps? Let them have their comfort. It may be the only comfort they do have. To assume you know what these people go through based on what they buy with their food stamps or what they wear or what they own is plain ignorance.

      And to assume that just because you can do it, everyone else can is again ignorance. If everyone was just like you, there’d be no need for psychologists, yeah?

      And to those who complain about how their paychecks are being heavily cut to fund services like food stamps, think realistically for moment. If these services didn’t exist, do you really think the government would let all that unused tax money go to you?

      Of course not. They’d find some other reason to take just as much money from your hard earned paycheck to give you something else to b*tch about.

      There are two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. We’ve been dying and paying taxes since of the beginning of time. And it’s not likely to change any time soon even with stricter policy regulations for social services or even just cutting out social services altogether.

      So just sit back. Work hard. Pay your taxes. And thank God you don’t need or have to rely on social services to make it instead of looking down on people without truly knowing how they got there in the first place.

      My rant is now over.

      • Wow, im so sorry to hear about your friend. I wish I could help her and let her know it will be ok. And Taylor seems to be an idiot on the subject, Im also a teacher, but for homeschooling, we shop at the local thrift stores and get what we need, not really what we want. My children are pretty happy and were actually fixing to have to get on foodstamps again. It really does help out, my hubby works, but it is to low for us to make it. And it was horrible the way it started, a drunk driver hit our car a few days after my husband lost his job, and you would not believe the reason if I told you lol! Non the less, were starting over and he is getting rides to work. It is a helpless feeling really, and for someone like Taylor to say those mean ugly things really lets me know that she is very ignorant and irresponsible herself to think life is easy. My husband and I also had a career in the car business, it was our own business and we made decent money, but when the recession happend, it was over. Im just thankful my tax dollars went to foodstamps so now we can use them. I can say that we paid for whatever we get! Ok, but is that not the truth?

      • The person you have described has clearly had a hard life, and I feel sad for her, however I do not understand how she “deserves” goverment assistance. Is it a human right to have “goverment assistance?” Since government assistance is funded by taxpayer money (legal obligation), are you also required to give your money (moral obligation) to disadvantaged people? Should I simply open my wallet and give homeless people money because they have had an unfortunate life and they “deserve” it? What happened to charity and being thankful for what others give you? What gives people the right to demand charity and shame the fortunate into giving money?

        I just do not understand this line of reasoning where the government owes something because of an unfortunate situation. Be thankful for every cent you get. I know I am.

        • Re. “I do not understand how she “deserves” goverment assistance. Is it a human right to have “goverment assistance?””, Kanzaki was expressing a personal opinion for compassionate help, and it is nonsensical to contort an opinion for compassionate help into a demand based on human or legal right. Do you now understand how misplaced your questions are?

          The “deserve” issue is a red herring. One can ask: do the rich “deserve” their tax cuts? They say the top 1% now own something like 25% of all the wealth in the country and something like the bottom 30% have practically no savings (income spent on necessities like food and rent, not luxuries). The rich bribed… I mean lobbied Congress for and got massive tax cuts. The poor didn’t bribe anyone for the food stamps they got so why do they deserve to be asked if they deserve their paltry handouts? What a country! And “line of reasoning where the government owes something because of an unfortunate situation” is another red herring. Kanzaki never argued (reasoned) for anything of the sort. You twisted Kanzaki’s would-be-nice-if-the-gov-can-help comment on compassionate help into a false demand for help based on legal, moral, and human rights.

  36. Well for starters, you had access to free food at your job. Foodstamps are just that, for food. If you were already getting fed, thats the reason why you didnt need to use all of your foodstamps. I have a family of five and I will tell you, that we buy cheap and bulk so it will last such as rice, beans, pasta,meat at a meat market that charges low. I even low ball wal mart with other store ads and they honor it. Foodstamps are for people that cant afford to eat because of bills, rent, mortgage, were not all lucky to have access to made food. So, thats was a thumbs up on your part, but not for so many others. As for the homeless, they cannot cook, so ready made food should be accessible with foodstamps in my opinion. It wouldnt matter if I want this because my husband and I also pay taxes, so its basically going back to us when we have something such as foodstamps.

  37. I think the main thing you missed was she had to feed her and her baby. Therefore it’s one person vs. 2 people. There’s a difference. Depending on how much her child eats determines how much food she will need in order to feed her and her child. That could be why she said 280 wasn’t enough.

  38. If I read correctly it says she receives $280 on Food Stamps (PLUS) $65 from a Federal Program (PLUS) a free lunch in Culinary School. = $345+. And can’t manage to feed herself and the kid. That’s a problem of not knowing how to manage money then other thing.

    I have for my husband and me a $50 week budget. There is this paper by the door of all grocery stores that is called WEEKLY ADS. You grab one take a min. circle only what’s on SALE, pay and go your mary way. Once home MENU PLAN around what you bought.

    Here some tips:
    -Shop at the Hispanics/Asian markets SUPER CHEAP chicken quarters for $7.00 a bag of 10lbs (or less), Ground beef $1.99lb, Pork Chops/Ribs $1.89 and more items.
    Produce CENTS on the dollar I have got 3lbs. carrots ($1), onions 3lbs ($.69), red potatoes 4lbs ($.50), sweet potatoes ($.19lb), avocados 4/$1, cucumbers 8/$1, limes 10/$1, lettuce .$69ea. The list goes on and on.

