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Food Stamp Cuts Hurt South Dakota Economy, Leave More People Hungry

We still don't have a Farm Bill because Rep. Kristi Noem thinks we have to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) by $40 billion over the next ten years. Six years of those cuts will equal the damage she and her Republican colleagues did to our economy with just two weeks of a government shutdown. Disgusting.

Also disgusting: the cuts she and her Republican colleagues have already forced on food stamp recipients will cost the South Dakota economy $11 million in this fiscal year:

In South Dakota, about 104,000 people, or about 12 percent of the population, are projected to be on the SNAP program during the 2014 fiscal year that ends next Sept. 30. That means the cuts put in place Friday would reduce benefits by $11 million, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

...Food aid groups and economists said a drop in food stamp benefits would force some families to miss meals or redirect money intended for other services such as a car repair or rent. Iowa State’s Hart said the decline in food stamp spending could be felt in the economy.

“Its primary benefit is to provide nutritional support to that individual but it also can have an indirect impact” on the local economy, Hart said. “You pull a dollar away from an individual as far as food assistance, well, they are going to replace it and not spend that dollar somewhere else” [Christopher Doering, "Cuts in Food Aid Likely to Ripple," that Sioux Falls paper, 2013.11.02].

Oh yeah, and more kids, and moms, and veterans will be hungry. But the average family will continue to pay $6,000 a year in direct and indirect subsidies for large corporations. That number will increase if the Farm Bill Rep. Noem wants ever passes, as it will hand her husband more federal subsidies to sell crop insurance to make sure her children don't go hungry.

Thanks, Kristi, for having your priorities straight.


  1. Cranky Old Dude 2013.11.02

    You left out the part about 48 million on food stamps because of Statist fumbling around in the economy...and the part about how the big banks make millions every year by"administering" the EBT card program. There are obviously people out there who need and deserve help but when you see news stories about EBT cards being sold on Craigslist, well, you begin to wonder if this is really the way to do it.

  2. Porter Lansing 2013.11.02

    Food stamps were installed in the Farm Bill because they aid the ag community. Every morsel of food a needy person puts in their mouth is a nickle in a farmers pocket. If the gov't stops buying billions of dollars worth of food commodities supply will rise, demand will fall and prices will plummet. The excess food farmers raise each year will no doubt be just given away to other countries in need. Diminishing SNAP to punish the poor is like cutting off your nose because you're upset that your face is too ugly. Ms. Noem: Cutting food stamps will hurt your constituents.

  3. Vincent Gormley 2013.11.02

    You might not be so cranky if you got a life. Scams crop up on Craigslist and every other internet site like it. But they are exactly that scams and nothing more. Repeating it as some revelation or scandal does not make it true. Nor does it mean that SNAP doesn't work. It does. And the real scandal is that Repubs are the ones milking the system more than anyone else.

  4. Cranky Old Dude 2013.11.02

    We have 80 means tested poverty programs and the poverty rate is pretty much where it was 50 years ago when LBJ started the "War on Poverty." That's after $ 15 trillion spent on those programs. Most of that money never got anywhere near a poor person, being sucked up by the bureaucracy created by it. I blame the Democrats for creating most of this fraud and the Republicans for not stopping it! As for having a life...then I wouldn't be on here!

  5. joseph g thompson 2013.11.02

    Give it a break Cory, the food stamp cut was a part of the last stimulus bill and neither Republicans or Democrats made any attempt to pass another stimulus bill. Dems and Reps both want to cut food stamps in the ag bill, only argument is over how much. Reps want more, Dems less, but both want cuts.

  6. Vincent Gormley 2013.11.02

    Cranky, I blame people like you who repeat inaccuracies as if they were factual. joseph you also are WRONG!

