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Friday, September 23, 2011

Fatal Flaw In Food Stamp Program Leaves Me Partially Flushed

My dream bathroom, if I could only afford it.
When the economy went south, a lot of people found themselves in financial situations that they had never imagined. If they were living paycheck to paycheck before the recession and one or more people in the household lost their income, they had nowhere to turn but to government services, like food stamps. There is a fatal flaw in the food stamp program that leaves me partially flushed.

Health issues and the inability to find a job landed me in the food stamp program. I remember the first time I used the state debit card to buy food. I was so ashamed. But I was hungry and I had to eat. For most people forced onto the food stamp program, their first meal is eating crow. All those remarks about bums on food stamps have to be swallowed before they can eat a real meal.

For a single male with no dependents, I get $200 a month. I can buy anything I want, as long as it is food. No liquor. No cigarettes. No household items. But, there is one item from a certain aisle in the grocery store that is necessary, if you eat food. And that is where the problem is.

I can buy $200 worth of M&M's and try to live on that for a month, but I can't buy toilet paper. In other words, "You can put it in, but you hope it never comes out."

To me, there should be an exception with the food stamp program, you should be allowed to buy toilet paper. It's a natural thing. Buying toilet paper would complete the cycle.

Maybe that is why there are so many fat people on food stamps, they're holding it in. "Yeah, I haven't taken a crap in two years. Pass those pork rinds."

Another weird thing about the food stamp program is that you can buy a rotisserie chicken from the deli, if it is cold. If it is warm, you cannot buy it. I have no idea why. Makes no sense. The first time they told me I had to pay with cash for the warm chicken, I almost shit, but I knew I couldn't buy toilet paper or new underwear with my food stamp card, so I ponied up the $4.25 and held it in.

There should be a few other restrictions on the food stamp program. I live on $50 a week. Every penny counts and I manage the money well. The other day, I saw a lady buy a $38.00 birthday cake from the store bakery with her food stamp card. I can't afford to blow almost a week's worth of food on birthday cake.

I live on a big pot of brown rice, onions, peppers, three kinds of beans, hominy and corn every week. Sometimes I mix it up and make a pasta dish. I also get some yogurt, fruit, orange juice, bagels and Diet Coke. If I look like I have money left over, I buy sandwiches already made at the deli. I don't really have any place to prepare food at my place. Or I get the cold rotisserie chicken, some tomatoes, cheese, onion, jalapenos and tortillas and make tacos.

I'm still in awe about the $38.00 cake. Talk about creating a demand for toilet paper.

I can't wait for the day when I'm off the program. That will mean things are going well in my life, again. I hate it. But I couldn't survive without it. And the fatal flaw in the food stamp program leaves me partially flushed. I scrape up a $1.08 and hit the dollar store before I crap out. 

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1 comment:

  1. Too freaking funny Roger!! I do understand though. When I lost my flight attendant job, I too was forced into the food stamp line. For a entire year, and I would've kept going and getting my tax dollars back, but then they wanted to start getting nosey and asking for my partner's tax information. He on the other hand, a Toledo, Ohio native and a die-hard Republican; told them to go straight to... well, I'm sure you can fill in the colorful adjectives and profanities of choice. But like you said, they put extremely to many restriction on what you can and cannot do with that card. Loved the post mate. And I can always expect a great laugh from you. :D Have a great weekend buddy. :)


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