Food Stamps are often a bridge to prosperity.
A week … sometimes even a day … doesn’t go by without someone telling me about the rampant abuse of our welfare system. One story comes out about a guy in
who bought lobster on a SNAP card
and the nay saying bullies are set for years to finger point and name call. California
To counter this nonsense I break out a few facts like 40% of the folks the food bank serves are older women. “You’ve seen the photos of these grandmothers sitting on their porches. They try to get by on their $500 social security check. It just doesn’t make it. Then you have 71% of TUSD students on a full or assisted food program. No lobster there either.”
Facts shut them down when they are around me but information never changes their minds. What would change their thinking? Do they just want to see the one bad story and ignore the millions of good folks working hard to break free from poverty? Where are those stories? I know there are stories everywhere.
On a number of occasions some Sprouts shoppers have dropped a donation on the display table and say they are just giving back. They had to rely on the Community Food Bank years ago and now they are doing much better.
So I know the stories are there but how come folks, ordinary and extra ordinary folks aren’t speaking up. They probably are but like me they aren’t making much headway.
These thoughts made me mad which made me think and suddenly when I least expected it, out popped an idea.
How about if everyone who has had some serious food insecurity in their lives—famous and not so famous—copped an attitude and faced down those bullies…in unison.
I imagined a well know person wearing a T-shirt or pin button that reads: “Say Something bad about me. I was on food stamps, too.” Right away the conversation would turn to, “Well, you’re a special person and your family got into trouble.” There probably would not be any conversation at all if the pin button or T-shirt were on a
or TV star or an NFL
Then imagine that no matter where the bully looked, “Say Something bad about me” pin buttons and T-shirts were being worn by all kinds of folks … those who were hungry … those who are hungry now … and whose who just want to help feed the hungry.
Show this idea to your friends and anyone of influence in
One Can A Week, Say Something bad about me is a very simple
way to create good stories and silence the bullies who take pleasure in other
folks’ pain. Tucson
Or you can go online and make inexpensive T-shirts or pin buttons and motivate your friends that way.
The Atlantic Charts the Frugal Lives
of Those Living on Public Assistance Programs
Back in December, Jordan Weissmann, a writer for The Atlantic took information from the Bureau of Labor Statics' 2011 Consumer Expenditure Survey and created a chart that clearly shows how meager a lifestyle those on public assistance live. Mr. Weissmann wrote: "On average, they (families) spend $30,582 in a year, compared to $66,525 for families not on public assistance."
If you are not going to produce your own Say Something bad about me T-shirt then I suggest you print out the chart above and be ready to show some reality to the next fact-challenged bully you meet. I am going to do both.
Sprouts Farmers Market Update
In no time at all cans go from the display
to the checkout line and back to the
food donation bin.
This is the new display at the Sprouts-Speedway store.
Theresa, the store director said she did not like the
TV table display but had no time until now to build something
Sprouts-appropriate. And is it ever. By the end of the week the display looks
really picked over and the bin is filled to the
Bill, the security guard says it is fun to watch the shoppers spot the display, leave the checkout line briefly to select a can or three to buy for the food bank and then hurry back to the cash register.
16th Truck Load – 2014
Hot potatoes are not good when it’s the sun doing the baking so every Thursday there will be a run to the food bank right after the Sprouts – River Road stint. This keeps the potatoes cool and Fridays free for me … something that is also cool.
There’s Always a Story
Days earlier I did not have any bills but I wanted to buy a couple of lottery tickets. And so not to embarrass myself in front of my friend Maen, I exchanged my laundry money for some bills. Next he had to count all of the dollars which were given to me by John, another friend… and his friend … who just won the
Derby pool at a house party. This was their second year at winning the pool and
they are starting a tradition of turning over the winnings to the Community Food
See you Sunday,