I know first hand about how food insecurity is effecting households in my hometown. My work in the food pantry at my church provides me with actual person-to-person contact.
This is a picture of me at work on Saturday morning. You cannot see that the hallway is filled with people who are waiting to be registered to be able to shop for food products.
The proposal to cut funding for SNAP at a time when millions of people are struggling with unemployment, rising prices only reflects that lack of true regard for the people of this nation on the part of politicians.
The media has created this impression that only African Americans and other people of color are on the food stamp rolls. Is this really a true fact? It depends on which data source is used to make the point true or false. In the article; Who gets welfare? The stats indicate that the stereotype is not correct.
Food stamp recipients are 37.2 percent Black and 46.2 percent White. Medicaid benefits are paid to 27.5 percent Black recipients compared to 48.5 percent White clients. (Source)
I did not post this stat to create a racial argument, I posted this stat to help break the myths about who is receiving benefits. The image of a welfare queen who is Black and rolling in the dough thanks to taxpayers needs to be buried.
When I am at the window registering people to receive services, need comes in all ages, households of one, to households with children and without children. There just is no one image that can be held up as the prevailing group.
- I would challenge any politician to go to a food pantry and volunteer to work for a couple of days. One won't provide an adequate picture of what is going on for the people of this nation. Perhaps some direct contact with people would make what seems to be obscure to their way of thinking more obvious. There are hungry people right here in the United States!
The food pantry at my church provides 5 days worth of meals to over 500 households during a month. I often have to turn people away because of the number of clients that are already waiting to be served. This is often difficult for me to do because I know that there are very few resources available to people on the weekend. We service people who are employed as well as those who are not. Saturday is the day when many working people are able to come in for the help that they need. The board is looking at the possibility of adding one evening onto the schedule to help working people who cannot come during our regularly scheduled hours.
- I dare any one of the supporters of this proposed cut to look a person who needs food and declare that it is more important to provide money for military defense than it is to meet human needs. I think that it would be interesting to see how this type of interaction would work out.
If you are opposed to the cuts in the SNAP budget at this time, there are actions that you can take to voice your opinion.
Please visit Feeding America for information on how you can help in the battle against hunger in the United States.