Letters to the Editor

Letter: Food stamp funds

December 9, 2013


Somebody you know is receiving food stamps — but you probably don’t know it. The stigma persists; we don’t talk about it. The working poor are now getting less in food stamps. Life is harder this year due to changes in food stamp policy. Inequality for all is the norm. In Douglas County, 8,000 residents are receiving food stamps.

I have received food stamps (SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) three times in my life, beginning 45 years ago in Kansas City. I was unemployed and got food stamps for six months. Then, 35 years ago, as a low-paid janitor at the Douglas County Judicial Building in Lawrence, I got food stamps for five months.

Then, last year, being single and unemployed, I began getting $200 per month food stamps. When I began getting Social Security, I got less than $100 in food stamps. Then, with part-time work, it dropped to $16. Finally, with a better job, I didn’t need them anymore. Others aren’t so lucky.

You can donate to Just Food or LINK and do the Food Stamp Challenge, but that just helps the symptom, not the cause. Conservative Republican legislators in Topeka and Washington have erected barriers against needy people, cutting funding for food stamp outreach programs and not renewing the SNAP program in the U.S. Congress.  

Contact your representatives: Gov. Brownback, Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, Rep. Lynn Jenkins and your local state representatives. Urge them to restore food stamp funding to its previous level. We need your help.


Ron Holzwarth 4 months ago

A Jewish viewpoint: Maimonides (1135 - 1204) defined eight levels in giving charity (tzedakah), each one higher than the preceding one. Food stamps might be considered to be tzedakah at level 2. On an ascending level, they are as follows:

Eight Levels of Charitable Giving:

8) When donations are given grudgingly.

7) When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6) When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5) When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

4) Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor still doesn't know the specific identity of the recipient.

3) Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2) Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. Communal funds, administered by responsible people are also in this category.

1) The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.


4 months, 1 week ago

"So what exactly is your argument then?"

Lol. What I can't figure out is, if you truly don't understand what I'm arguing, why are you so dead set on arguing against it?


Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

One project alive and well in India is a project that is said to replace the USA Silicon Valley which will be millions more USA jobs lost abroad. It is a huge "business park" which is also forcing displacement of tons of local India residents.

More USA White collar and blue collar jobs going bye bye. Could this impact Lawrence, Kansas? Of course the ripple impact knows no boundaries.

Why does USA industry participate in such activity when in fact it is the USA that made these industries and some investors very wealthy?

Isn't this anti American?


Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

A dedicated source of funding for self sustainability would be cool but why is the USA so unemployed? Self sustaining wages instead of food stamps is a novel idea.

Millions want their jobs back.....however China would be one long commute.

--- Governor Romney wrote, "Let Detroit go bankrupt." And it did. Of the 25,000 UAW members at Delphi, every single one lost their job. Delphi once had 29 factories in the U.S., now just one. Today, GM still gets its parts from Delphi, shipped from the plants that the Romney hedge funds have moved to the People’s Republic of China.

Stop and take a deep breath. Millions of jobs have been lost to Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney home loan scams that sent our economies down the tubes and jobs abroad never to return.

What we have documented is the activity below doesn't create jobs but does demand food stamps for millions. Corrupt Wall Street activity and monster fraud has killed jobs for millions of Americans. Below are dangerous ENTITLEMENTS and terrible business decisions.

--- 1. Mergers = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 2. Hostile Takeovers = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 3. Leveraged Buyouts = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 4. Free Trade Agreements = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 5. Why did the GOP Deliberately crash the USA economy

--- The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist

--- The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers

--- What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the $700 billion of bail out money?


Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

Look at these tax cuts which represent zillions in food stamps for a certain segment of USA society.

Is anyone paying attention? after 30 years?

A WHOPPING FOOD STAMP EFFORT = THE GOP ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again. Bush Tax Cuts aka

Has anyone ever paid any attention to the ALEC Right Wing Anti American politicians? Every campaign they come off sounding like old school fiscal conservative socially responsible republicans. Once elected or re-elected they are back to their anti American agenda.

Is anyone paying attention? after 30 years?


Kyle Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

Get rid of the cheats and those that sell theirs to other people to buy drugs and cigs and there will be plenty of funding to take care of those that do.


4 months, 1 week ago

"...a chart that shows all of them and adjusts for inflation" Here you go.

Now, as I was saying, "Look at those monster cuts!" The funny thing is that in adjusting it for inflation, the chart makes the last 5 years' explosion look even bigger proportionally, especially since it's up another 7% (5.5b) this year. It also shows that it has been rising almost unabated since 2001. If I recall, 2001 to 2008 were not known for their high unemployment. But I might just be misremembering.

But if one wishes to look for intellectual dishonesty, it can be found exactly where the expiration of a temporary increase is called a cut. That's on the order of saying that your boss gave you a salary cut in January because he did not renew your Christmas bonus that month.

Wow, look at that adjustment!

Wow, look at that adjustment! by Bill Hoyt


Mropus Wan 4 months, 1 week ago

An excellent study last year demonstrates that food stamps do exactly the opposite to what Conservatives claim: it helps create economic self-sufficiency, and helps decrease the incidence of metabolic syndrome (obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes) amongst children in their future. So it not only helps individuals in the present, but also helps prevent that dependency on government in the future that Conservatives love to rail about:


4 months, 1 week ago

"Urge them to restore food stamp funding to its previous level."

Look at these monster cuts!

Oh, the horror!

Oh, the horror! by Bill Hoyt


Richard Heckler 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Cutting the military budget by 50% and closing 500 military bases abroad would allow funding for USA job creation thus putting millions back to work in America.

In addition to covering the cost of Single Payer Insurance for all of us such that the other industrialized nations provide….. some of which are now home to USA jobs.

When we're told there is no money to do either of the two I say we're being lied to…...


Clark Coan 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Sure some folks use food stamps so they won't have to spend money on food, but can use it for illegal drugs, cigarettes or alcohol, but the majority don't.


Leslie Swearingen 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you for your letter. It is possible to work two jobs and still qualify for food stamps. I understand why people think that the able bodied young should be working. But young, single people do get hungry and sick and they do need and deserve help. To me there are just so many factors that go into the decisions people make, and let us not forget that we have to abide by the decisions of others when it comes to getting hired and such. Despair and hopelessness are the most awful and debilitating of emotions and the hardest to defeat.

I think that sometimes people just go numb, emotionally and mentally, from the horrible reality that they can no longer affect. Others take this as indifference or laziness.


Cait McKnelly 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Someone said something recently that struck me and stuck with me.
"Charity isn't Justice. People need a living wage, not food banks."


Keith Richards 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Kansas officials said the change would apply only to "able-bodied," childless adults between the ages of 18 and 49. To keep the benefits, they would need to work at least 20 hours per week or be in approved job training. Current federal law already bars people in that category from receiving SNAP benefits for more than three months in any three-year period, but states can ask for a waiver and provide the benefits longer, which is what Kansas has been doing.


Brock Masters 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Giving people food stamps addresses an immediate need, but also only addresses the symptom. We will always need a safety net as life is unpredictable, but we need to figure out how to help people so they don't need government assistance.

Also, it is reprehensible that our government cuts funding to its people while providing aid to foreign countries and funding a piece of "art" that looks like a giant Leggo block creation at our Embassy in London to the tune of one million dollars.

Art or food for the poor? Not a tough choice in my world.


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