I’m going to start this blog right off with a word of warning. This is an area that I get very passionate about. I am so frustrated about the current mindset of so many people regarding entitlement. Now, I really won’t be surprised if some people reading this get offended. I’m not going to apologize for offending you, because if enough people are offended maybe some changes will get made.

I also want you to know, that I am fully open to consider any thoughts, comments or suggestions you may have.

By now you are most likely wondering what on earth I am going to write about?

Imagine standing in line at the grocery store, going over what’s in your basket, calculating to make sure you are within budget, and out of the corner of your eye noticing the cart in front of you. As you glimpse at the groceries there, noticing steak (you have 80/20 burger) and shrimp (yours is the 2 for 1 tuna), and the 2 liters of name brand soda (you chose store brand); you can’t help but overhear the customer mention to the cashier how she can’t believe that her food stamps got lowered. She continues to complain about how she knows she did everything she could to get the most. She has herself listed as homeless and said that her baby daddy didn’t live with her, and she has her parents pay for her phone. You notice as she says this, that her nails are perfectly manicured and that she appears to be pregnant. She confirms it, as she says that she knows that the WIC she will be receiving shortly will bring in more, and says that’s a good thing, because she can hardly get by on what she gets.


Are you kidding me?


I thank God that for our family of four even with only my husband working – we have never had the need, nor qualified for government assistance for food. That’s a good thing as it always meant that we’ve been able to have a job and provide for our family.  I am not bragging about this, as I know it is simply by God’s grace that this is true.

On the other hand, I see no shame in receiving assistance for legitimate need. As well as no shame in receiving assistance for a help situation; to get one through the tough times.

I am aware that there are plenty of families out there receiving assistance that without it would be hungry; many are being wise with their food stamps, these are not the ones I am shining a light on.

What irks me is seeing people abusing the system. What irks me, is people getting the benefit of using food stamps or whatever they call it these days, to eat better than those who don’t qualify.  I watched other families around us making just a little bit less and receiving assistance, some for legitimate need, others not so much.

I have literally seen people buy animals, then use their food stamps to pay for their food! Seriously?! If you cannot afford to feed your child, I don’t believe that you should add animals to your household. Let me explain here, in case you thought that food stamps would purchase a bag of Puppy Chow; sorry, no – but what I have actually seen people do is purchase chicken, steak,

rice and use that to feed their dogs. Or tuna fish for cats.

Unfortunately, I have also been contacted over the years with people asking me to purchase their food stamps, because they want cash. So, their grand idea is to take money from what is allocated to feed their family and get cash to purchase whatever it is that doesn’t qualify for food stamps.

I warned you that I get extremely agitated about this, and I am hoping that maybe by speaking out, you may have some ideas to help these situations.


But wait! There’s more!


Another thing that gets under my skin with this, would be the apparent lack of education regarding meal preparation and planning. For example, the size portions that toddlers may eat is much smaller than an adult portion. I have literally seen people purchase and make an individual steak per child, and then when the little one doesn’t eat it all; it is then scraped into the dog’s dish!

Growing up, my mother was the queen of leftovers! Unless there were only a couple tablespoons of something left in a dish, it was covered and put in the refrigerator. Tupperware was a necessity in our home, as it was used daily to serve and store. Yet, I have watched in disbelief as someone scraped over half a pan of food into the trash. When I asked why, they replied, ‘oh! We don’t like leftovers’. What?!

John 6:12 (New International Version Bible) ‘When they had all had enough to eat, he (Jesus) said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

I know it’s most likely prideful of me, but I like fact that not only do I serve leftovers; but the majority of children that have eaten at my table over the years not only ate them, but they also now serve leftovers to their families.

I have heard people complain that they are out of food stamps halfway through the month; when I know that some families that have less money to spend on food make it through the month. I’m aware at least a portion of the issue there is a lack of knowledge of bulk shopping. Meal planning and food waste would be other reasons for running out of food. As sad as it sounds, another reason is using food stamps for those who don’t have them, in exchange for money for non-food items.

There’s got to be some better options to this. There has to be a change to battle mis-use and yet conquer hunger. I hope that my voiced frustration has caused your mind to churn, and that some solutions have surfaced to help. The cry for help is real, the need is blatant, somehow, we need to crack down on the dishonesty and also the food waste, and at the same time begin educating people on money saving techniques.


What would you recommend?


How does this blog make you feel?


Speaking out, Amy

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  1. I tried to comment twice on this blog but I don’t see either one. I thought I did something wrong the first time. But maybe they are reviewed and approved first? Amanda

    1. Yes, they get reviewed and approved. I only see this post and the other one I responded to – I will keep my eyes open for others. Thank you for your persistence!

