Associated Press Introduces Us to the Real Food Stamp Recipients
Some of the Republican Candidates, lead by Newt Gingrich are castigating food stamp recipients. Mr. Gingrich says he will go to the NAACP convention and teach food stamp recipients how to get jobs. Putting aside the rather overt racism in this remark, the picture many people have of food stamp recipients is just a bunch of people who don’t won’t to work and want to just sit around and collect welfare.
Now an AP report puts a face on some of the anonymous people whose economic misfortunes are so great that they are forced to accept food stamps in order to put food on their table.
Some have advanced degrees and remember middle-class lives. Some work selling lingerie or building websites. They are white, black and Hispanic; young and old; homeowners and homeless. What they have in common: They're all on food stamps
So who are they? Well here’s one
"I could never have comprehended being on food stamps," said Christopher Jenks, who became homeless in his hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul after a successful career in sales and marketing.
He refused to apply for several years, even panhandling on a freeway exit ramp before finally giving in. A few months ago, while living in his car, he began receiving $200 per month.
And here’s another one.
Linda Miles is grateful to have food stamps, although she's not happy about why she needs them.
An Army veteran with a master's degree, Miles, who is black, was laid off as a substitute teacher in
amid deep budget cuts. After facing an empty refrigerator for too long, she recently started receiving $200 per month in food aid. Philadelphia
"Food stamps are essential, especially with the economy in the shape it's in," she said. "I pay taxes. I don't steal anything from the government. I paid my dues to society; I'm a veteran. You took something from me by taking away my job.
And here’s one more
Ronnie McHugh was watching the GOP debate from home in Spring City,
When Gingrich received the standing ovation, McHugh got so angry that she turned off the TV. Pa.
"I'd give a million dollars if I could find a job. I'm 64 years old, and no one wants to hire me," said McHugh, who is white, divorced, has no savings and lives off $810 per month in Social Security.
"I would like them to sit in my shoes," she said of the debate audience. "I would tell them I had a husband who made $150,000 a year, I had a good salary. We were both laid off at the same time by the same company, and I've never been able to rally from that.
Yes, there is a group in the Republican Party who feel that these people and the others who
In 2011, more than 45 million people - about one in seven Americans - received benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the most ever. Fewer than 31 million people collected the benefits about three years earlier. Forty-nine percent of recipients are white, 26 percent are black and 20 percent are Hispanic, according to census data.
don’t deserve help, don’t deserve assistance and only deserve condescension. They are mostly known by their group name, Newt Gingrich Voters.