    -Dollar Stores boxes of pasta, cans of spaguetti sauce, half galon milk, bread, frozen fruits and veggies, cheese, eggs, oatmeal, spices, tins of sardines/tuna and more for, yup ONE DOLLAR.

    -Check for clearance items, hunt for bargains, use coupons,price match, compare prices, stock up. DON’T throw things as you go into the cart (big mistake).

    -Save scraps and bones to make stock.

    – homemade, homemade, HOMEMADE.

    – Buy GOOD quality fats, avocados, canned sardines/salmon, coconut milk, real butter, olive oil, coconut oil (this IS pricey).
    Our brains are made of fat FEED it, no wonder we as society have become so dumb our brains are starving and can’t think properly. Good fats is what make the body think is FULL, and will avoid eating junk every two hours. That makes us overweight and sick.

    -Stop making lame excuses , stop whining!!

    *down my soap box* 😉

  39. Okay, shut up. My whole life my family has been on and off foodstamps. And we always got 200 or more. It helped us so much. Stop complaining about what you don’t have, and be thankful that the governments giving you anything!
    If your not disabled or injured, you can work! And you should. If you have children, you need to get a babysitter. I hate people who think it’s okay to live on the government. Not only does it mess up our economy even more, but it takes away from the people who really do need it, and that’s horrible.
    For one, it is not the governments job to feed you. It’s yours. Go get a job.
    It’s not hard to buy food that has to be cooked. If you buy food that has to be prepared, you can buy a lot more of it and spread it out. Stop buying 15 dollar hot pockets and complaining that their gone. But if it’s just. You CAN easily afford 90 bucks a month on food. Your problem is you just don’t want to eat sparsely or frugally.
    I live in Texas, I always have. And I may have had to eat peanut butter and go to make a wish and the Salvation Army a couple times when I was younger, but I always had food.
    The United States offers help in so many ways! food banks are everywhere! And if you can’t afford groceries, you should qualify for at least, some assistance.
    It’s hard to live on FS, I understand. My family has for years, but it’s not THAT hard. If you learn to budget and eat less brand name food, you’ll be okay. If not, suck up your pride and ask for help.
    I have no sympathy for most of you. My mom was homeless, 16, and had a newborn. She lived off $116 a month. It’s crap that someone else can’t. If you want to eat good, get a job.
    It is not the government’s job to support you. It’s there to offer assistance, and it doesn’t have to. Yes, it’s strict but you can get over it. If you could buy McDonalds with foodstamps, the government would have loads of false claims. Also, last time I checked, liqour is not food.
    The people that help you fill out the application and get you food stamps, work really hard for you. Day in and day out people come in their offices asking for help. Some need it desperately, some not at all. Of course they get a little frustrated! Get over it, they’re not your mommy. They don’t have to be nice to. It’s their job to help you, so if I were you, I’d be nice to them. And chances are, if you need the help, and your nice, they’ll be a little more polite.
    Currently, a 32 year old women, 2 disabled children (6 and 8), a 15 year old girl, and a 68 year old man eat off of 300 a month. And we don’t get Food-stamps. But we don’t complain, we make it work.
    Sometimes the systems is unfair, yes, but that’s because a lot of people who do NOT need assistance from the government, are getting it. Stop complaining about the help and complain about the ones who are taking it from you.
    Some people really do need help, I agree. And foodstamps really does make all the difference for some people. My mom used to not eat for days so we had food. You act like your owed something. Your not.
    Foodstamps is government assistance, not support.

  40. Try having a family of 4 and only receiving 268.00! How do I feed my family on that every month? Two children under the age of 16 and a husband (and daughter) on disability. COUPONS!!! You can still coupon with your EBT card and looking up weekly sales and making a menu off of what is for sale each week, and you will make what you receive each month stretch. What you do save you can buy fresh (IN SEASON) fruits and veggies and decent cuts of meat. You can feed your family healthful meals if you put an hour into your menu planning each week. For a list of what’s in season, do a Google search and either print or copy a yearly list and keep it in your cabinet door for a resource. I have found savings better than Aldi and the dollar store.

  41. Recently moved to Florida 3 months ago and just applied for FS don’t know what’s going to happen with that, but I was on unemployment but that’s done, I have been searching for a job applied to over 100 different jobs and no call back.. Husband is also looking for a job he also applied to many places and nothing we had money saved but it’s almost gone with rent and bills. I hate when people look down on people who get assistance, and for the people that says get a job it’s easier said then done…

