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Old 08-29-2019, 11:03 AM
 
4,012 posts, read 3,317,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
Food Insecurity: Without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food means that you often don' have nutritious things to eat and sometimes you go hungry.

If it wasn't for "bleeding hearts" supporting Food Stamps, food pantries, soup kitchens, Meals on Wheels, ... there would be a lot more in this sorry situation.

From what I can tell, until starving children are begging by the side of the road, some folks don't believe there is a problem.
The lack of understanding poverty in America seems to stem from the fact that very few people in the burbs really know any poverty stricken people. Most of us live in way better surroundings than the nation's poor, and the only time we think about poverty is when we read something that alludes to it's existence. That is a huge disconnect, so I'm not surprised that many can't fathom why someone would be hungry, or jobless in such an otherwise affluent and productive society.

There are those who speak disdainfully of welfare, but know nothing about the TANF rules, housing assistance provisions, SNAP eligibility guidelines, etc. And, in spite of this widespread ignorance, they think the poor are somehow "getting over" on the rest of us with the "glorious giveaways" of our tax dollars. I think it may have something to do with how people deal with the fact of others being hungry or homeless, assuming they (the poor) are mostly scamming the system means they don't need to be concerned with it all. But yes, as augiedogie has pointed out, the long lines of millionaires at the food banks does look bad..

 
Old 08-29-2019, 11:11 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,945 posts, read 1,020,101 times
Reputation: 7106
I'd rather focus on the 92% who are "food secure". I'm sure that 8% includes some tragic cases and some people who are too stubborn to accept help, but its a very small per centage of the whole.


I'm officially poor and I'm certainly old but I eat well. I can still cook. I am ordering more groceries online. If I order something I add on a few canned goods to meet the free shipping requirement.


If someone gave me $193 for groceries, I wouldn't go hungry or even feel pinched. I remember planning meals for a family. Feeding myself is a piece of cake.


A friend (89) gets her groceries delivered and the person who brings them often rolls her trash cart out or gets her mail. The city would come down to the house and get her trash because of her age but she doesn't want to call and ask
 
Old 08-29-2019, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,472 posts, read 666,715 times
Reputation: 3443
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
Pride vs Hunger. I think I would teach myself to accept help.

Many senior centers provide low-cost or no-cost lunches. I would go if I had to.
For some seniors, the fellowship and social activities at centers are worth as much as the food. There is no shame in utilizing this resource.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 11:43 AM
 
84 posts, read 17,123 times
Reputation: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibay View Post
Should I ever find myself in that situation it would be really difficult for me to accept help. Too much pride to admit defeat I guess, so I understand those who don't but wow...It's a sobering reminder of how bad things are for some people.
Last year at our volunteer tax center for low income and older people we had a lady who was distraught about her situation. She had worked all her life in minimum wage jobs, store clerk, waitress etc. no benefits like a pension, 401K offered and because it was minimum wage so no large SS check was going to come her way when she applied. Like many women of her generation divorce left her in a difficult financial condition as she struggled to care for her family.

We told her we could probably get her forgiveness with some of the programs the IRS has for the penalty portion of her tax debt but she had little hope of paying the principal as she was very ill and had lingering medical bills. We started to tell her of some programs available to her but she started to cry as she said I can't take welfare I've worked all my life but no one will hire me like this.

The worse thing is seeing people brought down, broken emotionally, through no fault of their own. These are our working poor, counted in our times have never been better low unemployment rate.

Not everyone is a welfare cheat as our politicians like to claim because it panders to the worst impulses in our society. Like a victim of sexual assault. There is a tendency for people to ask why was she in that part of town or why was she out at night, wearing that suit etc. Blame the victim is a defense mechanism so we don't have to believe it could ever happen to us or someone we care about.

I live in an area considered very well to do and when I started this work I was shocked at the extent of poverty so close to home. People at risk for decent food and shelter because they just don't qualify or because they found some minimum wage work it pushed them just over the income threshold.

