Prego and the Loon

Should Food Stamps be Accepted at Restaurants?

In Family on April 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

FoodStamps

I awoke this morning to find this image in my Facebook news feed, and LIKED by one of my so-called Facebook friends. This image personally hit home, and I found it to be extremely disturbing. Just to give you a little background information if you haven’t been keeping up with my blog… I am a single mother to one beautiful toddler. I left my ex-husband when my child was just a newborn infant due to domestic violence. In addition I left my career because we worked under the same roof, and I was frightened what may happen if I had stuck around. I currently have a restraining order against him, and fortunately haven’t seen or heard from him in quite sometime. Overall I left everything I had ever worked for and ever known to create a beautiful life for myself and my child. Which brings me to the image above… during that time I applied for food stamps amongst many other government programs to help me get back on my feet. These programs which I had paid into over time were a complete god sent during this time of struggle, rebuild, and restructuring of my life. Government programs such as food stamps helped ease my mind and mental stability, so that I could focus all my time and attention on getting back on my feet. (Side note: Imagine being a first time mother to a newborn baby, dealing with a psycho ex-husband, a restraining order, and trying to get back and your feet)

Now back to the issue at hand: Should food stamps be accepted at restaurants? My personal answer to this question would be YES! Reason number one: Imagine being homeless without kitchen facilities to cook a nice warm meal. Reason number two: Imagine being a single adult living in a shelter without access to cooking facilities. Reason number three: Imagine being a hard working individual trying to raise a family, needing a little break from the stress of daily household chores such as cooking. Have a heart, and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Many hard working adults are struggling in todays economy. Think before you choose to open up, and speak about something you may know absolutely nothing about! PLEASE provide thoughts and opinions regarding this situation… Do you believe food stamps should be accepted at restaurants?

  1. Thank you for writing this piece. I’ve also been a single mom and it would have been nice to have an alternative such as this! Thanks also for stopping by my blog and liking “Memories” I look forward to seeing more from you!

  2. No! The instances you described, such as not having a place to cook a hot meal are problematic but I do not believe providing funds for people to eat at restaurants is the answer. I’m not some rich old white lady either. I grew up on food stamps and although i never received them as an adult I have spent the best part of the last 20 years as a single mom.

    But restaurant food is generally laden with fat an void of nutritional value. And the restaurants themselves are breeding grounds for food poisoning, Imagine being homeless and having crippling diarrhea.

    Dining out is and should be a treat. A privilege you afford yourself. I worked overtime last night, yup that’s the night shift on a Saturday night. I designated the first hour to treating myself to dinner out, in two weeks when I get paid.

    • I currently deal with transient people on a regular basis… Imagine stashing food in your backpack because you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, and now envision being so hungry you choose to eat that food even though it has gone bad due to lack of refrigeration. Now this person has crippling diarrhea… wouldn’t it have been NICE if people chose to give them food options! These are the stories I hear on a regular basis.

      • I still do not believe giving people vouchers to eat in restaurants is the answer.

      • Or how about offering a place so people can cook their food?

        In Melbourne, we have free BBQs available in most public parks. People can arrive with their sausages, meat etc and have a good decent meal.

        This might be another solution so people can eat good food but cooked by themselves.

        Now I am talking like a corporate knob here but I am surprised that some restaurants don’t see this as a benefit to their triple bottom line. Wouldn’t engaging in something like this boost their social responsibility profile in the community? I would have thought it might.

        Food for thought.

        Danni

  3. Im from the UK so Im not 100% sure what food stamps are? Can you explain please id rather make an informed opinion 🙂

    • Hi Carla: haven’t made it through all the responses here yet but food stamps are part of a program here in the US (not sure if they exist anywhere else) that are like food vouchers in the UK…from what I see in the news, they were used in the UK some time ago and are being brought back. See here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/26/payment-cards-emergency-assistance-food-stamps

      • Ah I see. I don’t think they will be bought into effect here to be honest. I think honestly that the concept is not for me. Some people get healthy start vouchers here for young children ( if they’re on benefits or on a very very low income!) for cows milk, formula and fresh fruit and veg, but you can only use them in certain shops which can be pretty hard sometimes! I would not like to be told where I can shop and how much I have to spend on my shopping! But I wouldn’t try to trade them for something they’re not meant to be used on. If you don’t have the facilities to cook a warm meal that’s not your governments fault at least they’re providing you with vouchers for food. Eating out is a luxury to me. x

  4. I have to agree with you. People seem to think all food stamp recipients are drug addicts or just lazy people, and they are not.