  42. I am a HHSC worker in Texas. First off, you cannot buy non food items with snap benefits. You cannot withdraw cash from a snap only card. If you see someone do this, it is because they are on cash assistance. There is a 30 day processing period for snap/medicaid. Some people are finished faster because they turn in CORRECT information faster than others. Some don’t need to turn in anything because we may have access to automatically verify their information (like if they are on Texas UIB or RSDI/SSI, for example). Some are eligible for emergency services for snap, some are not.
    I eat on about $160 a month in food myself, but I rarely use coupons because I buy generic as it is. I do buy fresh produce though, which is the bulk of my budget. If I didn’t buy that, I could easily eat on just $100 a month.
    As far as rude workers, I tend to give back whatever attitude my clients give me. It is not my fault they lost their job but aren’t eligible for something that day. It is not my fault they have five kids from five different daddies but are too lazy to work and want to live off child support. It is not my fault they are over the income limit for snap or something else.
    In my experience after ten years of this, “rude” is just an excuse clients use to get what they think is “owed” to them.
    I have never been on assistance in my life. I have even been homeless for a time, living out of my car, but I STILL WORKED. I have never even applied for assistance. When I was hungry and had no food….I went to a FOOOD BANK. Do you want to know how many times I’ve referred clients to a FOOD BANK for FOOD and they REFUSED because they complained about what they were given?
    And they wonder why workers have attitudes when we listen to this ALL DAY LONG, five days a week.
    “My kids won’t eat that”-and I’m talking about people complaining about STAPLES like PB, beans, rice, etc.
    No, your kids won’t eat that, because they want soda pop and candy and you want to buy EXPENSIVE pre made frozen and canned foods instead of CHEAPER food you’d have to prepare yourself.
    Oh, and don’t forget the cake and ice cream.
    Yes, I realize not all welfare clients are liars and some REALLY need the assistance.
    But there are a lot of people out there that need to LEARN how to shop and not buy SHRIMP and STEAK just because they CAN.

  43. Oh, and let me add a few things: We aren’t social workers. We aren’t here to be the client’s best friend or to solve all their problems. We average 12 appointments a day with very little “work time” to complete cases. And NO, it is not a simple matter of just “pushing a button” (I’ve had ignorant people actually say this to me). I have had MANY clients turn in paperwork and call me in the middle of one of my interviews TEN MINUTES after turning stuff in, wanting to know why their benefits are not on their card. I’m sitting there thinking, are you freaking KIDDING ME?
    Never mind the HUGE number of people who complete their own information because they are too dishonest or lazy to do it correctly.
    People need to be educated about HOW the system works, and more importantly, again…people need to be taught to shop economically. People are complaining about having ten dollars a day to spend on food for four people: it CAN be done. As others have said, buy what’s on sale/things you have coupons for , and build your menu around that. Make things from scratch, for instance, instead of canned beans, cook raw ones. No, you won’t be able to always buy what you want, but it shouldn’t be about what you WANT.
    The snap program is exactly THAT- “supplemental”. If you want shrimp and steak…..use you own money to buy that. If you use your snap benefits to buy something that costs $7 a pound, don’t complain when you run out!

    • Your not social workers well ima die if i cant get any food an you bitches arent giving me any food stamps and for what because i dont have a job or any income i hope you go to hell.

  44. Hey, what can I say? I’m on a roll. More observations: when you have a job, keep it. You would not believe the number of people who have a job(some with good jobs) who quit for really STUPID reasons, then waltz in to the public assistance office and expect sympathy and free benefits. I’m 41 years old, and I’ve had approximately SIX WEEKS since I was seventeen years old, that I did not work. Not all at one time, either. I’ve put up with a LOT of crap from a LOT of people over the years, all in the name of paying my own bills and keeping my jobs. I’ve had jobs I liked, and jobs I hated. I’ve had good bosses and crap bosses. I’ve had nice coworkers and rude, mean co workers. But I’ve never just walked off and quit and THEN expected the government to support me. And I will NEVER fathom the mentality of anyone who does. You’d be suprised how many people do just that, then get an attitude when told that voluntarily quitting a job without a good reason disqualifies them for a period of time, from receiving benefits. I have never failed to pay my own rent, or my own ANYTHING. I’ve never had anyone pay a single monthly bill of mine, EVER.
    Americans are SO spoiled.

  45. I recently lost my job and my husband is the only one working, minimum wage part time and we have a 3 year old. We pay rent, gas and electric, water and trash pickup and bus fare because we can’t afford a car. Yes we get foodstamps, and I will buy whatever I want with them because I’ve worked and paid into the system for over 15 years and I deserve them. Its not my fault I lost my job and I’m looking for one. I’m not used to staying at home with our child, I worked until the very day my water broke and went back three years later. I am very well educated and speak three languages and still cannot find work.our home even burned down 2 years ago and we’ve nver fully recovered. I waited to have a child and did all the right things so my situations has not derived from being irresponsible or ignorant and all those who run your mouth about what people buy with foodstamps and go f urselves. If my child wants icecream to have. On a hundred degree day by god she’s going to get it. I worked my butt off for years and so we’ve earned it

  46. OH, Nikki. If you aren’t one of those who spends your stamps on junk food, then complains when you have no food…no one was talking about you, anyway hun.
    I’m talking about those who waste it on high dollar food, junk food…then complain when the cupboards are empty.

    If that’s not you…move on. Thanks.

  47. Use your food stamps to buy food producing plants and seeds. Grow potatoes, yams, and squashes that are filling and propagate from your harvest. Save seeds and if you have a yard you can grow enough to have all you need. Keep your own chickens if possible. Even an apartment balcony can grow a great deal with a little imagination.

