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Working families on food stamps, food stamp programs expanded, good thing?

HONOLULU – Lillie Gonzales does whatever it takes to provide for three ravenous sons who live under her roof. She grows her own vegetables at home on Kauai, runs her own small business and like a record 42 million other Americans, she relies on food stamps.

Gonzales and her husband consistently qualify for food stamps now that Hawaii and other states are quietly expanding eligibility and offering the benefit to more working, moderate income families.

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed by The Associated Press shows that 32 states have adopted rules making it easier to qualify for food stamps since 2007. In all, 38 states have loosened eligibility standards.

Hawaii has gone farther than most, allowing a family like Gonzales' to earn up to $59,328 and still get food stamps.

Prior to an Oct. 1 increase, the income eligibility limit for a Hawaii family of five was $38,568 a year.

 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 10:00 AM on Oct. 22, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (44)
  • I think it's great! They are allowing people to work to be self-sufficient. I've always thought that the income limits for food stamps were way too low.
    Scuba

    Answer by Scuba at 10:03 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • I think it would nice of more of the people who run around bitching and whining about fs (especially those who invent that phantom woman with the escalade, fake nails and 50 foot tall fs card you can see from anywhere in the store) realized how many of the recipients do work. It's too bad they used Hawaii as an example, though. People are going to pounce on that dollar amount without even giving a single thought to the cost of living in Hawaii, 2500 miles off the mainland.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:06 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • I think it will create a dependency in an even greater portion of the population. Yea, it SOUNDS good, but I think it will do many people a disservice in the long run.

    First, when people are being provided for, they have less drive to do better for themselves. Security creates complacency. Sure, that family may have had to eat spam and white rice for a while... but I'm sure they would all be working on finding more income as soon as possible so as to improve their quality of food.

    Secondly, it creates dependency on the government which can be a very dangerous thing. People don't start out planning to stay on food stamps long-term... but once you get used to the extra income, even after your family is doing a bit better, it can be hard to give it up.

    Oh, and gotta love the sob story about the little Hawaiian woman selling handmade items and growing a garden to feed her sons... nice touch.
    LeanneC

    Answer by LeanneC at 10:49 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • Although many may feel negatively about this article, one must understand the cost of living in Hawaii. Honolulu itself is EXTREMELY high. If you ever wanna know how high, just do a search for real estate in Hawaii. You will find that a samll bungalow equivalent to a 2-room shack to most, will cost you at least 200K. Here in TX, 53K would feed my family of 4 just fine. In Hawaii, not so much.

    So, before people get all bent out of shape about how much someone in another state gets for food stamps, they should do a little research about the cost of living in the various states.
    specialwingz

    Answer by specialwingz at 10:11 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • "The best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty" Benjamin Franklin. To me it's absurd for eligibilty to be if income is less than double the povery line. Then why is that not the poverty line? We've made it way too comfortable for people to live on government programs. I know people need it occasionally, but when you make more on welfare than by getting a job and contributing to society, something is seriously wrong. As far as the article and Hawaii goes, I know that the cost of living there is greater. I don't know what it is. Every state should modify according to the poverty level in their state.
    kittieashy

    Answer by kittieashy at 10:35 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • wow...spam is expensive. One can of spam is $2.69 a walmart. You can get 1 lb of ground beef for $1.99. Maybe learning to shop would be a good thing too

    If you know how to shop you never set foot in walmart and you can find spam a hell of a lot cheaper than 2.69 (not that I'd shop for it, but I had another post-war spam addict grandfather, so it was a staple at their house, too)
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:51 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • People don't start out planning to stay on food stamps long-term.

    In most states, you are kicked off the program after 2 years no matter what. It doesn't matter what you "plan for." It seems the biggest problem with people who complain about the programs is they don't bother to educate themselves about them first.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:52 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • Considering I bring home $1236.00 a month and only qualify for $100.00 a month in FS for my son and myself, that is awesome.
    BradenIsMySon

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:06 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • If people need it, they need it. If my family was eligible, we would apply too.

    The cost of living in Hawaii is outrageous. We were going to be stationed there, but we took that into consideration.
    Izsarejman

    Answer by Izsarejman at 10:13 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

  • wow...spam is expensive. One can of spam is $2.69 a walmart. You can get 1 lb of ground beef for $1.99. Maybe learning to shop would be a good thing too......Look this is all well and good but where is he money going to come from for all these programs to keep expanding. She will be paying for this on the other end in raised taxes which she has NO control over.

    momof030404

    Answer by momof030404 at 10:32 AM on Oct. 22, 2010