S. N. A. P. (better known as food stamps)

@savak03 (6681)
United States
September 12, 2009 1:54pm CST
They changed the name of the program. Did you know that? It is now called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. I guess that makes more sense now because we use a plastic card instead of paper coupons. Still, I don't remember being informed in any way that the name was being changed. I only found out when I decided to research some statistics. I found out that there are over 35 million Americans receiving food stamps as of June 2009. That is one in ten people. It was reported that the average monthly benefit for each person was a little over 133.00. The average gross monthly income for each food stamp household is 640.00. That's about right. (yep, counting the change in the bottom of my purse.) I have always wondered how they expect a family, or for that matter an individual, to live on that little income but somehow they do. Thank God for food stamps and some of these other programs. The problem as I see it is that none of these programs advertise their availability. Most people who have need of and qualify for any kind of relief program has to go through all kinds of red tape just to find out if something is available. No one volunteers the information. So we are limited by our ability to figure out the right questions to ask. You can read these statistics and more at http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/faqs.htm#20
6 people like this
13 responses
@rusty2rusty (6767)
• Defiance, Ohio
12 Sep 09
I was not aware they changed the name either It does make sense that they did change it. I agree programs that people need are not made avaible. I know in the county I live in, the welfare office will not let you know where the food banks are if you have any income coming in at all. You have to be completely broke before they will give you a list. I think that is wrong in my option.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
12 Sep 09
A lot of the people that administer these programs act like the money is coming out of their own bank accounts to fund it. I have worked and paid taxes ever since I was 15 years old and have never managed to get ahead. The cost of living is just too high.
1 person likes this
• Defiance, Ohio
12 Sep 09
Alot of those people are just plain rude. I think they should not be allowed to talk to people they way they do. I have worked and paid in to may taxes for years as well before I was disabled. Now I am fighting for social security and have been turned down around every corner. My husband hours have been cut and things have gone from bad to worse. Soon I will be taking my two younger kids and moving out of state to where my family lives. I will be leaving behind my husband and teenage son. I hate to do it but we just can't make ends meet in Florida anymore. No jobs and foreclosure rate is so high. No place is hiring unless your a lawyer, in the medical field or have a security license. I hate to do it. But we have no other choice. Since we are not meeting out monthly bills now. I can't seem to be able to make enough online to even help out at all.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
12 Sep 09
I know what you are saying. I have similar problems myself. Unfortunately it's not just Florida. The same thing is happening all over the country. The poor keep getting poorer and the middle class are sinking right down there with us. I'm afraid it is going to get worse before it gets better.
2 people like this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
12 Sep 09
What does that mean? We do not have free food from our Government here. But our government has many incentives for the hardcore poor like giving them free houses and good incentives for farmers too. Say if a farmer can sell his produce for $1,000 in open market the government will top it up with another $1,000. That makes him richer by $1,000.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
12 Sep 09
Well we don't have free housing here. I get just a little over 600.00 a month disability and my rent is 500.00. By the way that's about as cheap as it gets here too.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
12 Sep 09
The big coops put all the small farmers out of business in this country. Now a family can't even feed themselves off their own land anymore. I remember when we had our own cows and chickens, grew our own vegetables and butchered our own meats. There was very little we had to buy at the store.
1 person likes this
@dramaqn (1990)
• United States
12 Sep 09
I didn't know they changed the name. But it does makes sense. I just call it the food card.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
12 Sep 09
And aren't we glad to have it. A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.
@kitty42 (3912)
• United States
13 Sep 09
Hello I think this is a good program, if you don't have small children forget about it, you don't get much being on disability trying to cover your rent and other household bills you will think these people will get a little more assistance no way, food is so expensive how do they expect people to manage, its really unfair I use to get this years ago, when I was too young to actually work, what they gave me was not enough to make ends meet, this only showed him that I had to make good money in order to take care of my family, really how do they expect people to survive from what they give them, if you have 2 or children you get enough to last for the month. Thank you.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Sep 09
You definitely get more benefits if you have a larger family but on the other hand larger families are more expensive to take care of.