  48. I know this post was old but I found it today, so others must be reading it too. Why not add my “two cents” but it’s long so must be more like 20 cents lol
    Wow- Rebekah are you me, when I was asleep and created a new nickname?? haha- I tell everyone I know to use your food stamps to buy seeds (good luck finding any at grocery stores, they took them all out a year or so ago- conspiracy..?I just think it strange they are so hard to find lately) and I also tell people you CAN grow stuff even on an apartment balcony. I did it myself, I know. Anyone can grow food- what do you think we all LIVED on up until the 1940s?? Home GROWN food! Women were chastised for buying frozen/canned foods even up until the early 1960s. What gets me is, why didn’t our prez Bush when he was in office urge everyone to grow a “Victory Garden” like ours did back in the 40s during wartime?? No- Bush (and everyone else) told us all to “buy buy buy” meanwhile, corporations ripped everyone off, then took their manufacturing plants overseas- they CAUSED this mess! And they are NOT paying for the food stamps with their taxes, they pay none. Them, and the elite who charmed us all with lies that we all believed, because we didn’t educate ourselves about the truth concerning where all of our taxes went. Our fault!! We were fat and lazy- still are.

    Food stamps are not a boon, they are a scourge on society. Not that long ago, food stamps/EBT was something to be ashamed about. As it SHOULD be. Lately, I see a lot of news articles namely one stating “hipsters using EBT cards to buy gourmet, wink wink!” tee hee, how CUTE- right? ugh I am disgusted. Another news article- “One in Seven Americans on Food Stamps” another “State no longer checking on private assets for Food Stamp eligibility” this is to make it almost an encouragement for us to BE on them. Trust me, I know quite well how propaganda and news media work. “Everybody’s doin’ it” WORKS. It is NO longer a great shame to burst out one’s EBT card at the store. Please, BE ashamed- the more are, the less likely they are to apply. Shame is what kept most (deserving..? funny word for it..) folks OFF the durn things. Why do many of you say “don’t be ashamed..” what’s’ wrong with a little humility, embarrassment?? That’s what kept us proper and GOOD since the beginning of time. LACK of said emotion is what makes a society savage.

    My story: I was on EBT myself, for quite some time- and let me tell you, what I saw in the food stamp applications office dis-GUS-ted me. iPhones were in use by all – everyone was staring down at their damn smart phone tappying/typing away, wtf?? I didn’t even HAVE a phone- don’t tell me your “boyfriend bought it for you” have this wonderful “boyfriend” buy you FOOD you entitled little princess. I saw nice hair dos, nice manicures, and the people who had them always had an excuse “my boyfriend” “I had this before I got on food stamps” then yes, sell your car. Aww how SAD right? I had to pawn everything I had of VALUE, from my jewelry my mom got me for Christmas that can NEVER be replaced, I will never make enough to buy it myself- cars, anything I had that could be sold, WAS. Then, to top it off, I saw all kinds of people in that EBT office with nice clothes, phones, cars, and all laughing- smiling!! All happy, excited about their free handout they waited for. another thing- this is gonna angrify a lot of good people- I was THE only English speaker in the bunch. I have NEVER, ever felt anger toward any immigrants until that day. God help me. It’s not their fault, it’s our SYSTEM that is broken.

    But yes, you can and should grow your own food.
    A) it’s organic- priced it lately?
    B) you can grow as much as you want space permitting.
    C) it’s’ FUN and it’ll teach the kids where their food comes from.
    Potatoes are EASY- plant one! Garlic too, just plant the sections use the freshest you can find to ensure it’s still alive.
    Corn- forget it unless you have a yard and can water it a lot. Tomatoes are TOO easy and you will have too many. Zucchini, any of the gourds/melons will supply you and your neighbors in no time. Melons need a lot of space. Buy “patio bred” type plants there is even a “Patio” breed of tomato that is a smaller than regular plant, grown in pots.
    When looking for a new apartment or home, keep a prospective garden area in mind. Houses are renting for what apartments cost per month now- look into it!

    Food- I was one of those that made everything from scratch- I bought flour, beans, big bags of rice, produce and big cuts of meat to be cut up into sizes and frozen.

    Another thing- I smoked cigarettes. People who smoke should NOT be receiving food stamps- period. That’s right. They cost me what I was GETTING in food stamps per month. Also, food stamps benefits end up being that one free pass that got me to buying things I never WOULD have, had I not had the card (oh I can afford such and such, since I don’t have a food bill wheeee!) for instance, the cigarettes. People whine about their “car payment” get rid of the car, then. Get rid of EVERYTHING you have to make some sort of high payment on.

    I am not collecting food stamps now, and I finally have a phone- it’s only 13.60 per month, a regular old land line- no “special rate” either- yep that is how much a basic phone line cost in Arizona. We lived JUST FINE before cellphones, we did JUST FINE before internet.

