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Thanks to that old food stamps thread


Truscifi
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I discovered today that we qualify for food stamps. I was reading that thread, and googled FL food stamps out of curiosity, to see what it said they can be used on. I saw the income info while I was there, and yep, we qualify now that we are a family of 4 instead of 3. I am currently processing this - I admit it hurt my pride a bit to realize we are below the income limits.

 

But I'm also debating whether I should apply. It would certainly help, as we have a pretty tight food budget right now. Plus we have our new little guy to think about - help with food would free up more money for the inevitable baby expenses. And I need to do some car repairs that we keep putting off because of finances, so we might actually be able to get those done if we had some extra help. On the other hand, we've been doing better in the last year, and we can get by without it. We're even looking at taking a little vacation for ds9's bday present (made possible largely because SIL and her dh are going too and will cover much of the cost, but still). Dh says it is up to me because I will be the one dealing with it since he will be at work.

 

I suppose this is a WWYD.

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I'd much rather tax monies go to help your family than to pay for some politician's pet project. Use it. It's a resource that you qualify for, and will help to feed your family. If I were you, I would participate in the food stamps program, so I could take the money I didn't use for groceries and put it aside in an emergency fund. You never know what medical expenses may crop up with a baby!

 

When my dh was laid off a year ago, we were on food stamps briefly. They were very much appreciated. Now I'm working in a good paying job, and it's nice that I'm paying back into the system again. Your dh pays and will continue to have payroll taxes. Do what is most beneficial for your family, and godspeed, is what I say!

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I wouldn't.

 

We qualified when DH lost he job. We didn't.

 

My parents qualified when I was small. They didn't.

 

We have a moral objection to taking state funds unless it's what separate us from starvation and homelessness.

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I think that if you qualify for food stamps, you should get them, along with WIC if you quality for it. I don't understand how this decision could possibly be a moral issue unless you have plenty of cash stashed away and are able to meet your financial responsibilities without teetering close to the edge.

 

The income limits for food stamps are very low. They are meant to supplement a family's food budget, not to provide it all, so the benefits are low, too. It would free up some income to pay for other necessities, so I think you apply.

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If you can't repair your car or afford unexpected emergencies, take it. It exists for a reason. Add more healthful foods to your diet and reserve cash for things you need that you wouldn't be able to get if you were paying for all your food. Better you than a road to nowhere. There are resource limits on food stamps. If your application is truthful and you qualify I fail to see the shame.

 

Frankly, I think the moral issue that worries me is those who shame or guilt others for needing help and for parents whose pride keeps them from feeding their kids a bit better.

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I would take it and not feel badly about it. Food costs keep rising, and "tight" now may be "impossible" down the line. If you qualify for food stamps, you should also qualify for WIC (and actually, if your resources kick you out of food stamps -- in my state, vehicles with too much value can do that -- WIC doesn't have resource limits, just income limits, and that should help a lot, especially with a baby, because they'll either give you an extra package as a nursing/postpartum mom, or they'll give formula for the baby). I would take the food stamps, save the cash for other emergencies, and nourish your children's bodies well (especially in hopes of lowering their medical costs later). Your DH is working and paying into the system; I think it's very reasonable for your family to apply for the food stamps.

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There is reasoning and research behind the qualification process and income limits.

 

It is exceedingly difficult to *survive* adequately under certain income levels. At "food stamp qualification level", families often have to make choices about car repair, doctor co-pays, not seeking dental care, increase in volume food vs. quality food, etc.

 

Go ahead and apply.

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IMO, those who heap shame on people who accept food stamps are way out of line. It's not their money. They paid taxes to the government, and the money isn't theirs any more. The government decides how to spend it and it makes the regulations which determine who gets transfer payments.

 

IOW, if someone buys a wedding cake with their food stamps, that is their business. It's not my money. It belongs to the purchaser, who is a recipient of a gift from the government. Before that, it belonged to the government. Yes, I paid taxes, but that, IMO, does not give me the right to shame others or to continually critique what they buy with their transfer payments.

 

If I thought the food stamp program was mismanaged, and it mattered to me, I'd make my voice heard by those who can do something about it. I'd opine away to my elected representatives and to the government agencies involved. That I paid taxes does not give me the right to pound on the recipients of food stamps or of any other transfer program.

 

I wouldn't spend one single minute getting myself worked up about whether someone should buy X or Y with their food stamps. I wouldn't want those thoughts in my head. People buy things with food stamps that the government, their benefactor, allows them to buy. That is enough for me, since they are not spending my money and how they spend it is not my business, no matter what the purchasers' stories are.

