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Food Stamp Recipient Tired of Being Unfairly Judged Responds With This Scathing Letter

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Food Stamp Recipient Tired of Being Unfairly Judged Responds With This Scathing Letter

What you're going to read in a couple of minutes will definitely tug at your heartstrings and should absolutely make anyone think twice about judging someone else's circumstances in life. There's a sentiment among conservatives that those who use food stamps or any other kind of governmental assistance are doing so only because they are too lazy or incompetent to work for themselves. While it may be true that where there's a way to abuse the system, some will find that way and take it, the truth is that for millions of Americans every year food stamps and other social welfare programs are the difference between survival and starvation.

 

The Internet brings us this letter from a Sue Bulger in Minneapolis, MN. Sue wrote this letter after getting the stink-eye from a particularly judge-filled person at her local supermarket. Perhaps you've seen someone in your local store paying for their food with a food stamps card. If you've ever felt like maybe that person didn't "deserve" that assistance, or if you've ever wondered if it really helps at all for us to pay into social welfare programs, please read this letter a few times over.

 

If we cannot reach a hand out to those among us who, like Ms. Bulger, need help, then what is the point of being the richest nation in the history of the world? Regardless of whether Sue had extenuating circumstance on top of extenuating circumstance, at one point do we stop acting so selfishly as to cast a judgment-tinged eye on someone in the grocery store for having the audacity to ask for and get help when they need it most?

 

Something tells us if more people wrote or read letters like Sue's, there would be a lot less need for letters like this in the first place.

 

This is an apology to the lady behind me in line at Cub Foods in Edina on a recent Sunday night. This is also a reminder to me and to others who have ever slipped into believing that we are just a little better than others we encounter.

 

We were at the checkout, and just as the cashier started ringing me up, I saw you come to the line with a small order in your basket. My first apology is that I could not let you go ahead of me, but the checkout process had already begun.

 

My second apology was for pulling out my pile of discount coupons for the order, and especially when one required the manager's assistance. I know I was holding you up.

 

And then I swiped my payment method and you lost your patience. It was EBT - "food stamps."

 

I did not observe you, but my daughter was with me packing the groceries and saw it all: "EBT: Yeah, right," you muttered, with that look of disgust that would have shattered someone feeling just a little bit of shame over needing food stamps.

 

As we walked to the car, my daughter told me what had happened, and I sensed her resolve about having made the right decision to work for social justice as she starts her senior year in a social-work program.

 

We talked about you all the way to the car, and about how sorry we felt for people who were judged because they depended on support from others. But my real apology is that I did not make eye contact with you and get out of the car to talk with you as you got into your car right next to mine.

 

Instead, I did what many people would do: I felt ashamed and humiliated and angry about your ignorance.

 

If I'd had the guts to talk with you, I would have told you about my disabled 28-year-old son living with us. We have never asked for public support for him.

 

But recently we have decided that it is our responsibility to introduce him to the programs that will have to support him when we are no longer here to care for him. We started small: He is eligible for food support, and he agreed to receive it to be able to feel that he is contributing his share to the food bill, since he is unable to work.

 

I know we looked like people you might think need EBT: a bit unkempt in sweatpants and T-shirts. If I'd had the guts to talk to you, I would have told you that I'd just had an emergency surgery and that my daughter came home from college five hours away to help for the weekend because my husband had scheduled surgery two days after mine. I haven't been able to put on real clothes yet, and I can't lift a bag of groceries.

 

I thought I could handle your disdain, since I am a professional working at a local corporation where I am surrounded every day by people who respect me and care about me. But it still made me feel a little dirty - unworthy - and I still went home and cried in the privacy of my shower so my family would not know I was hurt by you.

 

I am sorry I did not tell you all of this in person. What my daughter and I resolved is that we will never let my son (her brother) go to the store alone with his Electronic Benefits Transfer card and be subjected to this humiliation.

 

We all have our stories, and no one is any better than another. Everyone deserves the respect they want for themselves, even if they use an EBT card to pay for their groceries.