  5. Great post. Thank you

  6. I agree they should be accepted at restaurants for the reasons you stated, not everyone has access to cooking facilities but they still need to eat. When my county decided to start allowing it, the reasons cited were the same, not everyone and actually a good chunk of people on food stamps have no access to cooking and good storage facilities but they still need to eat and shelters can’t feed everyone in need.

  7. Yes. People who are in need deserve the dignity of choice just like everyone else. Thanks for sharing your story. BTG

    • *nods* exactly. The dignity of choice is what is key here. There’s no gain from marginalizing a fellow human being further by restricting their ability to enjoy life.

  8. I don’t think there can be a Yes or No answer to this. I can see both sides of the argument.

    I’ve never been on food stamps but I was on the WIC program when my kids were little. Since being a single mom these last seven years, I’ve lived on a tight budget. However, part of our budget includes entertainment expense. Yes, I actually put money aside just to eat out, get a Starbucks, etc….I really so believe in the need to get out of the house and let someone else do the cooking.

    To use the argument against this about restaurants being grounds for food poisoning, etc….hell, I can get sick from the food I buy at the supermarket. To use the argument about restaurants being laden with fat and void of nutritional value, that’s mute also. Most people on food stamps (or on a tight budget) will often fill their carts with what they can get the most of to last the longest. That is processed food. Few people on use stamps will be able to purchase nutritional food on a consistent basis. Let’s face facts – organic food and fresh fruits and veggies don’t last and are often very expensive. And in the 44 years I’ve been alive, I’ve never gotten food poisoning from a restaurant. I did get food poisoning from a bunch of bananas I bought at a Krogers.

    Now, my question is, if you are going to use food stamps at a restaurant, how will you tip? Because those people make very little and tips are a huge part of their salary. That would be my question.

    But this is not an easy Yes or No question. For me, as a single mother, I would say yes. However, I also know there are people who live on food stamps and welfare and such who buy $80 shoes for themselves or their kids. So the next question would be: where does it end?

    • I definitely agree when you say that it is not an easy yes or no response. I understand why people want a staunch stand however I have learned that the more that we try and legislate people and what they should and should not be able to do the more we take away our basic freedoms. You can’t legislate common sense and how people should or should not live. Or what people should or should not eat. If you have walked through a supermarket lately and looked at prices it is not the healthy food that people can get in quantity. If you have been blessed with the opportunity to have to be humble enough to enter the door of a food bank other than to volunteer you also know the food you get is not all healthy, nutritional food but a combination of canned food, box preparation food, some meat, a bag of vegetables if you are lucky and some baked goods from the local grocery store that are out dated. This all is supposed to last a person for 1 month. If you don’t have a kitchen facility, can opener, refrigerator or stove most of the food items can not be used or have to be eaten cold or hot depending on your climate.

      I can understand the person above that posted that worked over time just so that she could be able to budget going out to eat. I have worked since I was 16 in a variety of jobs. I have paid into the system for 15+ years! I have known plenty in the eyes of 80% of the worlds population based on the poverty level statistics and I have known want. I’ve had great jobs that have provided for my needs and some of my wants, while on the flip side of the same coin I have had jobs that left the proverbial and financial ends not meeting.

      I can understand that eating out might not be the healthiest choice however is a homeless person dumpster diving any healthier? I have lived in many places around the US and I have found that in Columbia, SC you could be homeless because of not being able to get a job, however in that city, you should never go hungry! The amount of missions, organizations and food bank participation makes it possible for a homeless person to get a good healthy meal 3 times a day. Not every town, city or suburb is like that though.

