Saturday, June 21, 2008

Please increase the amount of cash the people get for food stamps!

The above article talks about how the amount folks get for food stamps hasn't increased with the rise in food prices. And, hello, that needs to happen pronto. As someone who had been on welfare for several years, let me tell you that the monthly food stamps stipend is well below the amount one could actually buy a months worth of food with. The ability to budget a healthy diet on food stamps is an impossibility unless one devotes all day, every day, to shopping, meal planning and visiting food banks. And depending on where you live it might be an impossibility no matter what. For real. I am speaking from my own experience.


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On the up side, many years ago I made a little brochure for others on welfare, "Holiday Shopping on Food Stamps" although it's always unlikely that there'd be money left for gifts. But there's no way that DPW check makes it past 3 days after you get it, and food stamps could last the month so it's more likely that food stamps can enter into the world of holiday gifts.

I know it's not "holiday" time, aka December, but here's a little selection of what you could do with food stamps...

Buy instant hot chocolate, then repack it in baggies and say it's gourmet. Who the hell is going to know it's Acme brand? And the Acme brand is delicious! Also, cinnamon sticks (either in with hot chocolate mix or in a separate bag) make it ultra fancy.

Mugs can always be bought at a thrift store to pump this gift up.

Bulk nuts and candy, from Nuts to You or the equivalent, are super if you get what people like or something new based on their taste. Good wrapping makes these gifts real gifts. Plus if you write something, e.g. a recipe or a fact about that food or a drawing, it will hang around for a while and people will remember the gift.

Coffee and tea are awesome gifts.

That's all for now. I'll try to remember to put the rest of the list up in December, but don't hold your breath because I can't remember where I've parked the car like 10 minutes after I get home.

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