    There ARE no truly “poor” in America. Poor in other countries means no shoes, no roof and no warm clothing. No access to clean water, and actually STARVING to death. I don’t think any American has starved to death in this country in a hundred years on account of not having access to food. Go into any “poor” person home in US today, there is internet, and I guarantee you 99.8% have one of those newer type TVs and maybe a laptop and game system. THAT, my friends, is very selfish to me. Don’t tell me you “need internet for work/school” what did we all do BEFORE internet? Notice how things were a lot better, back in those days? And no I was not born in the 20s lol I am 40.


  49. First, I would like to state that yes, there are those who abuse the system. Probably a high percentage. BUT, that does NOT mean for some of these rude and ignorant folks on here to bash those who are getting it. @Kristinitis……you are so ignorant and might I say stupid? Some people who are homeless had computers and such BEFORE they were homeless. Also, why the heck should people that need food stamps be ashamed? I most certainly will not be ashamed of the 367 that me and my husband are getting because we needed them! And another thing, I DON’T HAVE TO GROW FOOD IF I DON’T WANT TO. I worked and paid taxes and if I need food stamps then that’s what I need! And I’ll buy what the heck I want since I put into the system! You’re so ignorant to say that there are truly no poor in America. Um, there are MILLIONS without homes, shoes, and food in America. There are lots of people getting laid off and losing EVERYTHING they have. I so happen to be one of those people who’s job closed without notice and lost my apartment. I was HOMELESS!!! And yes, I have a laptop……thank God for free wifi at McDonalds. I looked for a job for over a year and just literally started working. I have to wait for a least three good paychecks to move into an apartment……and on top of that, it might take longer being I have to pay for a monthly bus pass, hotel.stay (cause I’M still homeless, and ALL shelters are full), and shoes for work. So thank GOD for my foodstamps and the job he JUST blessed me with. You haven’t been through anything yet or you wouldnt be so judgemental!

  50. @ Joanny Cime Lately… Use your head a little more here. No offense intended but you are not quite with your game. While you or I would think of shopping on a weekly basis you made no sense by telling the homeless guy to shop for the week. Whats he suppose to do ? Cart around his week supply of food ? I was homeless for sometime. I understand the point of you have to buy things that do not need to be cooked, something to be eaten right away…. and none of that is cheap.

  51. Kristinitis, what a great post !!!
    So much of what you said, is spot on. Most people who are on FS are a snivelling bunch of people who think the world owes them a living. All they breed is another generation of “look what we got for free”.
    When someone loses their job, they should go into extreme frugal mode. Actually, they should be doing it now. So anyone reading, what is your excuse for not stockpiling enough food supples to last you 6-12 months? Start prepaying utilities, or at the very least, start a savings account.
    If your rent is eating up most of your income, find a cheaper place. get a pull out couch for the livingroom, if you need to downsize.
    Take in a roommate. Offer to provide room and board (and a very small wage) to a single mom in exchange for babysitting duties, so you can still work. Start thinking !
    You don’t deserve to smoke or drink if you are taking government benefits.
    If we frugals are able to live on $25 per person a week for groceries, why can’t you? It’s not like you can’t do a google for everything. f you want to know something, jst ask. I’m sure most of us would be more than willing to share our knowledge with you.
    But you won’t, because you have an attitude of entitlement. Welcome to it, because it will be with you your entire life, while others like me will be retired at 50 yrs, and be travelling.(frugally, of course)
    There are plenty of ways to live cheaply, without being homeless.Lots of way of finding good cheap food.
    Yes, be ashamed of pulling out that FS card, because we all know you don’t need to, you just aren’t willing to do anything for yourself.

    • People like you crack me up!!! Stockpiling food? Prepaying utilities?? It’s obvious you are one of the young ones with all the answers. I don’t know you obviously, but it’s safe to assume you have never had it “rough”. Be careful, life is unpredictable, you never know what will happen. IT, LIFE… can happen to ANYONE, no matter how prepared you are, things can happen. So GET OVER YOURSELF and stop judging people. You, and others like you, have NO IDEA the circumstances which led to others needing assistance.

  52. I hate food stamp, its so embrassing, no offense to anyone who have it. I am a college studen, i pay all my bills including rent and the basic. I have a daughter and the clinic that i take her think she is too advance for her age and because i can’t afford for all the test they want to do on her, they send me to singn up for medicade and the guy who did it apply for everything including food stamp. i got approve and i tell the rude ass guy who call to tell me i was approve for food stamp i told him i don’t want it and he was so disrespectful. I call and cancil it, so they can give it to someone who really needs it. I am a very hard working mother who provide for my kid, anyways the person said i have to use off the credit on the card but i don’t know anything about it.

  53. Nice to see you were able to get EBT when you needed it I guess it must be because you’re in Texas. Every time I’ve applied in Louisiana I’ve been denied, the majority of them are for asinine reasons.

    1st) You’re a student. (Note: I was a non-traditional student no longer living with my parents with a lease in my name.)
    2nd) You don’t make enough. (I’m not joking. I was working freelance and literally just needed help for a month.)
    3rd) You’re not unemployed. (My main job laid me off, but because they own another company that offers me contract work, I’m not unemployed. Side note: I just had to defer my student loans to pay my rent.)

    I just go out and play guinea pig, sell my blood or possessions, or find a side job because it’s easier than getting a “hand up” from the Louisiana State Government.