      People could counter that I have deserved my fate because I am considered a felon according to my background check. Though this incriminating fact happened over 12 years ago, I paid my debt to society and have even volunteered overseas in India at an orphanage, for the last couple years I found it very hard to find employment. I currently am an intern for a christian based drug and alcohol rehab. I love this opportunity, all the things that I am learning and how I am able to help others! The internship however doesn’t pay well and I am able to get food stamps. I live on-site however I do not have a kitchen available to me. I get may basic meals provided for eating with the students, however on my evenings off it would be nice to either be able to prepare my own meal of choice or go out and splurge a little after a long week of work and school. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining and God is providing all of my needs! I can understand how it would be nice to be able to take those food stamps and go out every once in awhile.

      I sadly, or should I say fortunately, can not relate to the single parent side myself however I have had plenty of friends that God has brought into my life to walk beside and I do understand how it would be nice to take your child out every once in a while. How nice it would be to not have to come home after a long days work, make dinner, clean it up, and accomplish all of the tasks evenings require from you.

      I feel the people that are quick to say no and to also give their very opinionated views are the ones who have not walked a mile in anyone’s shoes who have struggled through any of the above instances. They are the ones quick to voice their views of how we should legislate this and that while driving nice shiny cars and sleeping soundly in their house with the white picket fence. If you have walked a mile in the shoes of a single mother, a homeless vet, or someone that has struggled with physical or mental problems then you should keep your opinions to yourself until you get off of your high horse and walk a mile in your brother or sisters shoes, carry their burdens, serve them and then give me your thoughts! Guaranteed you won’t be the same person!

  9. I saw this very same thing on my Facebook feed from a friend I have known for about 25 years. I was at a loss for how to react. I had a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder several years ago and food stamps helped put food on the table for my kids while I was no longer able to work. I too had paid my taxes for years and years before receiving benefits. I didn’t understand the whole “using them at restaurants” thing because I had never heard of that and I saw some comments from people who worked and claimed they couldn’t eat out and people on food stamps shouldn’t be able to either. I didn’t know what my position was on that but you made some valid points. I agree that people shouldn’t argue about things they know nothing of! If you don’t mind, I am going to post this on my Facebook page in the hopes that those people read it xx

  10. I admire you putting this out for feedback. Though part of me understands your thoughts and reasons, I don’t agree food stamps should be accepted at restaurants. I’ve used them myself many, many years ago. And I used them to make sure my family had food while we worked and went to school to get in to better situations. I did everything I could to stretch them, and our hard worked for dollars, in to making sure there was enough food for every meal, a snack to get them to bed with full bellies. I was grateful for the help when I needed it. And I know many people need this assistance due to hard times, changed circumstances, loss of income, etc. I would have, at the time, been too self conscious to use them at a restaurant when I knew I would get more food per dollar if I had gone to a store and ate at home. We used to eat outside on the porch, make a picnic of our meal, etc… to change things up. Thanks for a good topic for discussion.

  11. I concur with you, your thoughts are my EXACT sentiments. How IGNORANT to think or suggest otherwise!

  12. Reblogged this on The Daily Dose Bar and commented:
    SMH!

  13. You should never feel ashamed for accepting the help available in securing your future and that of your child. I commend you. You’re obviously a very brave, compassionate and intelligent woman. The same cannot be said of your FB friend, alas.

  14. Yes,I think that they should be allowed. I mean the purpose of food stamps is to give someone access to food that is struggling.Correct? Does it really matter where the food comes from? As happens too often in life, 10% of the people give the system a bad rap by abusing it when 90% of the people like yourself actually need it and use it legitimately.

    If your exact situation was laid out in that facebook image, and then the question was asked “should person X be allowed to use food stamps in restaurants” I would like to think your friend and most others would have chosen differently. Did anyone post their reasons on that image? Do you think this facebook friend was against food stamps in restaurants or just food stamps in general?

    I know one reason people are either against or hesitant to support welfare programs like food stamps are because of the people that abuse the system like I mentioned above. They want their money to actually help people that need it. The may get mad at the system but not the underlying principle. You are obviously a person that needed it so I’m glad to read that food stamps helped you get back on your feet.

    But actually the line that hit home to me in this post is “Have a heart, and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” The world could definitely stand for people doing this a little more
    often.