Every time I heard a person at the tax center make a blithe "people are lazy and won't work if offered" comment, it is invariably a person with a good job with benefits or a retiree with a good pension and savings. These people with good jobs came in for a free tax return as the policy is we turn no one away. Will there always be cheats in a system? Do we all know a cheat? Absolutely but the % is very low. Volunteer at a family homeless shelter or food bank. You will go home better educated.

I did the taxes for a young mother with two young kids, one with a chronic illness. Father was a dead beat. I don't care what happens in a personal relationship your not a man if you have the ability and intentionally do not provide for your children. She worked two jobs, neither of which provided benefits or full time work ( I did her taxes and saw the W2's)

She had medical coverage via the state for the kids and we got her an exemption from required AFC insurance for herself that year as she could not even afford even the heavily subsidized premium. She was just hanging on and was embarrassed about her situation. She wanted to move to nicer area for her kids but was concerned because she heard the medical program she depended on for her children might be cut so was trying to save what little cash she could.

A quote made in one form or another by famous people in every part of the world, Ghandi, Truman, Pope JOhn Paul etc. . Guess it proves we learn nothing from one generation to the next.

"If one considers the observation that the worth and dignity of a civilization is judged by the way it the treats its weakest members, we cannot help but look back in shame at our past."
 
Old 08-29-2019, 02:27 PM
 
14,475 posts, read 7,745,443 times
Reputation: 26546
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Food stamps don't pay much. You'd have to really scrimp as a single person on food stamps. My girlfriend gets them - I think it's $193/month for her. That's not a lot to go on for food.
It is if you cook all your own food and shop intelligently.

Do you have an Aldi? The ones near me, eggs are 90 cents per dozen. A 22 serving container of steel cut oats is $3.00. Boneless chicken breast or thighs are $2.00/pound. Pork loin is even less. A quart of half & half is $1.55. Frozen vegetables are cheap. Tuna is 67 cents. You can eat pretty well on $10/day. 5 billion people on the planet spend less per day.

If someone is homeless so they canít cook, itís a problem. If you have a range and a refrigerator, $10/day isnít a problem.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 02:38 PM
 
14,475 posts, read 7,745,443 times
Reputation: 26546
Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
The lack of understanding poverty in America seems to stem from the fact that very few people in the burbs really know any poverty stricken people. Most of us live in way better surroundings than the nation's poor, and the only time we think about poverty is when we read something that alludes to it's existence. That is a huge disconnect, so I'm not surprised that many can't fathom why someone would be hungry, or jobless in such an otherwise affluent and productive society.

There are those who speak disdainfully of welfare, but know nothing about the TANF rules, housing assistance provisions, SNAP eligibility guidelines, etc. And, in spite of this widespread ignorance, they think the poor are somehow "getting over" on the rest of us with the "glorious giveaways" of our tax dollars. I think it may have something to do with how people deal with the fact of others being hungry or homeless, assuming they (the poor) are mostly scamming the system means they don't need to be concerned with it all. But yes, as augiedogie has pointed out, the long lines of millionaires at the food banks does look bad..
The rules for ďable bodied adultsĒ are very different from the rules for the elderly poor. Thereís no 5 year cap on SSI. If youíre 40 and just donít feel like working, youíre not getting TANF or Section 8 housing.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Washington state
5,558 posts, read 2,850,808 times
Reputation: 16874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
for one person - it is. She would have to buy basic ingredients and put them together to make her meals.
I received $194 a month on food stamps. Yes, it's easy to cook IF you have the ability to stand and prepare food and cook it. Many seniors have problems standing for long periods of time and that makes preparing and cooking food extremely difficult. Not to mention that I got the majority of my recipes off the internet. Many older people don't have a computer, can't afford internet access or can use a computer even if they could. If they had money for that, they'd be buying food.

The other thing you have to take into account is gathering together all the ingredients to cook food. Since you might use a bag of flour or rice all through the month, then you have to buy it when the food stamps are put on the card. If you have to shop for some ingredients one day and more ingredients the next day and more the day after, you're not going to be cooking much and will eventually be hungry until you have everything you need to cook with. What this means is the majority, if not all, of your grocery purchases will be made at the beginning of the month.

