The Food Stamp Crusaders

Nothing gets people worked up like food stamps. And no one is subjected to the Everyman’s ignorant opinion more than those who are on food stamps.

The individual or family using food stamps can never win. You see, food stamps, contrary to popular opinion, do not provide enough for someone to buy nothing but fresh produce and healthy cuts of meat. It does not provide an individual or family enough to live the foodie high life by eating lobster and steak every night. You either eat healthy some of the time, and go hungry the rest, or you eat processed, canned, junk food, and (if you’re a carnivore) whatever cheap cuts the local grocery offers, and keep your belly full the whole month.

Those who have an issue with the poor and food stamps will have a problem either way, and they will tell you so every time you stand in line at checkout. If you buy seafood or steak from the meat department, you get blasted for “wasting” tax dollars on expensive food. If you buy processed, canned, frozen “junk,” you get blasted for “wasting” tax dollars on contributing to America’s “obesity crisis.”

It’s a humiliating endeavor for food stamp users every step of the way. Heartless, cruel, ignorant people will take out every frustration they have with the government out on the poor soul simply trying to feed themselves and their families.

What is wrong here is not that a struggling family will occasionally spring for a steak. No, the issue is much, more broader than that. What is the problem here is that healthy food is expensive, while unhealthy food is cheap. Government subsidies are given to those farmers that create ingredients (like high fructose corn syrup) that make food so unhealthy.

What is wrong here is that lower income individuals and families cannot afford to buy healthy food–making one of the most important aspects of healthy living a luxury for the economically well-off. Where are our priorities? Why is healthy food a luxury that is out of reach for so many people?

Demonizing those using government assistance doesn’t make one a righteous crusader. It makes one a self-righteous prick with mixed-up priorities.

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About Brittany-Ann
Brittany-Ann is a proud, self-identified feminist with fictional tendencies. She currently writes for LouisvilleKY.com and moderates at My Fault I'm Female. She smokes camels, reads Dumas, and navigates a conservative state as "one of them darn liberals."

3 Responses to The Food Stamp Crusaders

  1. Cate says:

    This phenomenon makes me so angry. I have a friend who writes a personal finance blog. They live in the Bay Area on about $19,000/year for a family of four. For a while, they were on food stamps, and she fed her family healthy food from fresh ingredients, but had been criticized in checkout lines in both directions. The food she was buying was too healthy, too expensive, too “uppity.” Or how dare she buy canned pumpkin around the holidays to make a pie!

    But as you’ve noted, the real problem is the price of healthy food vs. unhealthy food, and a general bad attitude toward lower income folks.

  2. Clarissa says:

    This is so true. Food in this country is, for the most part, quite unhealthy. If you want meat, eggs, and produce that aren’t filled with nasty hormones and chemicals, you need to buy organic. And who can afford to eat organic all the time unless you are a millionaire? In some parts of the country, aisles that stock canned rubbish are endless while aisles with stuff that tries to pass for fresh are tiny and very few. people who struggle financially have to eat all kinds of garbage and condemning them for it is hypocritical and wrong.

    Great post!

  3. Pingback: Fauxressives: Stealing is ‘rong You Evil Poor Person! « A Bookish Beemer

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