  15. Reading through your post I agree with the situations at hand something like this is needed. But reading through the comments there are valid points too. I too was in a very similar situation as you are now and had to go get help from the state. I made every cent they gave me stretch to make sure I didn’t need to ask for more later. I think the problem isn’t with the help from restaurants, I think it is which ones that give help. And also that many people who receive the state aid abuse it. Maybe if the available food was from a city kitchen not a KFC, people would be more fond of the idea. Personally I have a family member who at a time went and used her state aid to feed her kids and us while she was in between housing living with me, at a KFC. I thought it was a very weird concept that this was going on, when I received help this didn’t exist, or I didn’t know about it in my area. I felt pretty guilty that she would use her aid at a KFC. Why not just go to store and get what we needed and make it healthier and better at home.She said why not, we cook all the time and the kids are so out of control be nice to get them fed so we can enjoy rest of the evening. So we did and it was nice but still foreign to me. I have mixed feeling honestly about it all. The idea is nice but in the real world half the people who receive the help aren’t homeless. They are my sister who just doesn’t have it together. I love my sister but state aid is help not another income.Thanks for sharing, and I agree with those above in saying you are brave and it is okay to take the help when needed that is why it is there. I remember feeling ashamed I had to, not in other peoples eyes but my children’s eyes. Again thank you, it is nice to know someone is out there thinking of others.

  16. This is an issue a coworker and I were discussing this week. He is a foster dad but is giving up his children because the state (Rhode Island) is making life miserable for him and his family. He wanted to adopt his foster kids, but the biological parents of the children didn’t want to give up their rights of the children. They basically just wanted someone else to raise their kids so they can have carefree adult lives. He explained that this is a rampant problem with the system and the discussion somehow moved to food stamps.

    I am in favor of food stamps. I think there are a lot of good people (like you) who need them and should have them. I am happy my tax dollars go to help those less fortunate or who are on hard times. I would like to see some fixes to the system though. I would like to see all food stamps only on debit cards and I would like it to be law that the debit card can only be used by the person it is assigned to and verified by photo identification (which also should be verified as valid via the systems already in place in liquor stores). I would go one step further and offer a 250 dollar reward for anyone reporting a store for illegally accepting someone else’s food stamps.

    Now as to stamps at restaurants, I have to disagree with this idea. While I completely understand the need for a night of eating out, restaurant meals are a lot more expensive than buying and preparing your own food. Food stamps are to make sure people don’t go hungry. They are not to make people’s lives easier or happier. They are a crutch and I am happy to provide a crutch to those who need it. I would not be happy to provide carefree, childless parents nights on the town.

    All this said, if you lived nearby, we’d be happy to take you out for a good meal.

    • Hey Nate… I whole heartedly respect any decision you have due to previous conversations we have had in the past. I think you are very level headed, and I appreciate whenever you choose to jump in and comment on my work. I think you make some valid points, but this time I stand by my opinion that food stamps should be accepted at restaurants. (Please keep in mind when they say restaurants, they mean fast food places) I interact with transient people on a daily basis… some are out on the streets (as they might say, “living in the bush.”), and some are currently living in shelters. Both parties lack cooking facilities, and both are trying to recover and move on with their lives. For some people this might be the one and only thing that brings a ray of sunshine to their day. Food stamps might be the only thing that keeps them emotionally afloat on a cloudy day. Not to sound overly dramatic but to one person this could be their god sent that gets them back on their feet… Either way, THANKS for dropping in, and adding your two cents! I always enjoy seeing your face pop up!!

      • Your points are valid about cooking facilities. I don’t think we should be encouraging people to eat fast food. Perhaps soup kitchens should be expanded where they serve healthy and balanced meals and accept the food stamp card? And here’s an idea for innovation… what about something similar to a vending machine that accepts the food stamp card and can actually cook a healthy meal for you in five minutes? Glad to stop by and glad everything is still going well for you.

      • Excellent points… Although I will say that soup kitchens are usually free in our area. Unfortunately the times that they are open are typically limited. Making it incredibly difficult for those on foot to reach in time especially on a regular basis. I love your vending machine idea! In addition maybe food stamps could only be accepted for various healthy products specifically created at these fast food areas. Thanks again for showing your support!

      • Yes, soup kitchens are free here too. I was saying maybe they should be expanded to become more like restaurants and to cover the extended options, accept a card. Talk to your politicians and try to get them to do a test program like this.

