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Have you experienced poverty?

I answered question about food stamps last night. The person whose answer was chosen as the best harped on the moms who said they didn't want their tax dollars going towards junk food. Many of the commentors implied that those of us who are against food stamps purchasing junk food haven't experienced poverty. I'd like to share my own childhood: my father got laid off quite often when my 4 siblings and I were kids. We never TRULY went without - my parents knew how to provide for us. We had the essentials: shelter, food & love! But that food? It was usually grown in our small garden. Or my brothers and Dad would hunt rabbits and squirrel. We also raised chickens. I hear all of this "Pity the poor, they deserve to eat crap food because they're so sad!" No, maybe the parents need to learn how to adequately provide sustenance to their families so they can be healthy as possible. So, ladies, what hardships have YOU experienced?


Asked by MommyDumDum at 10:04 AM on Jun. 6, 2009 in Health

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Answers (11)
  • I grew up in poverty and never realized it. We raised our own chickens and beef, grew a large garden and preserved it, cooked and baked from scratch and never went hungry. Even today, my food budget is $250 or less each month for food & groceries for 4 adults and 3 tweens and we NEVER go hungry and we never eat rice & beans. I still grow a garden and preserve it.
    Ho hos or twinkies??? Homemade is much less expensive and lasts a lot longer! Takes too long to cook/bake from scratch? Hardly. I can make biscuits from scratch, measuring ingredients to the pan takes 3 minutes. I think, however, that many families are getting away from such money saving measures and now we have a couple of generations that just don't KNOW how to cook meals from scratch or how to grow fresh veggies in a small space. How about education on HOW to shop wisely with what you have? Whatever happened to teaching Home Economics in schools??

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 1:03 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • If you're talking about stuff like ding-dongs and twinkies then I understand what you mean. But people who are really trying to make those food stamp dollars stretch are going to buy things like mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. Not healthy food at all, but dry foods and frozen foods go a lot farther when it comes to making sure there is food in the house. I'm thinking that a mom with food stamps would rather spend five dollars on a bag of 40 chicken nuggets that will last two or three meals than a package of chicken breasts that will only feed the family for one meal. But there are ways to eat healthy on a dime, I think a lot of people don't know how to go about it. I was on WIC for a while, and part of that program is taking nutrition classes. I really think they should make people who get food stamps go to these same classes.  I mean red beans and rice cost just about as much as a box of mac and chees

    Answer by ajguinn at 10:17 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • It cut off some of my first answer for some reason. So.... (con't) cheese, but the beans and rice are far more nutritionally sound, as well as filling. I think what it comes down to is that even though some might consider the food crap, the people buying it truly feel they are doing the best they can for their families (ho-hos and twinkies excluded!).

    Answer by ajguinn at 10:19 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • My parents never has a lot of money, but I always got what I need and more. I always had food, clothes and a place to live. My parents feed us good food but we also got the junk food, too. Just because someone is on food stamps doesn't mean that them or their kids shouldn't have treats, too. If they are buying good food and feeding their children why shouldn't their kids be able to have a twinkie, a ho-ho, or a popsicle, too just like every other kid. To say they shouldn't is kind of mean.

    Answer by TeriMelisa at 10:32 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • That is true TeriMelisa, you have a very good point.

    Answer by ajguinn at 10:36 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • I am not saying people can't have treats. I did..very rarely. And that's what I mean: I don't agree with people who advocate for food stamp users to get nothing BUT frozen pizza & burritoes, Little Debbies, soda, etc. I think parents should try their hardest to give their children the healthiest diet possible. People act like it's a phenomenal task to buy some seeds and grow a couple of veggies - because they're too expensive to afford on a tight budget. Even if you live in a tiny, inner-city apartment, you can grow these things in pots in your house!

    Answer by MommyDumDum at 11:02 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • Yes I have, and we never got food stamps or PA. I remember many nights eating a piece of bologna and some green beans for dinner. Not the best but it was food.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:10 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • michiganmom116, that was my point. A lot of people will buy unhealthy food that will last a long time because they have no idea how to make healthy meals with not very much money. With WIC we had to take classes, so why shouldn't people who are on foodstamps? And no, I'm not saying anything negative about foodstamps or people who use them!!!!

    Answer by ajguinn at 2:23 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • We were on welfare,and I still missed alot of meals.I can remember going to school with a piece of butter bread and water in my thermos.My mom didn't make food a priority,but she always had cigarettes and her boyfriend had beer.She figured if I ate lunch at school,that one meal a day should be enough for the day.We ate IF we had money.I was forced to starve or steal food or beg from my friends.We got some stuff from charity and churches,but that didn't last.I don't know where the money went,it certainly wasn't spent on me.

    Answer by TMJ121099 at 4:08 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • We've lived in poverty many times, when I was young we lived at a campground in California in a army tent. Our family of six lived in a trailer 12' for quite awhile,it was bad times...

    Answer by MarGeee at 5:50 PM on Jun. 6, 2009