  7. Roger L. Elgersma 2013.11.02

    In the stimulus bill they would not let Obama fix schools with leaky roofs so the kids would not see a black man do them some good. Ok, I might be a little prejudiced against prejudiced people.
    But they did all agree to raise food stamps to boost the economy. Well wait a minute, poor people do not eat more in a bad economy. But all the kids need a good school building. If they had fixed the schools in poor school districts, the money would have gone into the economy through workers wages, instead of just randomly giving more money or stamps to people. So that is why I think that there is a divisive reason to give more stamps rather than fix schools. So to take away an increase in food stamps that was not necessary in the first place is not a problem. But the talk from Washington is that they are going to vote on lowering food stamps in the future. I know and elderly person whose food stamps were cut in half eight months ago and now already cut more this month and this is before the vote to cut them. I know another who is severely handicapped and his got cut this past month also. Now I am wondering how many times they are going to cut the same people.
    It seems I learn more accurate information by talking to poor friends than by listening to the rhetoric from Washington via the media.

  8. joseph g thompson 2013.11.02

    Mr Gormley,
    show me I am wrong, been wrong before in my life, will be wrong again, and will surely admit it if you can show me where these cuts are not part of the stimulus package or that both Dem and Rep want to cut food stamp spending.

  9. joseph g thompson 2013.11.02

    Mr. Elgersma,
    I learned a long time ago that neither political party has my best interests at heart, but only how they can use me. The media in this country has never been impartial, they have always picked a side and presented the news in a way that supports that particular side. I find the best political coverage of the U.S. is done by British newspapers and Al Jazzera, both on line and on tv. Watch both Fox and MSNBC, and think Rachael Maddow is hot. Live by the words, search for the truth because the truth will set you free and pi-- a lot of people off.

  10. Vincent Gormley 2013.11.02

    If one or two or even a handful of Democrats vote for something that does not reflect the entire party. They were not part of the stimulus. You want proof, you find it. You made the statement. Back it up, Mr. thompson.

  11. joseph g thompson 2013.11.02

    Mr Gormley,
    Where have you been for past two weeks? Do you watch or read news at all? You are the one that called me a liar, so now that you have no proof you demand that I show you proof. I have not called you a liar, you called me one, so prove it.

  12. Poly43 2013.11.02

    ...the poverty rate is pretty much where it was 50 years ago when LBJ started the "War on Poverty."....

    Love to know the "means" testing where you got this from cranky. Straight from faux I'd say. Real wages do not come close to whee they were 50 years ago.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.02

    Taking even more from the ones who have so little to begin with is greedy, heartless and immoral.

    I want the cheaters to get nothing - other than prosecuted. But I don't want all the folks in real need to be injured in the process! Get rid of all the good with a few bad?

    There hold people who cheat on taxes through their use of deductions. I guess we should drastically reduce allowable deductions every year until they are almost entirely gone. Boy,we'd sure get those cheaters then!

    If it makes sense to you that SNAP benefits ought to be cut off to get a small percentage of cheaters, continue to apply that same logic to other situations in which there is some dishonesty. Does it hold up?

  14. grudznick 2013.11.02

    BAH. I my own self will tighten my belt. We all must tighten and quit whining.

  15. rollin potter 2013.11.02

    Hey cranky old Dude, Have you or any of these other high flying Repubs got a better idea? Bring it on, But we can't let these poor and young kids starve can we????

  16. owen reitzel 2013.11.02

    "BAH. I my own self will tighten my belt. We all must tighten and quit whining."

    a lot of people can't tighten their belts anymore grud.

  17. joseph g thompson 2013.11.02

    Mr. Gormley
    Just goggle food stamp cuts. I assume since you have not yet apoligized you are still looking.

  18. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.03

    It was reported to day that the food stamps cuts will effectively eliminate 21 meals a month from the users.

  19. Anne Beal 2013.11.03

    I've been on food stamps twice in my life and the allotment is so generous I was able to buy vinegar and baking soda to clean the house plus cheap meat for my cats and dogs! Nobody is going to go hungry unless they use those EBT cards to dine out or blow their allotment on chips and pop at convenience stores. Nobody.