  17. I don’t see the harm in restuarants accepting food stamps. As long as the waiters/waitresses are getting some sort of tip for it. I say this only because I was a waitress for 4 years & I know they work very hard.
    I don’t blame you for being offended. Facebook can be really childish. That’s one of the reasons I don’t have one.

  18. That is a tough one. it is matter of situation. I was many moons ago in a similar situation as you were. I was embarrassed to even consider using foodstamps in a restaurant. I don’t think they were accepted at that time anyway, but I agree with the situations you described. most people automatically assume that the people using food stamps to eat out are the same ones that use their welfare checks to get their hair and nails done and drive nicer cars than most of us do. the abusers of government programs make everyone else look bad.

  19. Absolutely. Assuming the food stamps are used to provide a warm meal when one is hungry, I see nothing wrong with it. I agree with a previous poster, as long as the waitstaff is tipped.

  20. Reblogged this on msstraightnocut and commented:
    What The Hell?

  21. I’m on food stamps. I’m from NY and in my state food stamps covers anything in the supermarket and cold food from the deli area. It even covers junk food, ice cream candy chips and cake etc which i personally think it shouldn’t.

    I think food stamps should allow people to buy a hot meal. Most supermarkets have a deli area with hot fresh cooked food and I think that should be included in food stamps. You’re right, those without cooking facilities or homeless deserve to eat too.Everyone deserves a hot meal. So i think it should cover hot food as well. In NY since Hurricane Sandy they extended that benefit of being able to buy hot food and it’s still in effect. But restaurants are different. It’s more than an hot meal. It’s overpriced food AND an outing. It really is a luxury.
    I’m not saying those struggling don’t deserve to be happy and have fun but having a hot meal and going to a restaurant are two different things…

  22. I am currently on food stamps. I begin with this because my answer may surprise you. I don’t think they should be used at restaurants. There’s a Papa Murphy’s in my area that takes them and I will go there from time to time. I don’t do it often though because it can take a big bite out of my monthly allowance. I hit the deli section at my local grocery store often. There I can get pre made sub sandwiches, salad bar with all the fixings, cold rotisserie chickens, and lots more. It spares me the trouble of having to cook but doesn’t eat up my food budget. Eating out can be very costly and I’d rather get fresh produce and good quality food than be able to use my food stamps at restaurants. That’s just my opinion.

  23. Yes, i agree completely with you!!
    Everyone has unique circumstances and not everyone has the ability or convenience of cooking at home.

    My brother is schizophrenic and gets food stamps. Why would any one begrudge him a breakfast taco and a coffee for his breakfast which will cost him 3 whole dollars.

    There are louses out there that will tell him to go buy the groceries and make it himself and save a dollar. There are too many anal people in the world. May they find peace in their mean-spirited cave.

    I dont mind my taxes going to those who want to eat their food subsidizes however they damn well please. We should just be grateful that we are not in their shoes and situation.

  24. Wow. This is a heavy question. Food Stamps. I just think if you qualify for them, you should be able to use them for food no matter where it comes from. As long as it is food. Thank you for sharing this . I can imagine this has been nothing but hard for you. You are living a humbling life and we can learn so much from you. By the Grace of God, you will make your way through this maze we call life. God Bless. Alesia

  25. I think it really depends. I agree with a previous person that food stamps aren’t really to make life easier by eating out. In some limited cases they should be allowed (maybe Subway sandwiches?) for people who are homeless.

  26. I’m a little torn on the issue, because you make a good point, but I think in the end I disagree – I don’t think food stamps should be accepted at restraints. And it’s not because I think people in that position are lazy or druggies or anything but regular people in a bad spot. And it’s not because I think it isn’t fair if I work hard and can’t afford to go out to eat but someone on a welfare program gets to. It’s because the program needs to help as many people meet their basic needs as it can, and anything we allow above “basic needs” means it can satisfy fewer people for the same cost to the public. A warm meal, a convenient meal, and a stress-free meal are all great things and I would hope to find a way to make them available to everyone, but I don’t think it’s a thing the government can afford to do itself. (This is where I wish communities were more active setting up their own programs to help the local needy.)

