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What do you think of this? (PA related)

Hipsters on food stamps
They're young, they're broke, and they pay for organic salmon with government subsidies. Got a problem with that?
Pinched is an ongoing series about life during a recession.

In the John Waters-esque sector of northwest Baltimore -- equal parts kitschy, sketchy, artsy and weird -- Gerry Mak and Sarah Magida sauntered through a small ethnic market stocked with Japanese eggplant, mint chutney and fresh turmeric. After gathering ingredients for that evening's dinner, they walked to the cash register and awaited their moments of truth.

"I have $80 bucks left!" Magida said. "I'm so happy!"

"I have $12," Mak said with a frown.

The two friends weren't tabulating the cash in their wallets but what remained of the monthly allotment on their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program debit cards, the

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:53 PM on Mar. 16, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (22)
  • for what are still known colloquially as food stamps.

    Magida, a 30-year-old art school graduate, had been installing museum exhibits for a living until the recession caused arts funding -- and her usual gigs -- to dry up. She applied for food stamps last summer, and since then she's used her $150 in monthly benefits for things like fresh produce, raw honey and fresh-squeezed juices from markets near her house in the neighborhood of Hampden, and soy meat alternatives and gourmet ice cream from a Whole Foods a few miles away.

    "I'm eating better than I ever have before," she told me. "Even with food stamps, it's not like I'm living large, but it helps."


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:54 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • Mak, 31, grew up in Westchester, graduated from the University of Chicago and toiled in publishing in New York during his 20s before moving to Baltimore last year with a meager part-time blogging job and prospects for little else. About half of his friends in Baltimore have been getting food stamps since the economy toppled, so he decided to give it a try; to his delight, he qualified for $200 a month.

    "I'm sort of a foodie, and I'm not going to do the 'living off ramen' thing," he said, fondly remembering a recent meal he'd prepared of roasted rabbit with butter, tarragon and sweet potatoes. "I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it's great that you can get anything."

    Think of it as the effect of a grinding recession crossed with the epicurean tastes of young people as obsessed with food as previous generations were with music and sex.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:56 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • so you begrudge them eating healthy? u want them sick so medicaid has to pay for doctor bills?

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:57 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • Faced with lingering unemployment, 20- and 30-somethings with college degrees and foodie standards are shaking off old taboos about who should get government assistance and discovering that government benefits can indeed be used for just about anything edible, including wild-caught fish, organic asparagus and triple-crème cheese.

    Food policy experts and human resource administrators are quick to point out that the overwhelming majority of the record 38 million Americans now using food stamps are their traditional recipients: the working poor, the elderly and single parents on welfare.

    But they also note that recent changes made to the program as part of last year's stimulus package, which relaxed the restrictions on able-bodied adults without dependents to collect food stamps, have made some young singles around the country eligible for the first time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:57 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • Anyways you can read the rest of the article at the link. I don't begrudge them food but i think it's nice they can afford all the organic and really expensive foods on the taxpayers dime. While other ppl who are on the borderline struggle and eat mac and cheese or ramen. Foods one of the ppl in this article stated they refused to eat.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:00 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • What people buy with their FS shouldn't be the issue, it should be the fact that the government gives more than people need GENERALLY (no one bash me for that please!)

    I get almost $700 a month for a family of 5, one of which is my elderly mother whom I take care of. Now, that's more than enough for us to be able to eat healthy! I don't do organic BTW, just healthy!

    It's not like I can just go say "oh, just give me $XXX instead"
    and I sure as heck am not going to eat ramen all month just because PA bashers think that's what I should buy so as not to "waste their tax money" and have $500 left at the end of the month.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:04 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • I say this every single time I read some stupid post or question about what people buy with their foodstamps....I DO NOT GIVE A SHIT WHAT PEOPLE BUY WITH FOODSTAMPS! People who sit around being angry about what other people eat and how they pay for it NEED TO GET LIVES.


    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 9:16 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • You don't HAVE TO eat mac and cheese. Just buy less crappy, packaged, high calorie food but more high quality food.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:18 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • And...please stop with the "ppl" and just type out PEOPLE> Then maybe we will take you seriously. PPL is so ...shallow.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:19 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • but vowels are so hard to type out in words!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:20 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

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