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At what point would you (did you) get food stamps (gov't help)

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Question: At what point would you sign up for help? (food stamps)


As soon as I meet the requirements

After I've saved, couponed, cooked from scratch and still couldn't feed my family

If I've tried, and even went to food banks and still wasn't able to feed my family

we'd be eating bread and butter before we'd ask for help



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A thought popped in my mind last night after thinking about Obamacare etc.  At what point would you sign up for gov't assistance for things like food/daycare/ health care?  Would you sign up the first minutes you are eligible in regards to income, or would you only do it if you truely needed help?

We've never been on assistance, I was brought up in a time where it was a shameful thing. we've never needed to be on assistance.  There have been times where money was tight, but we tightened our belts then. 

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by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 9:20 AM
Replies (41-50):
by Bronze Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 4:04 PM

We waited to apply for assistance until we had nothing else to sell, no more pennies to pinch.  We did apply for health insurance for the kids right away, as soon as my husband lost his job and benefits, and i'm not ashamed of that at all.  My husband works in the building trades, so when the housing market crashed and the economy tanked, my husband and everyone we knew lost their jobs and there was no work to be found.  But everyone who works in the building trades keeps a few months wages in reserve, because we live in the north where layoffs are common during the winter months.  So we cancelled our cell phone plan and cable and lived off the reserve wages for a few months.  Then it became obvious that there weren't any jobs.  So we took some more steps to be frugal and we stretched out our savings for a year and a half.  Still no luck finding permanent work.  So we applied for assistance.  We were struggling to put food on the table, we ate some version of spaghetti at least 3 times a week. 

We're doing better now and my husband never wants to eat spaghetti or rice and beans ever again!  I never thought that I would have to go on food stamps at that point in my life.  I was in my late 20's, had been married for 9 years, we were both working and our financial situation was pretty stable.   OP, I hope you never have to experience what it is like to be so poor.

by Silver Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Quoting littlelamb303:

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

I draw a line at free school lunch.  We are not that needy.  I can afford $2.30 every now and then for my kids' lunch, but I mostly pack her lunch anyway because I don't want her eating the crap they serve at school.  We'd have to be REALLY poor for me to accept that. 

Quoting JCB911:

And what about free school lunch for your kids?  would you accept that? 

I read an article years ago about the number of families on the free lunch program at school and no wonder when the income requirements were low (as in you're family could make 40K and you'd still quailfy)

I remember a radio talk show host discussed it and had a caller who had 5 kids, made less that what was required and mentioned they had no problem feeding their kids and packing lunches for them.  They didn't need free when they could provide it themselves.  And if a family with 5 kids making, not much, could do it then why is 40k the line - it should be lower. and by having it so high it's just helping parents to be unresponsible. 

here in NY, lunches are healthy.  Mostly fruits and vegetables on the plate.  All whole grains, no junk food.  In the HS where my dd goes, no soda vending machines or machines that sell junk.

They're trying here, they really are, but it's still mostly processed crap and I can do much better for not a whole lot of money!  Some days they have fried mozzerella sticks as the only protein *smh*

by Obama licker on Apr. 28, 2013 at 4:19 PM
1 mom liked this

I dunno. I've never been in that situation and I don't think that I have the tools or experience to make any kind of claims toward it. 

by Bronze Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I didn't apply for foodstamps until a year after I financially would have qualified.  The stress of making ends meet was taking a huge toll on my mental health....I finally sucked it up, and asked for help.  The final push was when my brother (my roommate at the time) moved out with little notice --- my monthly bills increased by over $400, which was too much for me to handle alone.    

by Thatwoman on Apr. 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM

This is so far outside my experience, the answer would have to be 'when the whole economy turns upside down.'

I wasn't brought up to think it was shameful, but rather to be pleased that we were in a position to contribute, not draw upon it.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I've never been on food stamps and hope to never have to deal with that.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM
Never been in the situation, but I know this much. If I couldn't get my kids fed without some assistance, shame is not going to enter into my equation - they're getting fed. Period. The only shame I'd feel is if I let my pride get in the way of their health or welfare. I'll deal with the pride issues later. As in the day I give a crap over what someone else thinks about me over something like this............
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by Ruby Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 5:25 PM

 Never.  I'd be a hypocrite if I preached against something I don't believe in and then took advantage of it. 

by Platinum Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I don't think it's shameful to use assistance. I think we do a disservice to those who are on it (and the majority are on it legitimately) and those who really do truly need it but don't get it because of the stigma attached so they suffer needlessly. There have been many cases where children were taken away from parents for neglect because they refused to seek help in feeding them. It's an insidious form of abuse. 

If I needed it, I'd apply. I'd get off as soon as I didn't need it anymore. 

by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 5:34 PM
1 mom liked this

I was on when I needed it, got off when I didn't. 

I find absolutely nothing wrong with making sure people (particularly children and the elderly, who make up the majority of those benefiting from food stamps) in the wealthiest country in the world are fed. 

Self sufficiency is a good thing and should be encouraged. Being an assole or too "prideful" when one falls on hard times is just pure stupidity.

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