When I would shop, I'd sometimes be bringing home 20 bags of groceries for the month. Tell me how a senior who may not be able to stand or walk for long and without a car, is going to be able to get that many groceries home and unloaded into his kitchen.

On top of everything else, I also traveled to different stores to shop. At one time, I could visit up to nine stores to follow their sales and do all my shopping in five to six hours. A senior who can only walk for half an hour or who has no variety of stores to shop at or is limited to just one store is going to find it very difficult to feed himself on that $194 a month.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 03:07 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,879 posts, read 1,119,666 times
Reputation: 6273
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
It is if you cook all your own food and shop intelligently.

Do you have an Aldi? The ones near me, eggs are 90 cents per dozen. A 22 serving container of steel cut oats is $3.00. Boneless chicken breast or thighs are $2.00/pound. Pork loin is even less. A quart of half & half is $1.55. Frozen vegetables are cheap. Tuna is 67 cents. You can eat pretty well on $10/day. 5 billion people on the planet spend less per day.

If someone is homeless so they canít cook, itís a problem. If you have a range and a refrigerator, $10/day isnít a problem.

I'm the transportation for my 79 y/o uncle who went bust in the financial collapse a decade ago. He's living on next to nothing, but gets ~$150 month ($5/d) from the fed food stamps program.


6 oz of ground beef (~$1) 2 eggs (~$0.15) a potato (~$0.20) and a couple slices of bread (~$0.10) gives him all the protein and most of the vits & mins he needs. The other $3.55 can go to DingDongs or YoHos or whatever he wants to fill in the calorie requirement.(Check your favorite nutrition site if you don't believe me.)


No need for anyone in this country to go undernourished. Loneliness is a big problem tho. We need more family and less govt. Maybe church youth groups, Scouts and 4H organizations could get involved. (Even Seinfeld, Elaine & George once volunteered to befriend the elderly.)


BTW- I'm trying to develop a strain of grape to make a wine that will go well with cat food & crackers. The elderly shouldn't have to miss out on the finer things in life.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Washington state
5,558 posts, read 2,850,808 times
Reputation: 16874
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
It is if you cook all your own food and shop intelligently.

Do you have an Aldi? The ones near me, eggs are 90 cents per dozen. A 22 serving container of steel cut oats is $3.00. Boneless chicken breast or thighs are $2.00/pound. Pork loin is even less. A quart of half & half is $1.55. Frozen vegetables are cheap. Tuna is 67 cents. You can eat pretty well on $10/day. 5 billion people on the planet spend less per day.

If someone is homeless so they can’t cook, it’s a problem. If you have a range and a refrigerator, $10/day isn’t a problem.
Many seniors are also having a problem with paying bills for heating and electricity. They might have a range and a fridge, but if their power is off, there's still no way to cook or keep food.

And um, $194 a month isn't $10 a day. It's a little less than $6.50 a day and that's only if you are getting in practically no money at all. The $194 a month in food stamps I received was when I was getting state disability of $200 a month and that was my only income. I am currently on federal disability and receiving the same amount I would be getting on Social Security, and I only qualify now for $15 a month of food stamps.

And let's not forget that people who live in rural America are sometimes miles and miles from any food market. A lot of people live in rural America simply because that's the only place they can afford to live.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
5,080 posts, read 3,557,990 times
Reputation: 10873
So far this month I've spent $228.78 on groceries and that includes cat food and her treats. It also includes some spices I had run out of, so that's not a normal month. I just went shopping yesterday so there won't be any more monies spent on food this month.

I do quite a bit in the crock pot and end up freezing a lot of that so I'm never out of food. I don't get food stamps because I receive too much in social security. Well,I could get $17 or some such, but I couldn't have an emergency fund. No thanks to that notion.

So $193 in food stamps would be more than enough for me. But, out of necessity I've relearned the frugal ways of my youth. I suppose that helps a lot.
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