    • I was in Texas at that time, I haven’t lived there for quite a while. Judging from other people’s comments I must have got lucky with my caseworker. The process was pretty easy for me. That was the only time I ever applied for food stamps and I doubt I’ll ever qualify for them again so I don’t know what the process is like anywhere else.

  54. @Kathryn: $25 a week for one person huh? Now does that $25 a week include things like toilet paper, body wash/bar soap, essentials that you need throughout the month to keep you and other things clean? Cause if it does then you better be living on a farm, slaughtering your own hogs, and growing your own fruit and vegetables. Try living on $40 a week for 3 people for groceries. This includes tp, etc etc. I got so tired of going to the store and spending 2 hours trying to buy food and putting half of it back because I couldn’t afford everything. I’m so glad I got expedited food stamps this week. Otherwise I wouldn’t be eating from Wednesday through Saturday of this week at all. This is only the third time in my 43 years that I’ve had to get food stamps. Much easier to get them than it is to find a church or food bank around here that will give you more than a sack of food and tell you to come back in 6 months. Seriously, the city owned food bank gives you a lb of rice, 1lb of beans, a few canned goods and a loaf of bread and says to come back in 6 months for more.

  55. I want to say up front that I don’t have a problem with food stamps whatsoever. But EVERY SINGLE PERSON I know who is on them, buys frivolous things. They did not have this stuff before they went on food stamps. I’ve seen people buy brand spanking new computers, Kindles, Playstation 3’s, etc. Every female I know on food stamps buys hair dye. Others get their nails done frequently. Males still buy cigarettes even though they are homeless with kids. They all go out to eat practically every single day for multiple meals. Food Stamps doesn’t pay for fast food. It’s just stupid. Sometimes people just need to learn to budget and do without the things they just want to have and don’t actually need.

  56. Were you married at the time you were on food stamps? Your allowance seems higher than what my friends on foodstamps have reported ($80/month/person).

  57. I always love reading comments on posts like this because they are always filled with such hate for those who most need our help and kindness. I grew up in a upper middle class family who never needed FS or any kind of help. I think I may have in my teens, looked down on those who did. Now as a young mother I have seen just how hard it is to make a living. My husband has a “good job” around here that means two bucks above the min. I stay home because daycare for our two not yet school aged kids would be more than I would make a month working for min. We make enough to pay our bills most of the time but there is no buffer zone. We get 270 a month in FS. 270 for 4 people is 67.50 per person a month. It’s 16.88ish a week. We use all of it every month. We then use cash to buy the rest of the food we need. Maybe some of you out there can live on 17 dollars worth of food a week but we can’t. I think for all those out there “living off the government” there are two families using the help to get by.

  58. I agree w/ meghan Most of those I see on foodstamps are wasteful. I’d say where I work I’ve only seen just 1% of the population using foodstamps the right way. The rest of the 99% of foodstampers are WASTEFUL. It’s hard going to work everyday to hear foodstamp whiners complain that the $1500 $1800 and yes even $3200 isn’t enough to feed their family of three when they are buying nothing but $200 in junkfood and candy since that’s all we sell at work and bread and milk. And I also hate the ones I see putting back food to buy cigarettes and beer w/ their welfare cards.
    Personally, I’m glad foodstamps are being overhauled and cut back starting in Novemeber its about time! I’m all for the government helping people but my understanding of foodstamps is that its NOT supposed to be your sole source of food income according the brochure on my state’s website its supposed to be a help with some TEMPORARY food relief not make people learned helpless and government dependent–Look at Jason the Surfer

  59. I’m not sure what you eat or where you live, but I know that I could not make it on $160/month for all food. That’s like $40/week. I mean… I could make it if I was eating mostly junk and not good food, but not if I wanted things that were actually healthy and nutritious…

  60. I never heard of anyone buying hair color, computer, etc. with foodstamps. Foodstamps do not pay for anything but food, not even prepared food is eligible. It must be food that you buy to cook or vegetables, canned goods, desserts. The person who said people buy computers and hair color is lying. And I can’t imagine anyone living on $160 a month for one person unless you’re getting fed elsewhere and using their paper goods, soap to wash clothes, etc. Foodstamps do not pay for paper goods or detergent, soap, etc. Now, I think that folks who need help should not be embarrassed but when they start giving them to illegal immigrants, that’s when I get angry. Foodstamps are to help Americans, not folks who crept across the border and had a bunch of kids here and get benefits.

    • I think you’ve misread Meghan’s comment. Meghan’s premise is food stamp receipients should be spending their cash income on food instead of getting food stamps and wasting their cash income (that would otherwise be spent on food) on non-essential items like hair dye and computers. She does not say those non-essential items were paid for with food stamps. You can choose to read that into Meghan’s post but she did not state that explicitly or does she imply that.

