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.