  20. Barry Smith 2013.11.03

    Anne-- My 72 year old mother whose sole income is the $750 a month she receives from Social Security , receives an EBT allotment of $74 a month. That is a little more than 2 dollars a day for food. She doesn't buy cheap meat for pets or chips and pop. Here is a link to the food assistance calculator so that anyone who cares to can see what their allotment would be.

  21. SVinRC 2013.11.03

    When my family of 5 was on SNAP after I lost my job a few years ago, we received $338/month. That was $11 a day for meals and was quite a stretch conaidering my growing boys heartily ate three meals a day. My family still hangs on the edge of poverty although we no longer qualify for SNAP. Living week to week, we spend our money on bills, gas, the mortgage, and barely have $70 for a weeks worth of groceries by the time its all said and done. I hate seeing the news and knowing that there are so many families like my own that are affected by Noem and other Washington cronies like her. They need a reality check and people need to be more understanding and less judgemental.

  22. Vincent Gormley 2013.11.03

    joseph g thompson, stick your indignation where the sun never shines and you park it morning, noon and night. You used the word liar, I did not. I said you were wrong. You are still wrong. There will be no apology. If the shoe fits.

  23. Jana 2013.11.03

    I again am amused by the screeching from the right on soda, sugary foods etc. they find so repulsive for SNAP recipients. While I wish those weren't the choices made, consider why those items are SNAP eligible.

    Could it be hundreds of millions of lobby dollars swaying a GOP congress to approve?

  24. Jenny 2013.11.03

    We bail big corporations, the banks and Wall Street out to the tune of billions and billions of dollars, forgiving them for their ruthless corruption, but complain and demonize the few that are abusing food stamps for some cigarettes or candy bars, or god forbid, cheap meat for your pets? Okay, got it - it all makes sense to me now. No one in poverty deserves to have the desire for chocolate or nicotine even if it makes the day more tolerable for them. Shame on you , all you low wage workers for your addictions. Shame!! Shame!! Shame!! God will judge you in the end!!!

  25. joseph g thompson 2013.11.03

    Mr. Gormley,
    Your response is exactly what I expected from a progressive. You will not be bothered to do the minimal research necessary is get the truth, googling food stamps, it is easier to be indignant and scream your wrong, your wrong, your wrong. By the way, I am not a right winger and I do not like food stamp cuts either but people who are blind to what has been happening with both political parties are the problem today, yourself included.

  26. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.03

    So who is it who is going to tell me how Congress can stop the small number of cheaters without making families, elderly, sick, and veterans suffer? Unless you have a plan that really works to address that, you advocates of cuts are being cruel and inhumane. You ought to be deeply ashamed and renounce your religion.

  27. joseph g thompson 2013.11.03

    Ms. Geelsdottir,
    Sadly there probably is not a way to stop cheaters. If we figure out how to stop them from cheating they will just find another way. Probably the best way is to provide the product instead of a credit that can be turned illegally into cash, although those that would cheat could sell the product. I believe in helping people in need and would error on the side of giving to someone who doesn't need rather than deny someone who does, but it is important to realize that the Ag bill passed by the Democrats in the Senate contains cuts to the food stamp program, to say nothing about the cuts the House wants to make. It is not just Republicans who want to cut the food stamp program. And Ms. Jenny, it was Democrats and Republicans who voted to bail out those banks and Wall Street.

  28. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.03

    There is should be non argument that there is food stamp fraud and abuse. We have all heard the stories of recipients selling cards, buy chips and pop, etc. Why others complain about what hungry people eat is beyond me.
    As with most government programs SNAP itself is not above fraud, not just from merchants allowing food stamps to be used for other purchases, but the banks and other levels of administration before food stamps even reach the recipients. I'm certain banks are making a ton off handling food stamps thereby adding to the cost to SNAP.
    The Walmart family will be impacted somewhat but will likely remain the top beneficiaries of SNAP.
    Like Cory pointed out the hardest hit will be the state and local communities, particularly main street mom and pop grocery stores. The ripple effects are unending, when you have to buy food, you not be purchasing other goods and services.
    Aside from hurting the poor, the insult is the impact to the military and veterans. It is incomprehensible that these men and women that have served this country have to be on food stamps in the first place. Politicians in D.C. should all be hanging their heads in shame. Damn them!