      You are correct on what may or may not be legally bought with food stamps as described on this webpage

      Re. “when they start giving them to illegal immigrants, that’s when I get angry. Foodstamps are to help Americans, not folks who crept across the border and had a bunch of kids here and get benefits”, don’t get angry. Illegal immigrants and their dependents (siblings, kids, parents, whatever) are not eligible for Gov assistance (Fed, state, local) of any kind (grants, loans, welfare, disaster relief, whatever). This is a lie the Far Right spreads to smear our Gov with helping illegal immigrants to get their illegal votes. Ever wonder why people have to wait so long between applying for and receiving benefits? That’s because the Gov is checking everything on their applications to make sure they are who they say they are and they’re not lying to get benefits. This fact-checking exercise takes time and money that the Far Right then attacks as wasteful Gov inefficiency. See how this works? Now, food stamps are available to LEGAL immigrants on a limited basis but illegal immigrants don’t stand a dog’s chance. It’s discussed at the bottom of this webpage

      • The link you provided even explains this info, NO ILLEGAL aliens cannot get assistance, BUT if they have American borne children, they can get assistance for them. The link you provided as well as many other informative sites regarding food stamps explains this and even states that applying for this assistance (FOR THEIR CHILDREN, OF COURSE) will not interfere with their “status” at all. They will not have to give any info about themselves. So see how this works? No essentially illegal immigrants can’t get assistance, but their children (borne here=american citizen) can. Seems to me the lie the government is telling us is quite the opposite of how you see it. This article explains how a family who is all citizens of the US may be denied for assistance due to income, but a household making the same amount, which has illegal immigrants included would be approved. How can that be? Well you see, the illegal’s income would not be factored in.
        I don’t know about anybody else, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the “parent” who is NOT getting the assistance, is still benefiting from their children who are.

        • The US-born children in lucy’s “Foodstamps are to help Americans, not folks who crept across the border and had a bunch of kids here and get benefits” are US citizens (“Americans”) by virtue of native birth and are eligible for food stamps. lucy appears to think that food stamps go to “folks who crept across the border” but they are actually going to their US-born children and not the illegal immigrants themselves. My post was to assure lucy that food stamps are not available to anyone illegal including illegal family members of illegal immigrants. If you’re illegal, the Gov will not give you food stamps. If you’re legal, the Gov will give you food stamps if you qualify (varies by state). What lie in “the lie the government is telling us is quite the opposite of how you see it” do you mean?
          That illegal immigrants may benefit from their US-born children’s food stamps is secondary to the help the children will get from the aid. The situation is less than ideal but life is sometimes messy. A similar potential problem exists with child support payments in divorced families. There’s no guarantee that payments will be used solely for the children’s benefit but the children will certainly be worse off if payments are stopped.
 is the original story your link discusses. It appears the loophole has been closed in KS as of October 2012. I am guessing that this discrepancy in eligibility rules came about inadvertently and that illegal immigrants aren’t entering the US solely to take advantage of this loophole. If we find a problem, we should fix it. We don’t destroy the whole system just because we found something wrong with it. Feel free to lobby the Gov to close this loophole.

  61. Hi everyone;
    Where I live there are no food stamps; however, there are food banks where people can get a week’s worth of food for free – a small bag of food, and hardly any vegetable or fruit, but enough to survive on (bread, pasta, peanut butter, etc.). If the person has any sort of income (even such as welfare, unemployment, etc.) and the food bank is used to supplement, there is enough.

    re: others on food stamps and not having enough.
    It really must be awful to basically have to make a choice between food and heating the apartment. However, from the few comments that I’m seeing, there ARE other solutions.
    For example, Mary G could find another, cheaper place to live (and pay the lease-breaking penalty which she will probably save within 2 months with her cheaper rent), sublet a bedroom in her place (even HER bedroom – and sleep in the living room), find a new job, resale the car and use public transportation, etc.

    For people with good jobs, it’s not enough to enjoy our jobs; it’s our duty to save an emergency fund so that if we are laid off, we have something to live on while we look for another job (I realize that it’s very hard if our budget is very tight even with our job); we also need to plan about kids – if we can’t afford to raise and feed 4-5 kids, maybe we need to either figure out how to make more money before we have more kids, or have fewer kids. Unfortunately, having kids is a financial exercise as much as an exercise in parenting. Finally, Kanzaki, nobody NEEDS to take your order at McDonald’s – you do not NEED to eat at McDonald’s. And yes, kids who are poor are suffering from being poor – not getting coke and chips; but is that really what having money is about? I’m more worried about poor kids not playing sports, not traveling, not spending quality time with a parent because the parents are working-poor and spend all their time working, not getting books to read, but being glued to the TV 24/7. So if they have to skip the chips and 7-up, I don’t really care.

  62. I know people on food stamps who still don’t have enough to eat. When I see what they are eating I can understand why. Too many are buying processed foods instead of foods that they can cook themselves. Yes it takes longer but in the end it saves money. Where I live a 10 pound bag of chicken legs goes for about $7.00 yet the person I know buys the already cooked and then frozen chicken legs in the plastic bags for $6.00 for 5 lbs. Mac and cheeses at about .69 cents a box that feeds maybe two people where the person can make their own and feed more cheaper. Spaghetti and meatballs goes a long way if you make it from scratch and you can also serve spaghetti and lentils in a tomato sauce if you can’t afford the hamburger. Lentils can make all kinds of dishes from salads to veggie burgers which are healthy and delicious. I also see people at the store buying tons of soda and junk food on their food stamps which is another reason why they run out of food before the month is up. Also they can use coupons and thus save money on their stamps.