@kitty42 (3912)
• United States
13 Sep 09
Hello I know the larger the family the harder everything becomes, I am happy with my 1 and she does not count since she is 26 lol they were a great help, I think they are a good thing no matter what the case is, so I am grateful they are there to help
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
14 Sep 09
It is good to get help when we need it. Sometimes even a little help can mean a lot.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
13 Sep 09
I didn't know it was called "snaps" either. I know of the food stamp program. I am a single mom...no child support and let me tell you...I am working hard to avoid even going there. It's tough. I have like a ton of pride. I'd probably give up my internet and cable before I went that route. I really really hope it doesn't come to that. I was raised under the belief that no one owes us anything in this world and it is hard....maybe impossible for me to shake that. I just have this thing. Like if I go for food stamps and I am still on this computer, then I'm maybe taking from the funds that someone worse off than me needs. I know it is there and I am not sure if I qualify or not. I just think people need to be really really in need before they go that route. Maybe I'm just too brainwashed by the parents but I think internet is a luxery for many...same with cable.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Sep 09
Being willing to do all you can to support yourself and your family is commendable. If every one had that mentality maybe times wouldn't be so hard, but I doubt it. Cable is the first thing to go when we feel the financial crunch but have you noticed how the PTB have made it impossible to watch any TV at all unless you pay for cable or satellite? Now you can't even get your local channels with a set of rabbit ears so we can't even keep up with the news. But there are ways to be on the computer without having to pay for internet service. I am blessed in that I live in an area that offers free wifi to all the residents. So I take advantage of that. And in most areas there are some public places where you can log on to free wifi. If that don't work there is always the public library which is still free, but I don't know for how much longer.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
14 Sep 09
Really? Can you get on the internet for free from a regular desk computer? I have digital phone so dial-up is out of the question. I know....we can't get any tv either unless we get cable. I have basic cable for 18.00 per month which isn't too bad. I really would hate to get rid of the internet. Not only do I love getting on here....my daughter uses it a lot for homework and of course connecting with friends. She'd be so devistated if we lost it.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
14 Sep 09
If you live close enough to a wireless signal, and the way to check that would be with a laptop. If you are getting reception at your house then all you would need is a wireless card for your desktop and they are not too expensive.
• United States
12 Sep 09
On top of that when you do qualify then you have to deal with members of the Church who work at the grocery store telling others that you qualify for such a program casting you in a disparaging light because you don't make more money and forcing you to carry a stigma that you don't deserve. Being poor is not a sin or a crime, but if you are the system can be really stacked against your ability to do better. The people that look down on others who don't have more creates or perpetuates the oppression and suppression of the poor from moving up the social ladder and climbing up out of poverty into the middle class... Our cost of living out paces our ability to get out of debt, Houston this is a problem.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
12 Sep 09
I have to say my congregation doesn't act like that but I have known those that do. I wouldn't belong to a church that was that unloving. Being poor is not a crime. The Bible even said that Jesus had no place to lay his head. He to was a poor man when it came to worldly goods. And he ministered primarily to the poor and the ones looked down upon. You would think that people who profess to love Him would follow his example.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Sep 09
From what I could tell it was just the sentiment of one person, but they had a lot of friends that would circle around in a group think that if wrong would never make right their wrong headed thinking. I let some things go that I probably should have addressed and yes finally waking up and realizing that the community that gathers together and doesn't follow the good principles to support the truth and life is not a community where I want to share my time. The destruction of any one person or family for false beliefs and accusations has really opened my mind to the whole mob mentality issue and I choose to thing for myself and not as others wish me to think, putting forth the first question above all, does this promote the good and life eternal? If it does then I will do for the GOD that I believe in. My experience is much different than that of most other people who associate with a church and I fully understand their position on their faith, but in order to create world peace do we need something to change? What would exalt GOD? Will competition through organized religions and all the divisions benefit the global mission?
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Sep 09
To answer your last question, No. Only accepting the fact that only God has the right and ability to rule is what is needed. "Man dominates man to his injury."
• United States
13 Sep 09
Sadly it doesn't matter if you can locate the information on these programs or not. The problem is qualifying for them! My mom made that average you listed at one point on disability & she only got $10/mo. Why go thru so much red tape for $10 in benefits?!?!? I was talking to a friend of mine and she said when she went to WIC they told her to apply for food stamps. She informed them that when she looked into the food pantry that she was too high of income for them to help her. So if the food pantry wich is more leinient than food stamps are denied her than why would someone bother with applying for food stamps only to get denied. She's upset that she can only use her credit card to buy her family groceries & sadly I'm in the same boat. Then one day when we can't afford our minimums and our cards get cut off then what do we do? We both have a spouse working, but making more than "poverty" but not much more than to cover the mortgage ect anymore. Then you have people tell you well then get a job! Well tell me where someone who's been home with their kids can find money to pay for the child care to go back full time???????? I"m not poor enough to get child care help, but not rich enough to pay for it. I"m sorry but when you start at the bottom of the totem pole at the only place hiring (retail or fast food) I assure you that you are not starting @ $20-25/hour one would need to make to even stay out of the red. Sorry bout my soap box but there are sooo many of us barely getting by, and we get told too bad... you own a house (mortgaged of course) and have a car you are "rich" NOT TRUE! I live in a 60yo house that is in desperate need of upgrades but Mr President & Congress thing some cruddy tax incentive will make me spend money I don't have in the first place... alright I've said too much...
