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Why is there all this bashing of people who use food stamps? FYI the food stamp program has virtually eliminated most fraud with the program since they went to plastic debit cards that are reloaded each month with the amount those families are eligible for in food stamps.
If some people actually understood the history of the food stamp program, perhaps they might have a different attitude toward those who depend on food stamps.
The food stamp program was created in 1964 as part of LBJ's Great Society. It was created by congress with bi-partisan support. At the time, farmers were complaining about low prices for their products and some were dumping milk and pouring grain down the sewers because they had excess capacity. Basicly there was not enough demand for food products being produced by our farmers.
At the same time poor people in parts of the United States were going hungry. Seniors were eating dog and cat food or just skipping meals for a day. Children were going to school hungry and doiing poorly in school. People were malnourished and getting sick from preventable diseases caused by malnutrition. All this was going on while farmers were pouring milk down the drain and slaughtering cattle because they couldn't get enough to make a go of it.
The idea of food stamps was to allow those poor families and individuals to be able to have enough funds to get the basics of good nutrition and food to survive. Instead of direct cash assistance, food vouchers in the form that looked like money were issued based on a family's income that could only be redeemed in licensed retail food stores for essential food items only.
Despite some widespread abuse and outright fraud, the program has been a huge success. Because people have more funds to buy food items, there is more demand for food products. This increases the prices that the producers get for their products which encourages them to produce more to meet demand. Farmers make money, poor people can have enough funds to get the basic food items and hopefully no one in the United States has to go hungry.
The people who get food stamps are elderly, disabled and employed. They just don't have much money, even if they are employed. There are very few people getting food stamps who are just sitting back and refusing to be productive (if they are able) collecting food stamps. Placing a work requirement for food stamp receipients is a joke since it is estimated that more than 90% of adults who get food stamps are either elderly, disabled or already employed.
Those members of congress who rant and rail against food stamps should spend a couple of months living on a "food stamp budget" or had to live with a family dependent on food stamps. I would bet the farm that most of those who are so eager to cut food stamps have never been on food stamps or have known well any family that was dependent on food stamps.