 

by on Sep. 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Replies (31-40):
ms-superwoman
by Silver Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:08 PM
2 moms liked this

I think people should stop being so rude to the others around them and be thankful that they don't need the help themselves.

JustCJ
by Silver Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM
3 moms liked this

That s the most ignorant reply I have ever read. How presumptuous, and utterly just wrong. Many people including myself are conservative for moral reasons. I have never wanted anything out of life than just to get by. In fact, I'm in college right now pursuing my dream of becoming a midwife and it's not for the median salary of 70k a year.

Shame on you and your narrow-minded opinion. I'm not surprised though...on all levels.

Quoting Sisteract:

Yep I agree- Most of the conservatives that I know are on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder and many times on the education level too.

They want to be the rich, old man.

Quoting JustCJ:

I think the statistics need to be rechecked. I'm conservative and poor. Very poor in fact. I know a lot of conservatives who are poor..hell, I don't know any rich ones personally.

I think there is a certain GOP stigma rich old men.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

Quoting JustCJ:

Yeh you had me till there's a sentiment among conservatives....Tell me, how does one that uses food stamps know the one judging is conservative? And how do we know the one using the food stamps isn't conservative?




Obviously not all conservatives hate the poor. But there most definitely IS a sentiment amongst conservatives that people on aid need to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Look on ANY PA post on here and see the usual suspects, conservative to a woman, denounce PA and blame the poor for the nation's problems.




supercarp
by Silver Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:11 PM
1 mom liked this

 There are different flavors of conservatism. Some people are "conservative" only because they are ant-abortion or against gay marriage. They assimilate. I have always wondered about poor people who support the rich in taking their money. I feel that they've been sold a bill of goods.


Quoting JustCJ:

I think the statistics need to be rechecked. I'm conservative and poor. Very poor in fact. I know a lot of conservatives who are poor..hell, I don't know any rich ones personally.

I think there is a certain GOP stigma rich old men.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

Quoting JustCJ:

Yeh you had me till there's a sentiment among conservatives....Tell me, how does one that uses food stamps know the one judging is conservative? And how do we know the one using the food stamps isn't conservative?




Obviously not all conservatives hate the poor. But there most definitely IS a sentiment amongst conservatives that people on aid need to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Look on ANY PA post on here and see the usual suspects, conservative to a woman, denounce PA and blame the poor for the nation's problems.



 

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:14 PM
1 mom liked this

So me agreeing with you makes me ignorant? What does that make you?

Good luck with your studies.

Working as an RN for 35 years has worked well for me and my family.

Not narrowed minded at all - just a statement based on my anecdotal experiences/observations.

Again, good luck- working hard and getting educated should be both personally and financially rewarding.

Quoting JustCJ:

That s the most ignorant reply I have ever read. How presumptuous, and utterly just wrong. Many people including myself are conservative for moral reasons. I have never wanted anything out of life than just to get by. In fact, I'm in college right now pursuing my dream of becoming a midwife and it's not for the median salary of 70k a year.

Shame on you and your narrow-minded opinion. I'm not surprised though...on all levels.

Quoting Sisteract:

Yep I agree- Most of the conservatives that I know are on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder and many times on the education level too.

They want to be the rich, old man.

Quoting JustCJ:

I think the statistics need to be rechecked. I'm conservative and poor. Very poor in fact. I know a lot of conservatives who are poor..hell, I don't know any rich ones personally.

I think there is a certain GOP stigma rich old men.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

Quoting JustCJ:

Yeh you had me till there's a sentiment among conservatives....Tell me, how does one that uses food stamps know the one judging is conservative? And how do we know the one using the food stamps isn't conservative?




Obviously not all conservatives hate the poor. But there most definitely IS a sentiment amongst conservatives that people on aid need to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Look on ANY PA post on here and see the usual suspects, conservative to a woman, denounce PA and blame the poor for the nation's problems.





Sisteract
by Whoopie on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM
1 mom liked this

They are wannabes-

Quoting supercarp:

 There are different flavors of conservatism. Some people are "conservative" only because they are ant-abortion or against gay marriage. They assimilate. I have always wondered about poor people who support the rich in taking their money. I feel that they've been sold a bill of goods.


