Food Stamps- Great Aid or Failed Social Experiment?

United States
March 15, 2009 1:08pm CST
What do you think about the food stamp program in this country? Some would say it is a necessary program that keeps families from starving. Others contend that it teaches people to be dependent on the government for their basic needs. What do you think? My Personal Experience- I lived on food stamps most of my child hood and through a good part of my adult life. I had five children and feeding them was an expensive prospect. I took for granted that I needed them and they would always be there. Fast forward to a few years ago.... My husband and I realized that in order to become wealthy we would at some point have to be in a position to buy groceries out of our own pocket, so we dropped them when it became time to renew. Can I tell you honestly I look at food totally differently? I no longer feel entitled to anything.... I look for more ways to save and know that we have to work hard to keep enough on the table... I am NOT saying that others on food stamps do not work hard or budget!!! This is just an honest portrayal of MY experience.
2 people like this
10 responses
@alharra (508)
• United States
15 Mar 09
I am a single mother of three with no financial help from the kids fathers. I have also been unemployed for 2 years- without food stamps we would starve. It's great that you and your husband were able to become financially capable of feeding your family without them but obviously I can't. And to be honest with you even if I got a job tomorrow I don't think I would be able to stop using them....
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Mar 09
I understand where you are coming from, I have been there. Can I ask if you have always been around public assistance? I ask not to embarrass you but I had read a study that says it is easier for people who have not grown up on welfare or foodstamps to get away from them later.
1 person likes this
@alharra (508)
• United States
15 Mar 09
No I have not always been on food stamps- was off of them for many years but I was making over $10 an hour then too and the kids weren't eating as much. I'm planning on going back to school in the near future- might as well since I can't get a job.
1 person likes this
16 Mar 09
How do these food stamps work? In the UK we have milk tokens, where parents would get them for young children to get power milk or cows milk each week.
16 Mar 09
Ok cool, the UK could do something like that, as they have to send the Milk tokens every week. I think the food thing the US does is good tho. Cheers.
• United States
17 Mar 09
Thank you for sharing that about yourself. I don't think that any assistance is bad, its when you become dependant on it that it slowly robs you of yourself. Government programs aren't bad but they fundamentally strive to make people less efficiant on themselves and more on the government. That doesn't always happen but most of the time is given as a handout in turn for a favor.
• United States
24 Mar 09
I have to admit that when they first started limiting benefits I was pretty upset thinking they were making it harder for people to live. But in retrospect I see that they are trying to wean people off who have become dependent on aid. It can be a long road but the end is great!
@MizzLadyB08 (1175)
• United States
16 Mar 09
I get food stamps because I can not afford to buy food with money out of my pocket because I do not have enough income. Most of my money goes to the bills and if I had enough to buy grocery it probably be a pack of sandwich meat and bread and maybe something to drink. I think that food stamps are a great aid because it helps people who can not afford to buy food with the money they make.
• United States
24 Mar 09
I understand totally. It is hard especially if you are the only adult income in the house. I do encourage you to pursue getting away from them as soon as you can, they are a wonderful help in time of need but can become something that holds you back, or at least they were for me. That is just my personal experience, yours may be totally different..... for example we would have to choose carefully where we worked for fear of losing benefits. It was the fear really that was the problem I guess not the aid itself. Thanks for your response.
@ersmommy1 (12600)
• United States
16 Mar 09
I say they are an aid. No says " It's my plan to be on food stamps" I had to use them in my early 20's. I received $34 a month. Needless to say I ate alot of 25 cent boxes of mac n cheese and cheap cans of tuna. I had to hang on by a thin thread for a while. Most people I think use them until they can better their situation. Sometimes it just takes longer than people think.
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
16 Mar 09
here where i live, in canada, we dont have food stamps. we have food banks where you have to prove that you are in need before you can get any food. i used food banks for a time and while they dont have meat, they have veggies that have been in the store for a time as well as day old donuts from timmies. sometimes the selection is good, other times, not so much.
• United States
16 Mar 09
I believe that food stamps are a necessary thing for people who are truly down on there luck in this country. People who can't seem to get and keep a decent job for reasons out of their own control. People who have kids and nobody to watch them and not enough money to feed them. I work in a grocery store so I see it all the time. Yes, some people abuse the ability to get food stamps - that can happen with anything. But for the most part - it is people who really do need it. It is definitely a great aid to the people in this country. Something I think they did right.
• United States
16 Mar 09
My mom was on them when I was growing up, she was a single mom on disability and did not get any child support. They helped in that aspect tremendously. I remember once time they had only given her $10 a month!!! Didnt really buy too much! She fought it for a few months and they finally raised her amount. I have 3 children by my ex husband and he does not help out financially at all...or I should say very little, I got $20 from him about a year ago and $100 about 3 months ago. :) Not very much at all. When we first split up I was on them for that 6 month period and it was very helpful. I think we were getting like $400 at the time which went a long way for us and I shopped smart and food lasted pretty long. I did not renew when it was time to and now with my current husband and the baby we have had to get them once more for a 6 month window but we did not renew. We dont use them if we dont need them. I do think alot of people do however become dependant upon them and some take them for granted. I was in the store grocery shopping not too long ago and I remember a lady in front of me wanted to buy dog food with her stamps and of course they would not allow her so she sent her husband back to the meat section to pick out some steaks...for the DOG!!!
@sudalunts (5526)
• United States
16 Mar 09
I believe the food stamp program should be used to help people who are in a bind and need help. I do not agree with people who have been on them when they were kids, and then when they are adults they are still on them. Like you said, when you are on food stamps people tend to spend their money unwisely. I guess because they did not have to work for it. I am in a situation now financially, that I could use a little help until I can get on my feet, but I am not eligible. I have never been on any kind of assistance, I have work hard all of my life and always had a good job whereas I could take care of all of my needs. I was laid off from my job in June of last year, and jobs are really hard to find these days. If I could just get help getting food, that would help out tremendously, because the money I spend on food, I could use to pay my electric bill or other small bills. Glad you decided to do it on your own and am doing well.
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
15 Mar 09
I believe that the food stamp program is a very important one...along with WIC. Even with these programs too many families still depend on food pantries and churches to make it to the end of the month or children go to bed hungry. I also fully support the free/reduced breakfast and lunch programs in schools. I don't necessarily believe that these programs cause dependency for all who use it but I do agree that it can cause that mentality in some. It's harder to take care of yourself but sometimes people need help for a little while.