  29. Steve O'Brien 2013.11.03

    I would argue that the fraud in the SANP program pales in comparison to the fraud in corporate welfare programs (no-bid contracts . . .). This is a drop in the bucket of how my tax money is spent inefficiently. The right seems quick to demand the poor stand on their own two feet, but not so adamant about the wealthy doing so.

    My simple solution to alleviate the fraud is to mandate a living wage so that a nation that claims to be the best and wealthiest on earth no longer has to have its people work to maintain poverty levels of subsistence.

  30. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.03

    Joseph, I didn't specify one particular party in my last comment. I'm well aware that there are Democrats who are willing to cut SNAP. Shame on them all! It is Republican leadership that is pushing so hard for the deepest, most harmful slashing and burning.

    When I was in grade school in the 1950s-60s, my family received commodities from the government. I believe it was feds, but I'm not sure. I remember we got big cans of peanut butter, canned ham, canned beef, flour, lard, and? . I don't recall what else there was. Those canned meats were awful, very fatty and gristly. The pb had a layer of oil floating on top. The health value of the food was low, but knowledge and consideration of nutrition was minimal. Rural lifestyles required a significantly higher amount of calories in that time also.

    So commods? Yeah, if they are of good quality and people know how to cook them. But it will take some infrastructure to make it work. Or maybe reputable food banks could serve as distributors. Which is a more efficient use of government resources and better serves recipients? Commodities or SNAP? Or an unknown Plan C?

    Oh, I completely agree with you about cheaters finding a way to cheat. One thing that would help is a dramatic increase in the number of case workers. Those now employed in EBT are so overloaded with clients they don't have time to fully verify eligibility. I think that doubling the number of employees would bring about a huge decline in cheating. Right now it's unfair to blame the SNAP program for cheating when budget cuts have crippled them.

  31. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.03

    Great comment Steve!

  32. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.03

    Steve has just described Plan C.

  33. joseph g thompson 2013.11.03

    Ya don't suppose that if you mandated a living wage(certainly more than the present federal minimum wage) that prices would not immediately inflate to insure profit margins. Will you institute price control to keep prices the same as they were before the wage increase? Would guess business wouldn't really be effected but I bet the financial markets would be very unhappy when debts floated away due to inflation.

  34. joseph g thompson 2013.11.03

    I have a political science fiction novel that l want to read tonight, but Ms. Geelsdottir's post made me think of something that has bothered me for probably 25 years. How many middle class government(federal, state and local)jobs(to include the criminal justice system) exist to take care of those members of our society who for one reason or another can not permanently or temporarily take care of themselves? To protect those jobs does government have a vested interest in seeing that that class of people will continue growing therefore increasing middleclass government jobs? How many of those government employees would happily work towards a goal of eliminating their own jobs? Just thoughts! Once again a stroll through Madville has been an enjoyable experience. Thanks Cory and Good night all.

  35. Jerry 2013.11.03

    Tomorrow, all of the food stamp issues will be over. The powers to be have all gone to the Amen corner today and now they understand what Jesus would do. I am quite sure that all of the pastors and priests across this great land, lambasted these Charlatans for their blasphemy and plain pure hatred of the poor and downcast. After that browbeating, they want to repent for being so wicked and untrue to what they claim to believe in. So unless they do not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, the food stamp issue will be settled on Monday morning early.

  36. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.04

    Very interesting comment Joseph. Got me to thinking too, and I hit a roadblock: If fewer people getting benefits means fewer government jobs, the hangup is - How do we decrease the number of people in need who survive by virtue of the safety net?