  27. I think it depends on the reality of the situation. If someone is collecting food stamps in an unfair or unjust way (just to take advantage of the government) and then has fancy sneakers and a brand new IPhone – that’s the wrong reason. Unfortunately – there is no true way for an outsider to know the premise behind the food stamps – so we can’t really say it’s fair for some and unfair for others. So we make it fair for all and just with any situation – there are some people who will take advantage of it.

  28. This sounds like an extreme right-wing question, aimed at once again, blaming the poor for all of societies woes. Proper cooking facilities, time, and availability to ‘good’ food govern the choices many people have when trying to provide for themselves and their children. Do you blame the soccer parent for stopping at McDonald’s when headed home from a game and running against the clock for getting the kids home, getting homework done, shower, and a good nite kiss? And they are usually passing right by a wonderful lighted, fresh and available fruits and vegetable grocery store. Try finding a “real” grocery store in an undeserved urban community, you won’t. The task now is to get some of these “fast” food retailers to start serving better meals so kids get proper nutrition, and not just empty calories. Why are the well off worried about where the under-privileged are eating anyway?

  29. I believe food stamps are one entitlement that should be left more or less intact. However, the mark-up on restaurant food is very high. What you spend on one meal out could have been spent on a day’s worth of food for your family, or more. And although you paid into the system, there are many recipients who did not. I would not consider it wise usage of taxpayer’s money (your taxes included) if all recipients were allowed to spend them in this way.

    • ^^^This is why I believe food stamps should not be used at a restaurant. I am unemployed and my husband works full-time at Wal-Mart to keep us paying our bills. We are thankfully helped by our church’s food pantry ministry quite a bit but have looked into our qualifications for government aid so I don’t believe for a minute that most of the people are using it are abusing the system. There are always people who will do that. But, I think allowing people to use it on some overpriced restaurant is a ridiculous waste of money, which is not going to help this person get back on their feet.

  30. I had never considered the reasons you cited. They are all valid. But I do see food stamps as part of the social safety net and I see eating at a restaurant as a “luxury”.

    My family “eats out” about once a month or less and we can afford it. If you do not have a kitchen than McDonalds may be the way to go. If you live in a subsidized apartment with a kitchen I think eating in a restaurant is an inefficient use of your limited resources.
    I know people want to give their family a “normal” life style even when times are tuff and I understand that. Times are not tuff for me and I stretch every dollar.

  31. Reblogged this on One Starving Activist and commented:
    Survival and society; while I would not advocate for anyone on Food Stamps to try and eat out for every meal, I agree with this author, particularly about how one is to survive in a situation where it is impossible to cook and such. Also, how we define ‘restaurant’ should be examined. Chances are, someone who has paid into the social system and finds themselves in need of a fresh start will not take said assistance and eat at the most expensive dining establishment to be found. Such an individual would, in most cases, do as the author says–go in for a ‘once in a while’ meal. To walk even a block in someone else’s shoes, one must first put on empathy…

  32. I agree with you on the food stamps in restaurants. Why shouldn’t someone who is a little down on their luck at the moment have the opportunity to enjoy a good meal?

  33. I think this also depends on what part of the country one is in. I saw a sign at a Papa John’s near me (Southern California) that said they take EBT cards. Not sure how it works exactly because I thought one could only purchase cold items with EBT? Anyway, here’s an article on the topic from USA Today: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2011-09-05/More-restaurants-are-targeting-customers-who-use-food-stamps/50267864/1

  34. This is a sad article with some very upsetting comments. Gosh, if a poor mother or a hungry child doesn’t deserve a treat – who in gods name does? Wake up people!

  35. I don’t think they are accepted in restaurants here in Ohio, however, I think the feelings that come from a post like this are anger, from both sides. I used to hate the food stamp system because I felt like I worked my @$$ off to take care of myself, while I watched others do nothing, and they have more money for food than I do, not to mention health insurance, and housing assistance.
    On the other hand, I do understand what a blessing it could be if you where going through somethink like what you went through. I have applied for food stamps in the recent past, but got turned down because I didn’t fill out the paperwork correctly, but I’ve decided it’s to much of a pain to get them, I’ll just starve, and struggle until I have the time to mess with it.