• United States
13 Sep 09
You are right "IF" you have the money to do that, then why not take advantage of it? But I certainly don't! I work a pt job so we have grocery money and some weeks I only get 4 hours working retail. So I buy the bargains the weeks I get 15-20. So in light of me having to work again around DH's hours so we can eat... I can't swing solar pannels, new windows, furnace upgrade ect. I really would love to but right now we are doing our best to stay current on our bills & thank our lucky stars DH was not a part of his company lay-off's in January or we'd be living in my in-laws 600 sq ft basement living in a not so good area & going to the worst school system in the state. SO we will be doing what we have to do to not be put in that situation! You bring up a valid point about the cash for clunkers. I wonder how long for them to be repo'd as well. You have to think about the people who drove clunkers because they couldn't afford anything better or choose to so they didn't have a payment, or had poor credit and couldn't normally get financing. Or just the fact someone may loose their job at any time these days and their nice new car is **POOF**
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Sep 09
You are preaching to the choir here. The points you have made are the same ones that I make over and over. The sad point is that no one is listening to us. My son-in-law wanted my daughter to get a job. First of all the only thing she is qualified for is retail or fast food. Second she has three kids at home, at the time they were 3,5,and 6 years old. After I explained to him the cost of day care, transportation, meals and clothes just so she could work he began to see our point that she was more valuable staying home. I truly do not see how anyone would want to live on the system, as they say. There is just not enough offered to live on. So why are there so many people lying to get benefits? Or is that just a story we are told to excuse the hoops they make us jump through just to get their substandard help.
• United States
20 Sep 09
Interesting news, I never knew that so many people needed this assistance. I'm glad that the program still exists because a lot of people are having trouble feeding their families. Another program is Angel Food services, most of those are through churches and considered an outreach program. I've had to use Angel Food before.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
25 Sep 09
The economy all over the world is going to the dogs and more and more people are finding it hard to provide the necessities of life for their families. While these programs are available now and do provide much needed relief we must not fool ourselves into thinking that they will always be available.
@suzzy3 (8362)
17 Sep 09
I have tried to read the link and my goodness how complicated is that.I do hope everyone can read properly.Mind you it must be a big help to low income households .They are doing something like this in England,I only found out about this scheme by accident as I watched a news programme as this man was waiting for his benefits to kick in after a few weeks,I thought making someone wait that long for benefits to start up was disgusting.How on earth can they do this to people as my husband pays over £100 pound a week in tax ,everyone should get what they need straight away after all it is not their fault they have lost their jobs.Personally I think the banks should provide these food parcels as it is their fault we are in this state in the first place.The programme showed people turning up at the house with boxes of food to the proud man with little kids going through the boxes like it was christmas.My god it was food,what is this world coming to when honest hardworking people are reduced to this.It bought a tear to my eye,it made me realise how lucky I am to have my husband in a job and live in relative comfort.Apparently when you go shopping you can buy a few extra bits and give them to the ladies who distribute the food to the needy,a brilliant idea.We don't mind paying taxes then putting stuff in the collection as well.We are all two wage packets away from this it is a frightening world to live in today.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
25 Sep 09
I am not comfortable in laying blame at the feet of any one person or group. I think it has come about by everyone mismanaging the resources we have had available and the general assumption that these resources would last forever.
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
14 Sep 09
I have heard of the food stamp program also. I sis not know that they had changed the name of it though. I knew they were now using a card instead of the stamps or coupons though. I think that is great.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
14 Sep 09
I think the change to a card instead of actual stamps is what is behind the name change.
@dbabcook (390)
• United States
13 Sep 09
I have issues with the Food Stamp programs in every state as they don't really seem to be designed to help the people who truly need them as I see them handed out more and more frequently to people that don't even try to make a life for themselves and would rather just sit back and reap all of the rewards that the states happen to hand out to them. I think that with every program offered through the states that there should be gidelines and limitations as to how long of a timeframe an individual can live off of the state. I guess that I feel that after a certain length of time an individual should be required to be self-sufficient which would also allow for people who truly do need the assistance to be able to get it and get themselves back on their feet.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Sep 09
There have been broad sweeping changes through the assistance programs aimed at just that problem, weeding out people who could take care of themselves. Some of these programs have been successful to some degree. As far as getting back on your feet it is difficult once you are down and out. When you finally get qualified for any kind of assistance you soon realize that it is not enough to live on, but as soon as you go out and get any kind of job and make a dollar your benefits will be cut off. They don't give you a chance to get on your feet, they just pull the rug out from under you. You should check into the availability of assistance in your state and see what things are needed for qualifying. Then check and see how much assistance you would get and do the math. Could you live on it?
• United States
13 Sep 09
S.N.A.P. is terrible they turned me down because I was paying an auto loan, they assume because I can afford monthly payments on a car I can afford food. What about the people who own their car, don't they save up more money than I do?
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Sep 09
They have a formula for how they count assets and income. Much like mylot's formula it is hard to understand how it works. If you feel like they were wrong to deny you benefits you can always appeal. You do have that right. I do believe that the case workers make mistakes and sometimes they will apply the rules in a harsher than necessary fashion. It might be worth it to appeal.
@cher913 (25893)
• Canada
12 Sep 09
i think food stamps are such a better idea than what we have here in ontario (canada). here, we rely on food banks and because of the economy, people are not donating as much as normal so therefore there is not as much available at the food banks for those in need.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
13 Sep 09
While the food banks serve an important function they are dependent on the charity of others. In today's tightening economic situation less people have extra to share so of course the food banks will not be getting the donations they are used to. Also with donated food your choices are limited but with food stamps you can go to the store and buy what you need.