Quoting JustCJ:

I think the statistics need to be rechecked. I'm conservative and poor. Very poor in fact. I know a lot of conservatives who are poor..hell, I don't know any rich ones personally.

I think there is a certain GOP stigma rich old men.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

Quoting JustCJ:

Yeh you had me till there's a sentiment among conservatives....Tell me, how does one that uses food stamps know the one judging is conservative? And how do we know the one using the food stamps isn't conservative?




Obviously not all conservatives hate the poor. But there most definitely IS a sentiment amongst conservatives that people on aid need to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Look on ANY PA post on here and see the usual suspects, conservative to a woman, denounce PA and blame the poor for the nation's problems.





RandRMomma
by Maya on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:24 PM
2 moms liked this
I think it's sad that some are blaming their refusal to read the letter on the slant (opinion) at the beginning. It's sad that these people don't care to inform themselves of another person's experience.

It's a powerful letter.
RandRMomma
by Maya on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:26 PM
She was agreeing with you. So, if she's ignorant, what does that make you?

Quoting JustCJ:

That s the most ignorant reply I have ever read. How presumptuous, and utterly just wrong. Many people including myself are conservative for moral reasons. I have never wanted anything out of life than just to get by. In fact, I'm in college right now pursuing my dream of becoming a midwife and it's not for the median salary of 70k a year.

Shame on you and your narrow-minded opinion. I'm not surprised though...on all levels.

Quoting Sisteract:

Yep I agree- Most of the conservatives that I know are on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder and many times on the education level too.

They want to be the rich, old man.

Quoting JustCJ:

I think the statistics need to be rechecked. I'm conservative and poor. Very poor in fact. I know a lot of conservatives who are poor..hell, I don't know any rich ones personally.

I think there is a certain GOP stigma rich old men.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

Quoting JustCJ:

Yeh you had me till there's a sentiment among conservatives....Tell me, how does one that uses food stamps know the one judging is conservative? And how do we know the one using the food stamps isn't conservative?






Obviously not all conservatives hate the poor. But there most definitely IS a sentiment amongst conservatives that people on aid need to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Look on ANY PA post on here and see the usual suspects, conservative to a woman, denounce PA and blame the poor for the nation's problems.




15inbetween
by New Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:29 PM
I am at a place where I see both sides of society everyday. Weare the working poor we receive no assistance but his family is wealthy and would never even know how to apply for assistance I look at the things they do with their taxes they're supposed company cars their company health insurance that covers the houseWife who never set foot in the place but collects a check for tax reasons and I think that it's the same as welfare fraud which I see at my job and the other side of the line. Everybody everywhere has done something not entirely honest to benefit themselves most the people screaming about this are doing something else that isn't entirely truthful
AmaraG
by Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:31 PM
Um, she just admitted to food stamp fraud.
Jacqalyn
by Bronze Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:35 PM
1 mom liked this
I've personally have never seen it happen until two days ago while standing in line waiting while the cashier rung up my items.
I always take my debit card out ahead of time so im ready when its time to pay. The lady behind me kept looking at the items I was buying ( which was mostly fruit and meat. Although I did have two .99 cent packages of cookies, a package of oreos, and a small bag of chips with my items) and then at my card in my hand ( I had the back facing her ). After noticing her repeatedly doing this I turned my card around so she could see it was my bank debit card and not a EBT card. She stopped and looked off.
Even though I'm not on fs I felt so judged for no reason and felt so bad for the people who go through this often with people like the lady behind me.

* When we did receive fs, I never encountered anyone like her and was baffled when I did with my bank debit card. *


Quoting lizmarie1975:

What I still don't understand is who the hell pays attention to the people checking out in front of them? When I'm in line, maybe I'll peek at a what the person ahead of me has on the belt, but once payment method begins, I avert my eyes out of respect. It's none of my business how that person pays and I certainly don't want anyone thinking that I'm watching as they swipe their card and enter their pin.



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