    I'm thinking of veterans, people with Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy, ALS, schizophrenia, sub-90 IQ, caring for a crippled parent, etc. Seriously.

    We know what used to happen - asylums, shorter lifespans, much more suffering. My neighbor Gail was a couple years younger than me. (Born 1955?) She grew up on the farm 2 1/2 miles north. She had Downs, only she was called a Mongoloid at that time. Doctor's told her mother to take Gail immediately to an asylum for the feeble-minded. The one in Redfield was only about 20 miles away. Her parents refused. Life expectancy for 'Mongoloids' was about 30 years. They were throw away, hide away people. Gail died in 2006. She had a good life. Without financial assistance and government help she would probably have died 20-30 years earlier after a miserable existence in an asylum.

    So what do we do with folks like her now? You brought up a very important point Joseph. What about The People? They are the point, before political parties, corporate money, taxes, administrators, or any other consideration.

  37. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.04

    BTW, prisons are big business. But I think we all know that.

    Why is it that long term care, group homes for developmentally disabled people, elder care . . . don't make big money for private companies? Is it because the Bill of Rights requires better care for prisoners than it does for our grammas and grampas? Or does it?

  38. Steve O'Brien 2013.11.04

    Joseph, perhaps prices would go up. Using the fast food industry as an example, they bring in $200 billion a year; their employees also use $7 billion in government assistance because of the poverty wages they earn. It seems to me that if prices went up 3.5%, and ALL that went to wages to alleviate poverty, then the tax burden of fast food could be erased.

    The right wants to focus consumers on "prices at the retailer," but that is not the only cost being paid by consumers. Retailers have externalized costs that the tax payers pay to "keep prices low" only to pay those same dollars in taxation. Does anyone really really believe that the price of gasoline for example reflects all the costs we pay for that gallon?

    Price commodities and services at non-government supported levels, reduce our tax burdens and really see how a true "free market" works.

  39. Douglas Wiken 2013.11.04

    Years ago, McGovern figured out that policing school lunch programs so that only the poorest got them cost more than it would to feed all of the kids. My guess is that trying to police SNAP, etc. will not save a thin dime.

    I do not think that soda/pop should be purchased with SNAP funds. I see grocery carts nearly filled with pop and a few packages of lunch meat and perhaps a pizza. It is both white and non-whites doing it and often both are grossly overweight.

    And, I confess to liking cranberry Sierra Mist . We bought a carton around Christmas last year and we still have about 4 cans of the stuff. Now and then I drink a cola when caffeine-deficiency rings my headache bell and a coffee pot is nowhere in sight.

    Some slack in these programs is just being humane and also cost-effective.

    And, the very least South Dakota should do is remove the sales tax on basic foods such as raw potatoes, raw fruit, flour, and raw meat.

  40. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.04

    Here's what we need to do about SNAP abuse when it comes to be buying soda pop, chips, pizza, etc.
    A vigilante group needs to be formed, perhaps lead by tea bagger dudes, skinheads, or disgruntled people that are concerned more about what poor people than they are about oil subsides, farm subsides,or tax breaks for the wealthy.
    They will have the "power' to dictate what SNAP users purchase and disallow any purchase they wish.
    They can than report their findings to the "food stamp truth commission" and celebrate their success.

  41. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.04

    Doug, I think McGovern was on to something, and you are too. The problem is, many people in poverty using SNAP funds don't know how to cook and/or don't have the necessary facilities and equipment.

    I think you and I grew up when there was no such thing as fast food and frozen meals did not yet exist. I can make anything starting with a live chicken, flour, oil, potatoes still in the dirt in the garden, etc. Most people of our generation can.

    I was shocked when I began encountering people who didn't know what to do with a chicken from the grocery meat department. Nor did they know what to do with a cup of rice or a raw potato. No one ever taught them like my mother, grandmother, and aunts taught me.

