Food Stamps…

clementine-gallot

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.

whos-getting-food-stamps

food_stamps_stats_5

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.

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.

-jon

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4 Comments

Filed under Detroit, Weekly Updates & News

4 responses to “Food Stamps…

  1. Susan

    I love you, Pastor Jon!

  2. I have disabled comments due to some people’s bad tasting comments. And after reading some your comments, I feel some of you need to go back and read my post. Obviously, some of you are blinded by false facts and your blatant disrespect of people is appalling. How can you love someone and help them if you are calling them names, shaming them & treating them like second class people? Jesus fed the poor, helped the helpless and gave out free handouts. There is little to no abuse of the welfare system, check the facts I posted. People who are on welfare, food stamps & government assistance need it and deserve it…period. The love of Christ compels us to help our neighbor, not beat them up. Most people on assistance need it desperately, I’m curious if you would just want them to starve? As someone who has given his life to help the poor, moved his family to the hood, and personally has given up a salary to feed people…I can say I know what I’m talking about. If you would like to talk more about this, I welcome your comments privately (Facebook or Twitter) this way not to shame some embarrassed by your comments. -Jon

  3. Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. (Proverbs 14:31)

    Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)

    But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18)

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