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November 1, 2013 by 8junebugs
We interrupt your regularly scheduled baby pictures with this important announcement:
Beginning this month, millions of US families will have a harder time putting food on the table because Congress decided to make it harder. Our Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP, or food stamps — is taking a $5 billion hit…just at the time of year when families are most encouraged to splurge and celebrate with an over-abundance of food.
Some 47.6 million people, or nearly 15% of the population, get [food stamps], according to September federal data.
Fifteen percent of our population needs help buying food right now. FIFTEEN PERCENT. A majority of those households (76%) include a child, an elderly person, or someone with a disability. And everyone is going to have to make do with less, just at the time when “more” is what they’ll see all around them.
(Hey, here’s another scary fact: Know what’s often tied to SNAP benefits? Fuel assistance for New England families. Food ain’t the only absolute necessity that is less and less affordable.)
I can’t fix Congress (this year) — and I abhor and resent the assumption that systemic income inequality at any level can be addressed with individual generosity — but the idea of kids going hungry hits me harder now than ever before. “There but for the grace of a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE AND LUCK go I,” as the saying goes.
So I’m joining the Scary Mommy Nation in trying to help struggling families have a solid holiday feast.
One Thanksgiving dinner can go a long way. It can shield kids from the hard reality their families face during a time when everyone else is talking about turkey and pie. It can provide a week’s worth of leftovers for a family that’s struggling. It can give a mom a reason and the means to celebrate during a time when she might have felt most left out. It’s not much, but it’s something.
Scary Mommy is trying to help. All the money — all of it — goes to help families have a decent Thanksgiving dinner. (Also, it’s a registered 501(c)3 and your gift is tax-deductible.)
If you can help, please help. Donate now.
If you need help, please, please fill out the form and let this community buy your holiday dinner.
This is an emotional issue for me. I’ve always, always, always known someone who needed a bit of help, whether it was to get through a rough patch or because their lives turned out to contain a series of rough patches, no matter how hard they worked or how good they were or how much they prayed. I spent a year interning at an organization that tried like hell to help women get the training they needed to earn a living wage, and it just reinforced what I already knew to be true: That Reagan-era “welfare queen” myth is some rank, hateful bullshit.
No one wants to need help meeting basic survival needs. Asking for that help is almost as hard as needing it. That a political party in this country believes that people are not entitled to food sends me into fits of breathless rage. And no, I absolutely do not care if you’re registered with that party and don’t happen to agree with this one premise — collectively, the Republican party elevated a presidential candidate who believes that people are not entitled to food , to say nothing of shelter and healthcare, and that party is sticking to its privilege-what-privilege? platform. There is something deeply, dangerously wrong with that viewpoint, something dark and unabashedly cruel, something that illustrates an utter disregard for the future of this nation.
People are entitled to food. Full stop.