    Those people have grown up and continue to live their lives on processed food - breaded chicken patties, mac & cheese mixes, fast food. The only part of the grocery store they are familiar with is the snack aisle, bakery section, and freezers.

    The change in eating habits requires a cultural change. When a member of a family is hungry they grab bread and processed sandwich bologna from the frig, slather on mayo, grab a handful of chips, and have their meal. Or they pick the frozen hot pockets and toss a couple in the microwave. Low in nutrition, high in fat and sugar and calories and sodium.

    That's what Normal is. It's not limited to cities. Families in rural and small towns in SD do exactly the same. Those folks need to be taught how to prepare food from scratch and they must be motivated to make that change.

    It might be similar to asking the average SDan to switch to eating like an Ethiopian - all the time. Sit in a circle on the floor, big oval of flat bread similar to a pancake, common pots of bean dishes and unusually spiced unusual meats. Rip off a small piece of bread to use as your only eating utensil.

    A huge cultural change needs to happen.

  42. Douglas Wiken 2013.11.04

    "I was shocked when I began encountering people who didn't know what to do with a chicken from the grocery meat department. Nor did they know what to do with a cup of rice or a raw potato. No one ever taught them like my mother, grandmother, and aunts taught me. "

    Well, my mother taught me very little cooking. I learned a bit from watching her cook. My dear old dad could not fry and egg without scorching the bottom and leaving the top raw.

    I have learned to do little cooking from watching public TV and that option is available free to nearly everybody. The necessity of doing one's own cooking of raw potato,raw eggs, and making a good loaf of bread for 50 cents instead of $2.00 was mostly a matter of being able to subtract and determine net savings.

    Despite Roger's remark, I am not in favor of vigilantee justice for purchasing junk food, but I do not think any of us should be forced to subsidize that just as I don't think all responsible drivers should pay extra insurance and taxes because drunks and the liquor industry don't pay enough taxes to cover even a pitifully small fraction of social costs they generate.

    Mayor Bloomberg took a lot of heat for eliminating large soft drinks and taxes on them, but he was probably on the right track. Sit in a vehicle in a store parking lot for awhile and estimate how many people walking past are so obese as to generate extra health costs. If they are on welfare even for no other fault of their own, I do not think we should finance their consumption of unhealthy and expensive "food".

  43. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.04

    I'm in agreement with your sentiment, Doug, but how will you regulate purchases? Do you think food stores will be willing to add to their monitoring burden?

    I have a question too: Do you truly feel that your experiences and accomplishments, your cultural background, is the gold standard? You represent a minority of American backgrounds. I hope you'll allow yourself to consider my question.

  44. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.04

    My remarks about vigilantes was meant to be sarcasm.

    You have stated quite well the cultural and food problems in our country. When I go to the grocery store I never know who is or isn't using food stamps. SNAP users don't where I label that I know of and I'm not nosy enough to watch people at the checkout.
    Anyway, while at the grocery store I'm usually appalled at what people call groceries, all shoppers. Most of the stuff people call groceries are way too expensive for me and not nearly as good as my own cooking.
    I remember in my early days on the reservation when commodities were handed out, people would get bags and bags of flour and cornmeal, cheese, etc. A lot of the people that got flour still lived in tents and didn't have stoves to bake bread. Once my brother traded a puppy for 5lbs. of that really good cheese.

  45. Douglas Wiken 2013.11.04

    I know grocery and other chains would moan and groan, but they are able to treat many purchases with different tax rates already and for years oleomargerine was taxed differently than butter.

    I don't view my cultural background as either superior or inferior. I was lucky to be born into a family that for generations valued learning and awareness of the world. My background in hard science and economics modeling of political science also offers me a perspective irrelevant of my race or family culture and more strongly influences my perspective than family values or culture.

    I do not see doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result is a value in any culture.