  2. Okay, now that I figure out how to comment here. Here it goes again….

    I’m concerned about the tone of this post and how dangerous this kind of rhetoric can be to people and so I feel compelled to comment. This kind of rhetoric feels like “othering” to me. https://therearenoothers.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/othering-101-what-is-othering/

    Until you walk a mile in my shoes, please do not judge what you see and hear for five minutes in a grocery store. Please see me as just as human as you and realize that it could be you in my shoes just as easily as it’s me. Look at me with curiosity and care. I am human just like you. And maybe if you did walk a mile in my shoes you would do the exact same thing. I am you and you are me. So, what is the real problem here?

    Systemic poverty, lack of access to quality education, lack of access to quality healthcare, lack of access to a safe and a healthy home. WE have caused this problem that you see. The trajectory of our country started this and unit we start to look at the systems WE put in place that causes the issues it won’t get better and maybe one day you and will be in the food stamp line or worse yet we lose humanity all together.

    I don’t disagree there are better choices to make (we could all make better choices sometimes). I don’t disagree that we should NOT throw away food. I don’t disagree with the frustration either. I DO disagree with making people the problem rather than the systems that created the situations they find themselves in.

    Have you ever experienced being homeless with a ten month old baby? Walking down the street, no food, no diapers and no place to sleep and no plan? I have and I know first hand how complex and deep poverty is. The physiological and psychological impacts it has on people. These impacts have effected people generation after generation and over and over again.

    Use that passion to do something like start a non-profit organization to help young women in poverty. To get to know them, talk to them, get to know their families and their histories. Not just what you see in their grocery carts. Then you may start to understand how this happens and what the root causes are that we should be focusing on to actually make it better. Instead of Othering and Shaming people for being products of their situations.

    What laws and legislation exist on our books that causes Poverty and our lack of empathy and ability to fix it. No one in the US should be poor. Nobody!! So why is it happening? What are WE not paying attention to because we simply don’t have to (privilege) that is causing the issues we see. What we should be PISSED OFF about is how we are allowing this to go on and how can we change it.

    1. Amanda! Thank you for your post! Your passion shines through and I love it! I am working on a response, and will get it posted when I can. Thank you for reading, and sharing!

  3. I think your blog was well written and tasteful. I have felt frustrated seeing food stamps used by people ahead of me, for food that was better than mine. On top of that, watching them unload their groceries into their brand new Escalade. If you have a legitimate need for assistance, may God bless you and may your cup runneth over. If you’re cheating the system, shame on you. You’re stealing from a family in need.

    1. So here We are assuming the Escalade is theirs? We all can make choices in how we spend money. I drive an 8 year old car that is paid off and live in a small condo with no garage so I can buy the better quality food. If someone is on food stamps should they eat unhealthy crap food to make the rest of feel better? Do they not have a right to choose healthier food or food that they want to eat? Just recontextualizing the story a little bit here. Again I don’t disagree that some could be making better choices but it is their choice to make. I’ve been on food stamps and you can’t even get them if you have a decent car. They tell you to sell your car which could get you to work or to the doctor, then come back when that money runs out. I had to put my car in someone else’s name and then go back and ask for their help that I desperately needed to feed my baby at the time. Just speaking for those that do not have a voice in this conversation… At least that I know of.

  4. Again if we focus on the people versus the systems that have created and sustained poverty in the richest nation on the planet we will never solve the real problem.

    1. Hey Amanda,
      I apologize that this has taken me so long to respond. Today is a day that I am trying to catch up on some things that I have fallen behind on. I hadn’t answered right away because I didn’t want to respond emotionally, and there were a number of things happening in my life that were in need of my complete attention. But I certainly didn’t want you to feel that I had forgotten. Again, thank you for your comments and expressing your feelings.
      It’s funny how different we can all perceive the same image. I believe so much of it is because of the lens that we view it with.
      For myself, the blog that I wrote was a cry for action; to increase education in financial wisdom; to bring awareness to a need for life skills programs; to point out in a dramatic eye catching way some of the actual situations that I have witnessed and experienced; and the necessity for things to change.
      But I can see that the lens that others viewed my blog with may have been completely different.
      That was a reminder to me, that the written word can be taken from many different angles.
      I appreciate the link you including on ‘othering’. It was an interesting read. I agree with your point of the need to really see people. It’s so easy to see what’s there in front of us, and assume that we know the whole story. No matter how hard we try, judging seems to come naturally, and takes conscious effort to battle.
      I hope that some seeds for change have been planted from this blog and our dialogue – not only in our own gardens, but also the gardens of any that take the time to read this.
      I also really commend you for sharing about your past. I can’t even imagine what you must of endured, and I pray that during your time of need someone was there to lift you.
      I know that there are a great many organizations and programs out there that can help, oftentimes it is that people are unaware of them. But I also know that the demand for more of humanity to see the need, step up and serve and create the change we wish to see is vital.
      Believing for a brighter future, Amy

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