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Do it. It's one of the hallmarks of a compassionate society to provide for those who need help. Yes, it's the Big Bad Government, but SO WHAT. It's one of the things our government tries to do right.

 

Sigh--have to edit how I feel about the bday cake--I'd be okay with that.

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Don't hesitate. That's what it's there for and the kids need to eat.

 

I have a friend who stayed off them for years, struggling to feed her family of 6 on 20 dollars a week sometimes. I talked her into it and she was crying in relief after they were approved. They were able to get 900 a month and she was overwhelmed that they were able to eat decent food. They hadn't been able to eat that well in years and it was such a burden off of her shoulders. Within the year she landed a great job and her husband was able to transfer out of a mediocre job to one he was better trained for and made more $, and now they are comfortable.

 

:grouphug:

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IMO, those who heap shame on people who accept food stamps are way out of line. It's not their money. They paid taxes to the government, and the money isn't theirs any more. The government decides how to spend it and it makes the regulations which determine who gets transfer payments.

 

IOW, if someone buys a wedding cake with their food stamps, that is their business. It's not my money. It belongs to the purchaser, who is a recipient of a gift from the government. Before that, it belonged to the government. Yes, I paid taxes, but that, IMO, does not give me the right to shame others or to continually critique what they buy with their transfer payments.

 

If I thought the food stamp program was mismanaged, and it mattered to me, I'd make my voice heard by those who can do something about it. I'd opine away to my elected representatives and to the government agencies involved. That I paid taxes does not give me the right to pound on the recipients of food stamps or of any other transfer program.

 

I wouldn't spend one single minute getting myself worked up about whether someone should buy X or Y with their food stamps. I wouldn't want those thoughts in my head. People buy things with food stamps that the government, their benefactor, allows them to buy. That is enough for me, since they are not spending my money and how they spend it is not my business, no matter what the purchasers' stories are.

 

Well said! I seriously doubt any of us would approve of how the government spends every dime of tax monies.

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Please do! I know I am not in your state, but these are the situations I am beyond thrilled for my tax dollars to go towards. I wish there wasn't a need for it, but when there is I am thrilled that we can help I just wish we could do more as a nation.

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IMO, those who heap shame on people who accept food stamps are way out of line. It's not their money. They paid taxes to the government, and the money isn't theirs any more. The government decides how to spend it and it makes the regulations which determine who gets transfer payments.

 

IOW, if someone buys a wedding cake with their food stamps, that is their business. It's not my money. It belongs to the purchaser, who is a recipient of a gift from the government. Before that, it belonged to the government. Yes, I paid taxes, but that, IMO, does not give me the right to shame others or to continually critique what they buy with their transfer payments

 

 

I hesitate to post this, and hopefully people don't slam me for stating my opinion just because it is different from most who have posted. I am a compassionate and giving person, but I must interject that any money the government has, came out of someone else's pocket. I am sure there are many cases where it won't be missed, but there are many where it will be. As more money is accepted in aid, more money is required to pay for it. It's a very personal decision. If you really need it, then you should take it, but if you don't, you should not.

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Dh and I have food stamps and wic for dd. Sure it's only 36 a month but it buys more fruit and veggies for dd. She rather eat that then junk food :) The fruit and veggies can be expensive since both snacks are fruit and fruit with breakfast and veggies with lunch and dinner. And a veggie snack

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If it's something you think your family needs, I'd apply. There's a chance that you might not qualify based on other assets or other requirements if your state has those, so you're better off having that information now rather than waiting.

 

To set up Early Intervention services for one of mine, we are having to fill out a bunch of paperwork to see if we qualify for Medicaid. Bundled in that is whether or not we qualify for other aid like WIC. Our income is only slightly higher than the WIC cutoff, but we own a second home that we haven't been able to sell yet. (The market is bad, but going with the worst agent ever hasn't helped things.) I was pretty surprised by the numbers. Our budget is tighter than usual at the moment, but we have been paying two mortgages for about 9 months now. In general I'd say that if you feel your family needs help but you think you make too much money, check it out. You might be surprised.

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If you're below the income cut off, you need it. Don't let the people who whine about how you're stealing their precious tax dollars (to feed your family! The horror!) make you feel bad. We had to use FS back when dh was unemployed for an extended period of time, and it was a lifesaver.

 

I'd much rather have my tax dollars go toward feeding a family in need than to pay for another war or to cover some millionaire's tax deduction.