    Just as today in the news, some Alaskan or Canadian Native American tribal spokesman thought it just terrible that some hunters did not realize that an albino moose or elk was sacred to them and killing one would bring evil to the tribe. I thought it was more than passing strange that anybody anywhere would view the hide of a dead animal as sacred.

    If, however, that kind of nonsense leads to environmental concern and prevents extinction of some rare species, there is nothing wrong with that consequence even if there are also rational reasons available.

    Tribalism is right now leading to the deaths of thousands or millions of people all convinced that their god or their mythology is so superior it justifies their killing of other humans. I do not find that as any kind of superior culture.

  46. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.04

    Thanks for the sincere response Doug.

  47. racheal young 2013.11.05

    I currently receive SNAP. I also work full time, attend college full time, and pay a monthly daycare bill of 775. Say it. Well if you can't manage shouldn't of had kids. Right? I was raped when I was 18years old, had twins but I couldn't get myself to have an abortion.I love my beautiful babies now ages 4 I work my a#@ off trying to make it in this world. I don't receive child support. Because I was never able to find this man and the system makes it nearly impossible for people unless you are just jobless. I can't get any rent assistance where I live because there's a 6 year waiting list. I don't receive day care assistance. Because I dont have active child support case. I work full time plus more at a nursing home taking care of other ppls family just so I can have a roof over my children's heads. We live in tin.yone bedroom apartment because with 775 rent. I don't have much to spare. I pay my own utilities. The only thing I do get is snap. And YOUR Damn right I buy myself a Damn pop!! Who are you to judge what I use my SNAP for. And people on snap tend to buy not such healthy foods because you don't have enof for 3 meals a day everyday. Healthier foods cost more. I make sure I cook my kids one good meal a day. But if we have to have a tostino 1.36 pizza for lunch. That's what we have to do yo make sure we have food on our table EVERYDAY.

  48. Jerry 2013.11.05

    Thanks Ms. Young for being a fighter. I think that most of us are clueless on the struggles of our fellow citizens just to survive. For far too long, many of us have let the media lead us around by the ear. We have listened to politicians tell us that food stamps and welfare are evil in every sense of the word and we have turned a blind eye to those of us who need our help to survive and raise their children. Your story is not so different than many others that I have seen and heard, but they should always be told so that the heartless and ignorant among us know who the recipients are. Loyal, hard working Americans all. That is who you are and you righteously deserve our support without question.

  49. Jenny 2013.11.05

    I just know there would be a nutcase on "that" side that would say you put yourself in the position to get raped, or you should have put those babies up for adoption so they would have at least a fighting chance in life. I want my taxes to pay for the people that truly struggle, and I could care less if they need a pop or even nictoine to get them through the day. People need to understand the addiction process, and for people that work their butts off day after day, this is really the only respite some have.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.05

    Rachael, thank you for sharing your story. Yours is a valuable story. You're playing by the rules, working hard, trying to raise your kids well. You're being careful with your money—and yes, I see in my own budget that crappy food is cheaper than healthy food, and it's hard to have discuss vitamins and whole grains when your kids' tummies feel empty. Helping your kids eat well is the least a humane society can do.

    But Rep. Kristi Noem apparently doesn't give a darn about you and your kids. I know you're busy, Rachael, but please make time next November to get out and vote. Your family's well-being depends on it.

  51. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.05


    Thank you for having the courage to share your poignant story. As Jerry stated, you are not alone, there are so many Racheal's out there.
    What those opposed to SNAP usually forget is that every recipient has individual circumstances, yet they lump everybody together and want to dictate what can be purchased.
    Frankly, I don't care what recipients buy with SNAP and hope that they do on occasion reward themselves with a soda, bag of chips, etc. It is really none my business.
    I'm curious about how it is known when people are on food stamps, it seems that there are a lot of nosy ones out there or that SNAP users are being profiled and stereotyped.
    You are to be commended for educating yourself and at the same time providing for your family, you have a lot on your plate, you have my very best wishes for success.

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