Food stamps get a bad rap. People who use food stamps are often looked down upon as being those who “don’t work”, “mooch the system”, and “are lazy.” That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
This past week it hit headlines that the Pentagon is proposing to make cuts. When this hit the news I was intrigued to see what some would say and not to my surprise in a Fox News interview former VP Dick Chaney said of the proposals that…
“It’s driven by budget considerations. He’d (Obama) much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”
The narrative is this (it is a common belief and it is a myth)…we either need to support the military or give those poor, undeserving, lazy people free food stamps. I used to believe that was the case, but 6 years running a mission, Church, multiple drug programs and a food pantry in Detroit changed all that.
The truth is that it is not just poor black people on food stamps. It is not just minorities that need help. There is more to the story than is being told.
In a 2012 CNS News report, my city of Detroit had nearly 40% of my people getting food stamps. Nearly 50% of the city population wasn’t working. Of the 363,000 housing units, around 100,000 of them were vacant. Nearly 75% of babies born are raised in single mother homes. Around 30% of homes have no father figure. The city used to have nearly 1.8 Million people (1950), today just under 700,000.
The ramifications of this have been devastating. Many can’t find work, education is lacking, the social programs aren’t successful and the needy class is growing. This results in a growing number of people who need food stamps. With all of this information it blows me away when I see people post pictures on Facebook or give comments seemingly blasting those poor people who are on food stamps. It is saddening to me to see such a blatant disregard for life and respect of persons.
People on food stamps have value to God. We should love, help and support them…not call names, belittle or shame them.
There are several things you need to know about food stamps and the poor:
- It’s not just poor minorities that are on food stamps, but food stamps are much higher in minority communities.
- Many who are on food stamps can’t find work. This is because of a lack of education, lack of jobs and transportation.
- Food Stamps, Medicaid and Government Assistance is much higher in poorer areas like the inner city.
- Crime & drugs play a huge role on poorer neighborhoods. If the same crime and drug scene happened in the suburbs (white/rich communities) it would be front page material and handled differently.
- Base pay for a new soldier with a spouse and kid is around $20,000, just above the poverty line. It’s not just poor black families on food stamps, it’s sons and daughters of Uncle Sam too.
- In 2013, Operation Homefront received 2,968 emergency requests for food help, more than any other kind of request for help.
- 61% of food stamp recipients are white. Only 26.4% are Black. 1.5% are American Indian or Native Alaskan. 2.2% are Asian or Pacific Islander, and 2.7% represent people who identify themselves as two or more races.
- Nearly 900k Veterans live in a household receiving food stamps.
So friends, please stop posting uninformed pictures, bad taste comments and disgusting posts about how bad some people are for being on food stamps. Just stop it. And for those of you that think you are better because you are not on food stamps, be grateful you have a job and start loving your neighbor. Poverty is real and it is spreading.
One day you might change that tune, when you’re so poor…you are on them too.