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I must interject that any money the government has, came out of someone else's pocket

 

 

I think "came out of someone else's pocket" suggests begging or stealing and ignores the fact that most people are not "lifers" in government aid. Most people have worked and paid taxes prior to receiving aid and manage to get to the point of not receiving aid again.

 

I have worked and paid into the government since I was 16. There have only been 6 years that I did not have at least a part time job. So, minus the 6 years, I have paid taxes on my income for 24 years. dh has paid taxes for 38 years. I think if I were in need, I should be able to apply for aid and accept it without someone telling me it was taken from someone else's pocket. There are a lot of people who use the system as a short term safety net. These are people who have paid into the system before getting any subsidy and later return to paying in. I have no problem with people in need using aid this way.

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If you need it and it will help your family then I don't see any reason NOT to use it. That's what it's for, there is no shame in that. I had WIC for my son until his 1st birthday and I am so, so grateful because he had to have a very expensive preemie formula that we wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. I was embarrassed at first to use the checks, but then I got over it because the benefit for my son outweighed my temporary discomfort.

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I think it's up to you either way.

 

Depending on your state/location, being in any form of assistance can dern near be a full time job of appointment, paperwork filing, phone calls and so forth. If you are comfortable squeaking by, then it might not be worth the hassle of getting the assistance. Seriously, I can't count how often my dh has had to inform employees they will lose their job if they leave work again for some assistance program. We comment that people almost have to be unemployed or have a spouse who is just to manage being on assistance.

 

But it could be worth it, especially if you can manage to set aside some of the money you are saving in FS to do car repairs and still buy a bit more groceries.

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If your family needs the extra little bit that food stamps and WIC can provide, you should get them. That's what it's there for. Put that extra bit of cash aside for your car repairs or savings in case something happens further up the road.

 

We had food stamps when DS19 was a baby b/c DH was on worker's comp for 2 years. We also had WIC for about 10 years -from then time I found out I was pregnant all the way through DS14's 5th birthday, which is the cutoff for kids. Knowing that both resources were available to help cover the basics was such a relief back then.

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There is reasoning and research behind the qualification process and income limits.

 

It is exceedingly difficult to *survive* adequately under certain income levels. At "food stamp qualification level", families often have to make choices about car repair, doctor co-pays, not seeking dental care, increase in volume food vs. quality food, etc.

 

Go ahead and apply.

 

I agree.

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I think "came out of someone else's pocket" suggests begging or stealing and ignores the fact that most people are not "lifers" in government aid. Most people have worked and paid taxes prior to receiving aid and manage to get to the point of not receiving aid again.

 

I have worked and paid into the government since I was 16. There have only been 6 years that I did not have at least a part time job. So, minus the 6 years, I have paid taxes on my income for 24 years. dh has paid taxes for 38 years. I think if I were in need, I should be able to apply for aid and accept it without someone telling me it was taken from someone else's pocket. There are a lot of people who use the system as a short term safety net. These are people who have paid into the system before getting any subsidy and later return to paying in. I have no problem with people in need using aid this way.

 

As a homeschooler, you could also look at it this way: You pay property taxes for schools you don't use. If using state aid causes you some concern, just do a "transfer" in your head and get some use out of the money you pay for property taxes. I know, I know -- it doesn't quite exactly work that way, but like is said above, you DO pay taxes and have for many, many years. Don't worry about using some government-funded programs if necessary.

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Back in the mid 1990's, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation released studies about families and gov't handouts. Read a few of his articles and then decide for yourself.

 

Oh yeah, because they're REALLY impartial.

 

The stated mission of the Heritage Foundation is:

 

"to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense".

 

Yup. No bias there.

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Well this has been interesting. We have qualified for various programs over the years, we have done WIC in the past and our children are on state medical. I am thankful for that although even more thankful we hardly ever have to use it.

 

We are not currently doing WIC or food stamps, even though we qualify for both because of our family size. For some reason I am more comfortable with WIC than I am with food stamps. If we were unable to eat well I would absolutely do food stamps (there are families we know that I WISH would use food stamps but they are very anti-government and their children suffer for it). My dh has recently suggested going back on WIC because it did help a lot.

 

There is certainly shame and a stamina attached.

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I'd much rather have my tax dollars go toward feeding a family in need than to pay for another war or to cover some millionaire's tax deduction.

 

:iagree: completely. please help your family. if it helps you to imagine it, know that the tax dollars you and your husband have paid have gone to feed other families who have found themselves in your position. so you have already helped others just like yourself. its always harder to accept help than to give it, but that's what friends/neighbours/countrymen are for.