  36. I have to admit this post has left me thinking — I honestly don’t know how I feel about it, and can see both sides, because frankly some use food stamps to buy overpriced, unhealthy grocery store items and could better stretch their dollar in the grocery store, while certain dining out options may be healthier and more cost-effective.

  37. You found a topic with a “hot” button! I would say that going out to eat should be allowed with food stamps to use at the discretion of the one who has been determined eligible. In fact, it would be nice if it were an occasion to have dessert or ice cream for a treat, I mean we cannot know how many days in a row that person chose to eat bologna sandwiches or macaroni and cheese, do we?

  38. I don’t know. you can probably get more food if you buy it in the supermarket, than if you go to restaurants… I’d hate for all poor ppl to go to McDonald’s and feed their kids crap. But who am I to decide? From a social perspective I’d say yes. People who have less are just as deserving of a restaurant meal as others. From a long-term survival perspective no. If you live off foodstamps, and you use up all of them on restaurant meals so that you have to starve until you get the new batch, it’d be really bad.

  39. Wow, you have such a thoughtful blog here. I am so glad that you stopped by and liked Mariansart. Now I have found you! I will be back often to follow your discussions. I wish you a gentle day.

  40. Thanks for visiting my blog and subscribing to it. Your blog is very attractive looking and it looks as though you have some interesting articles.

  41. You brought up several points that I never considered. That is a great post and really made me think.

  42. I don’t see how it’s different from someone using them to buy food at a grocery store. Most of the cheap food is devoid of nutrition, high in salt and sugar, etc, just like a fast food restaurant (in response to a previous comment). Most of the cheap grocery store food is also produced by transnationals, meaning that using food stamps that way is probably sending your tax dollars out of country.

    Here, in Canada, we spare those who fall on hard times the INDIGNITY of food stamps. We give them money to manage with on their own, trusting their ability to make it last the month. We don’t force them to identify as impoverished in such a public way as pulling out food stamps in a crowded grocery store.

    ***I was in the process of pruning the list of blogs I follow (again) and came upon this post. You are such a brave person. I have read you on and off, when I have enough time to get through everyone, since I started my blog. Every time I come back to you I am inspired by your strength and openness. 🙂

  43. Also, as a side note, that image looks like yet another ‘like’ farmer creation. Some people/companies put out these like/comment images of controversial topics on Facebook to get people to do just that (sometimes they’re actually made-up controversies). They then get access to all kinds of information on the people who do like/comment, which they can use for marketing or even sell to other companies.

  44. I think it is sad that so many people are so wrapped up in the concept of entitlements—as if we lived in a nation where 50% of the population are parasites simply living off of the hard work of the other 50%. This is especially unbelievable as we continue to try to climb out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression—a time when people need such help and asistance the most. Here is a quote I saw on Facebook that I fully agree with: “People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.” -Professor Jason Read

    My life’s career was in the Stock Market. But I am also an old hippy. I know that the real problem is never where everyone’s attention is being pushed to—-of course the real parasites are going to point to the obvious culprit—so that no one will think to blame them. When you look at the facts, you find that most people who end up receiving government benefits like welfare—-do it because they need temporary help to survive. They are soon back on their feet, and no longer need the benefits.

    On the other hand, if you study history, especially American economic history around the end of the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s, you would be amazed at the parallels going on today. America is once again ruled by Robber Barons—-and I am not talking about conspiracy crap—–like the Rothschild Family—-nor am I talking about Wall Street Hedge Fund Managers. I am talking Main Street CEO’s and especially the heads of a group of Multinational Corporations who have gone well beyond the realm of Too-Big-To-Fail. The heads of these companies, and their political puppets are by far more dangerous to the future of capitalism and democracy, than any so-called dependent living off of entitlements.

    Most people are too stupid and follow the pointing finger, rather than to see who is pointing it.

    You give a very good reason for using food stamps in a restaurant.I’m sure there are many in similar predicaments who barely have time to shop, let alone cook, as they struggle to survive. Who would it really harm to allow someone to eat a warm meal, rather than having to buy food and spend the time to cook it?

    P.S. Thank you for following my blog.

