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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 (41-50):
JustCJ
by Silver Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:39 PM
1 mom liked this

LMAO

Quoting RandRMomma:

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.





FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:44 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting AmaraG:

Um, she just admitted to food stamp fraud.

No, she did not.

If she is the legal guardian for his son, who is disabled, she has every legal right to do his shopping for him.


jadedcynic
by NerdyJen on Sep. 16, 2013 at 2:11 PM
1 mom liked this

Um, no she didn't. You are allowed to have someone designated to purchase food for you and use your card on your behalf. Her son is disabled and it is his card. He is considered his own household and needs help from a caregiver. It is no different than a disabled senior whose caregiver is authorized to buy groceries for them.

Quoting AmaraG:

Um, she just admitted to food stamp fraud.


pamelax3
by Gold Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM
1 mom liked this

 My mom was the same way single mother of 3 and would never get assistance

 

Quoting quickbooksworm:

My mom was the same way except she would not go on any form of assistance for anything. There was a time she was injured at work, waiting to settle out her workers comp claim, and she had $.53 to her name. But she would not do PA.


Quoting LNLMommy:

It's letters like this that make me think of my mother. She adopted me and was disabled (had breast cancer, scelroderma (that's spelled all types of wrong,), lupus and other health problems) but still worked as a sub teacher when Chemo allowed her to. She would be so ashamed to give the cashier food stamps and this was back before the EBT card. I never understood the big deal because we had to eat..my mom wasn't a bum and I was too young to udnerstand the taboo behind it. I honestly don't get why people will concern themselves with policing other people in stores and judging them about public assistance when at the the end of the day-those same people will walk past a hungry kid on the street. I don't have time to worry about the person ahead of me using food stamps because my taxes aren't going ot decrease if they cut out that program. I get nasty looks and comments when I'm out with all the kids because people like ot judge large families too. I've even had cashiers at certain grocery stores assume I am about to use EBT when buying groceries. It is what it is. I had a lady ask me if I was crazy to have so many kids and I looked at her and asked if if she planned on taking one home with her? If not-shut ya damn mouth. 



 

SherryBerry106
by on Sep. 16, 2013 at 2:46 PM

 

Equal Justice, not Social Justice

Quoting LucyMom08:

Why?

Quoting SherryBerry106:

I couldn't read past the line that contained "social justice".


 

SherryBerry106
by on Sep. 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM
1 mom liked this

 

No Chance.

She has had many that are worse than that.

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.





 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Sep. 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting pamelax3:

 My mom was the same way single mother of 3 and would never get assistance


Quoting quickbooksworm:

My mom was the same way except she would not go on any form of assistance for anything. There was a time she was injured at work, waiting to settle out her workers comp claim, and she had $.53 to her name. But she would not do PA.


Quoting LNLMommy:

It's letters like this that make me think of my mother. She adopted me and was disabled (had breast cancer, scelroderma (that's spelled all types of wrong,), lupus and other health problems) but still worked as a sub teacher when Chemo allowed her to. She would be so ashamed to give the cashier food stamps and this was back before the EBT card. I never understood the big deal because we had to eat..my mom wasn't a bum and I was too young to udnerstand the taboo behind it. I honestly don't get why people will concern themselves with policing other people in stores and judging them about public assistance when at the the end of the day-those same people will walk past a hungry kid on the street. I don't have time to worry about the person ahead of me using food stamps because my taxes aren't going ot decrease if they cut out that program. I get nasty looks and comments when I'm out with all the kids because people like ot judge large families too. I've even had cashiers at certain grocery stores assume I am about to use EBT when buying groceries. It is what it is. I had a lady ask me if I was crazy to have so many kids and I looked at her and asked if if she planned on taking one home with her? If not-shut ya damn mouth. 




Many people, male and female, were able, are able, to get through the rough times without seeking assistance.

Other people are not, for a variety of reasons.

Neither are better or worse than the next.

Of course, this excludes those who abuse any part of any given program.

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

 


Quoting FromAtoZ:


Quoting pamelax3:

 My mom was the same way single mother of 3 and would never get assistance

 

Quoting quickbooksworm:

My mom was the same way except she would not go on any form of assistance for anything. There was a time she was injured at work, waiting to settle out her workers comp claim, and she had $.53 to her name. But she would not do PA.


Quoting LNLMommy:

It's letters like this that make me think of my mother. She adopted me and was disabled (had breast cancer, scelroderma (that's spelled all types of wrong,), lupus and other health problems) but still worked as a sub teacher when Chemo allowed her to. She would be so ashamed to give the cashier food stamps and this was back before the EBT card. I never understood the big deal because we had to eat..my mom wasn't a bum and I was too young to udnerstand the taboo behind it. I honestly don't get why people will concern themselves with policing other people in stores and judging them about public assistance when at the the end of the day-those same people will walk past a hungry kid on the street. I don't have time to worry about the person ahead of me using food stamps because my taxes aren't going ot decrease if they cut out that program. I get nasty looks and comments when I'm out with all the kids because people like ot judge large families too. I've even had cashiers at certain grocery stores assume I am about to use EBT when buying groceries. It is what it is. I had a lady ask me if I was crazy to have so many kids and I looked at her and asked if if she planned on taking one home with her? If not-shut ya damn mouth. 


 

 

Many people, male and female, were able, are able, to get through the rough times without seeking assistance.

Other people are not, for a variety of reasons.

Neither are better or worse than the next.

Of course, this excludes those who abuse any part of any given program.

No one said that not getting assistance made that person better

 

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM
1 mom liked this

 I didn't write it but it's discussed daily on this site in such a way BY conservatives and discussed on right wing talk radio and conservative "news" outlets

it's not ONLY conservatives but they have made it a part of their political platform

and yes....there are MANY conservatives ON FS....Military also

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?

 

IhartU
by Gold Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 3:24 PM
3 moms liked this

When I was a single mother of one and working 40-50 hours a week at a min wage job, I was on foostamps. I had a woman in line behind me at the check out attack me with all kinds of nasty words and accusations when she saw me buying a cake mix and frosting for my daughter's birthday cake with my foodstamps. My 3 year old daughter was with me and had to listen to this woman call me everything from a lazy good for nothing to a piece of shit living off her tax dollars. I was literally crying and my daughter was scared to death.

 That woman took one look at my foodstamps and thought I was a jobless lazy breeder who mooched off the system. She had no idea that I had been in the Army to protect her freedoms, that I was working a full time job or that the child that was with me was conceived through date rape and I wasn't a whore.

 People need to keep their noses in their own carts, worry about their own lives and stop judging people for needing help. It's humiliating enough to need assistance let alone to have some high and mighty self righteous judgmental witch treating you like dog crap in front of your child.

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