 

:grouphug:

ann

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Well, I didn't read the entire thread...and I don't need to. You all can just go ahead and string me up now. I've been on food stamps. For years we did A boxed brownie for birthdays (became our tradition). FS gave me enough, and I was frugal enough, that at first (before food prices went up) had extra that I needed to spend before the end of the month. WM sell's birthday cakes for $10-$15. Yes, I bought my kids cakes when I had that extra. I've also bought frozen pizza to throw in the oven on nights that we were running all over tarnation or we had sick people in the house and were too tired. Shoot me! You could nit pick everything we do. Ooops, that is a roast instead of a chicken! Ooops, that's organic! Ooops, that had HFCS! Ooops, that....name it! Go police your own pantry!

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Well, I didn't read the entire thread...and I don't need to. You all can just go ahead and string me up now. I've been on food stamps. For years we did A boxed brownie for birthdays (became our tradition). FS gave me enough, and I was frugal enough, that at first (before food prices went up) had extra that I needed to spend before the end of the month. WM sell's birthday cakes for $10-$15. Yes, I bought my kids cakes when I had that extra. I've also bought frozen pizza to throw in the oven on nights that we were running all over tarnation or we had sick people in the house and were too tired. Shoot me! You could nit pick everything we do. Ooops, that is a roast instead of a chicken! Ooops, that's organic! Ooops, that had HFCS! Ooops, that....name it! Go police your own pantry!

 

You should read the thread. ;)

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Apparently it's even better now, you can get some fruit, actual fruit.

 

WIC in PA gives each recipient $20 (so $40 if it's a baby and a postpartum mom) in vouchers to use at farmer's markets in the summer. And each month, they give you vouchers to use at the regular grocery stores that will buy fresh, frozen, or canned fruits/veggies too. It's not a ton, but if you shop the sales, you can get a fair amount.

 

Also, to the OP, if you do get the food stamps, see if any of your local farmer's markets have a program like this: around here, if you use your food stamps at the farmer's market, they'll double what you use, up to $10 at a time. So if you swipe your regular debit card and ask for $10 worth of tokens, you get $10 worth of tokens. But if you swipe your EBT (food stamp) card and ask for $10 worth of tokens, you get $20 worth of tokens. (And our farmer's markets, in the summer, are often cheaper for apples, peppers, cucumbers, etc. than the grocery store.) I think that is a fantastic program! People disagree on high-fat vs. low-fat, whole grain vs. low-carb, etc., but everyone agrees that more fresh fruits and veggies are good, so what a great incentive!

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I think that it is interesting to note that when there is a non-specific thread about food stamps so many people go all pantry police yet when it is a specific thread about a specific person applying, most people tend to be supportive. I think it is easier to be judgmental in the generalized abstract scenario. Few people actually resent it when a specific person they know (even sorta kinda not really only online) needs help. Sorta kinda restores my faith in the general niceness of my fellow Americans.

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Well this has been interesting. We have qualified for various programs over the years, we have done WIC in the past and our children are on state medical. I am thankful for that although even more thankful we hardly ever have to use it.

 

We are not currently doing WIC or food stamps, even though we qualify for both because of our family size. For some reason I am more comfortable with WIC than I am with food stamps. If we were unable to eat well I would absolutely do food stamps (there are families we know that I WISH would use food stamps but they are very anti-government and their children suffer for it). My dh has recently suggested going back on WIC because it did help a lot.

 

There is certainly shame and a stamina attached.

 

There's no shame in my eyes. If you ever need it again, don't be afraid to use resources that you legally qualify for. Like I said to the OP, I'm pleased to know that tax monies go for things like feeding American children. I may have only one kid, that doesn't mean I don't have a stake in other people's kids, too. You have a lot more on your shoulders, in terms of feeding your family, than I do. If anyone should be ashamed, it's those people who would begrudge families like yours (where you are doing everything in your power to raise your kids to be good citizens) a little help to keep them fed.

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Well, I didn't read the entire thread...and I don't need to. You all can just go ahead and string me up now. I've been on food stamps. For years we did A boxed brownie for birthdays (became our tradition). FS gave me enough, and I was frugal enough, that at first (before food prices went up) had extra that I needed to spend before the end of the month. WM sell's birthday cakes for $10-$15. Yes, I bought my kids cakes when I had that extra. I've also bought frozen pizza to throw in the oven on nights that we were running all over tarnation or we had sick people in the house and were too tired. Shoot me! You could nit pick everything we do. Ooops, that is a roast instead of a chicken! Ooops, that's organic! Ooops, that had HFCS! Ooops, that....name it! Go police your own pantry!

 

I think I love you. LOL.

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