  63. I think it depends on where you live and what you eat. If you want any fresh produce $160 isn’t going to cut it in New Mexico. The same $160 though would easily cover produce in California.

  64. For way too long now I’ve been more than ashamed that I’ve had to depend on government help. I’ve worked since the age of 14. Unfortunately circumstances have forced me into a situation where no matter how hard I’ve tried not to need food stamps I just haven’t been able to provide for my family on my own. I can’t sleep because I don’t know where my next meal will come from or how I will pay my next bill. You got $160 for yourself only. Guess what. I receive $140 for a family of 4. Go figure? Should I really be ashamed when I have worked practically all my life? I don’t know but I do know I want to get completely out of the system. If there is some help for me to work while my children are at school or help paying for child care I definitely would get completely off the system. It’s not like I don’t appreciate the help either because if I’d ever make enough I would like to give back. No one knows what desperate needs have brought many of us to ask for help. Just today I saw a musician outside of sprout’s playing for money trying to feed his 2 children. It’s not like he was just sitting there bumming money from people. There are many situations that put us in unfortunate situations. I’m not about to spill mine out here. All I know it’s about high time people stop being so judgmental.

    • I totally agree that the judging needs to stop – we are here to help each other, not criticize!

      Obviously, $140 per month is not enough for 4 people – no matter where you live in North America. I spent that much per week for 4 (and we eat mostly non-processed food).

      Good luck – hang in there.

  65. I am 51 yrs old. I am disabled (I have MS). I applied for food stamps almost a year ago and at first got $140mo, I was able to eat almost every day. Then about 7mo ago I received a letter telling me that my amount was dropped to $93mo. I go for days without anything to eat because $93 isn’t enough. I tried food banks but 2 boxes of jello, instant mashed potatoes when you don’t have milk, usually a can of peas or green beans which I have gotten desperate enough to eat. I get $980mo in Social Security (I worked all my life till about 12yrs ago), my mortgage is $700mo and my electric is $100 and my water is usually around $130. This does my whole check in like for instance this month I paid my bills and have .76cents lefts for the rest of the month. I’m not trying to whine but a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with ANL leukemia and started treatments and now I’m drowning in doctor bills and the money I have to give someone to take me for treatments is impossible. I live in Pennsylvania and I’m just wondering if anyone knows anything I can do? I can’t walk unassisted anymore and I’m at the end of my rope.

    • Hi Tracy;
      I live in Canada, so I don’t know about Pennsylvania rules and resources. However, I’m wondering if you can take in a boarder – or share your lodging in some ways. Since housing is typically the highest expense for most people, cutting that (even by only 10%) is a huge chunk compared to reducing expenses on anything else. A shared house here would be at least $500 a month (with a private bedroom – not a private bath) so it would bring down your costs quite a bit.

      Another way to reduce your spending would be to move. If you moved to an apartment, you may be able to get down to a lower amount that includes water and heat.

      Around here, we have a couple of places that offer free meals once a day. Of course people have to get there, which isn’t easy for some. They are located in some neighbourhoods that have more needs, but it still doesn’t reach everyone.

      Hang in there!

  66. I submitted everything they asked me to, example, I had to make copies of my birth certificate 2x my social security 2x, bank statements 2x my social security 2x my pension 2x , I had a phone interview 4pm the scribe faxed everything 2x I went to the office my information was in the computer, I called a 1-800 number the lady said the clerk did not put my information on time hence the reason they rejected my case. I complied with everything they asked for. I am on a fixed income. Everywhere I went (2 different pharmacies) wanted to charge me 30.00, next one wanted to charge me 32.00. I had to get on a bus by the courthouse the next pharmacy charged me 11.00 . I worked for Medicaid for 19 years and this is the treatment I got!!!!!!

  67. I worked for Medicaid for 19 years I did not want to retire but due to pressure on the job from the director. (she did not want to send me to training, I had transferred to the helpline. Everybody else had training. She called me in the office and asked me how long did I work, I informed I did not deal with clients. She told me that I should know how to answer clients when the calls came in. My co-workers had four months of training, I wanted to transfer out she called me in the office and she told I will not get any training and to put it in my head I will not be transferred out!!! My co-workers were shocked that she refused to let me go to training. I was very stressed out because I did not know how to answer the clients. My pressure went to 190/90 my sugar went to 300. All the supervisors including the director monitored the workers all day long they timed how long you were on the phone. I left my desk one day because one well-trained worker called me to her desk to show me what I did wrong, a supervisor came to the worker’s desk to let me know that I have been away from my desk for 10 minuets. Some days I would feel my left hand getting numb
    With stinging pain on my left hand. I was getting scared that I would sit there and get a stroke so, I decided it was not worth the struggle!!! I applied for food stamps, submitted everything twice anthe same with scribe and was rejected!!!!!

  68. Food stamps is a fucking joke bitch i havent eaten in a week awww but i cant get food stamps unless i get a job or has been searching for 20 hours for a job bitch ive been searching for months surviving off plasma donations you guys are a fucking joke im hungry an you guys cant get me any food i wish i could sue the government an you guys because ima die of starvation stupid fucks


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