    David Anderson

  45. Quite an interesting question. There also will be a lot of differing opinions on this and I’d bet most of them are correct. There are so many different circumstances that it’s hard to put the answer as just YES or NO.

    I’ve noticed over the past few years that 7-11 has started accepting food stamps. I have been there on occasion when I see a young lady buying Slurpees for about 10 friends. I have also seen a young man buying milk late at night. I tell this story because I feel it shows there needs to be guidelines.

    I personally don’t think you should be able to walk into your local restaurant and order anything with alcohol with food stamps. But a meal? It should probably be a consideration for sure. Just like I have no problem with the man buying bread, but had plenty of issues with the girl and her 10 Slurpees! Like the WIC program, the food stamp program was created to help people get sustenance…vitamins and minerals the body needs. As long as that’s what it’s being used for there shouldn’t be a problem.

  46. I believe we know very little about a subject, unless we have fully lived it. And even in our “experience” of something, there is room for other perspectives! For some reason, an acceptable public attitude has permeated the thoughts of many in our society, the attitude being that any person utilizing public assistance should be downtrodden, undernourished, and barely surviving. A view point, such as the one posted on your Facebook news feed, is indicative of these type of mores within our U.S. culture.

    I apologize for any and all of us who make such brazen statements birthed from the arrogance of ignorance. I am glad you addressed this subject, bravo to you for your transparency!

  47. Thanks for following my blog! I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award. Check it out!
    http://the-point-is-this.com/2013/05/09/i-won-the-liebster-award/

  48. Gee…..I never really thought about using Food Stamps in restaurants. I have cash aid now because I am disabled, but no Food Stamps. As a one time single-working mother, I can relate to the overwhelming concept of having to be sole financial supporter, chief cook and bottle washer, full time laundry and maid service.

    When I finally left my abuser, I was only able to afford a large suite at an older residential hotel for me and my teenage son. The only amenities were a two burner hot plate, a mini fridge, microwave and a sink. Community bathroom for each floor.

    While I earned far too much at the time for any cash aid/food stamps, there were many, many nights that I did not have the energy to cook and clean up in such cramped conditions. IF I had been on food stamps, I would have welcomed the opportunity to treat me and my son to sharing a heaping plate of pasta and salad at our favorite local restaurant.

    While I agree there are far too many slackers who work the system, there are also those that have paid into it for years, as well as their parents, and grandparents. If a suddenly single battered working woman and her child need a break from HELL- then who am I to judge what is appropriate.

    I also think that those on aid should have to prove they are not just on the dole to subsidize a drug habit or dysfunctional family tradition. This means generation after generation of recipients needs to end. This means drug testing for recipients for anything that is NOT prescribed for a legitimate condition. In order to qualify for any government benefit from SSI to AFDC, you must have an identifiable condition and agree to the terms of continued necessary medical care.

    I have seen my ex’s ex do NOTHING in her life but shove street pills down her throat and pump out babies that are going to be recipients too. This needs to stop. I hate the notion of enforced birth control, but in some instances it is almost conceivable. At the very least their should be nationwide “child care responsibility classes” beginning in elementary school. This means that every 10 year old student gets to see a baby being born on film. Then, at the age of 11, health, sex and parenting classes. Lastly, at the age of 12 those same students are forced to carry a mechanical baby around for the entire school year so that they get to see what it is like to actually BE a parent. I don’t think this is out of line because unless the child has an intellectual challenge, they generally start asking where babies come from before they are even in the first grade. At least, that’s been my experience. Nowdays kids are having sex at 12 and babies at 15 and 16. Thanks Teen Mom…….what a effing brilliant idea for a television show. (sarcasm) That show alone is a sheer sign of the stupidity to which the American public has degraded to.

  49. Yet another example of people being insensitive to the situations of others using a social network such as FB to advertise that insensitivity.
    You obviously didn’t need to justify yourself, many pay into a system through insurance and tax to help those who are worst off.
    None of us know what the future holds and sometimes we need the help of the same system we paid into.
    In answer to your question, YES…food stamps should be accepted in restaurants.

    • that’s *worse off…
      I sincerely hope you come out on the other side soon, close this chapter of your life and start a new one.

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