Richard Day's picture


    There are new proposals concerning SNAP coming from the right and the WH
    and the Repubs, but these proposals are not new.
    Repubs have despised the food stamp program for decades.
    I live on a small though median (it turns out) Social
    Security payment once a month.
    I also receive subsidized housing (30% + cable).
    I am doing fine.
    For some reason that I will never understand I receive
    fifteen bucks in food stamps.
    For the first time in over 11 years I signed up for this
    Commodity Program.
    It is provided for old farts like me.
    The first Tuesday of every month, I go down to the Community
    Center and take a number and boxes are delivered filled with
    I went down there for the second time last week and this is
    what I discovered in Santa's cardboard box:
    Two cans of apricots. (I like apricots)
    Two cans of potatoes. (I did not even know that potatoes came
    in cans)
    A full pound of American Cheese. (There is some FDA thingy about
    cheese kinda's and....oh who cares. we all grew up with American
    Two cans of green beans.
    Two cartons of milk. (It is a strange type of milk, 1% and yet
    you do not have to refrigerate until you open the carton?)
    Two huge cartons of cereal. (Corn and oats)
    Two cans of chicken. (It is like cans of tuna?) Makes a nice
    sandwich with mayo and mustard or....)
    Two pounds of pasta.
    A huge bag of frozen cubed carrots.
    Oh and of course, peanut butter.
    To be honest, this list calorically anyway, should be enough to keep me
    alive for a month. I mean I would certainly lose 20 pounds but WTF?
    I had to take a number in the community room.  I sit there for
    30 minutes.
    My number is called, I go up to the desk and then I am led to
    some young girl with some contraption that cuts a hole in my
    Blue Card.
    I noted to my compadre that the labor necessary to bring us this
    box of goodies must cost more than the army surplus?
    And then I receive the box. I kind of carry and then drag
    the box to the elevator; I go up one floor; I then drag
    the box to my apartment.
    This all reminds me of the 1960's.
    Following the death of my father, Grandpa would bring us
    a box of stuff once a month.
    Thank god I did not receive Spam! hahahaha
    It was called 'army surplus'.
    And these were the days of the Cold War.
    The Pentagon received monies for the inevitable. hahahahah
    I mean you had to hide under your desk and you had to eat
    What is the point of this all?
    Liberal blogs do not like this idea as a substitute for
    food stamps. (Which are not stamps anymore; they are more
    like Star Trek credits?)
    Repubs have been attacking the Food stamp Program for decades.
    I mean poor folks can purchase steak and lobster and caviar and....
    That is all fine and dandy.
    Do I care?
    Take away my fifteen bucks.
    I am fine.
    I do not purchase steak cause of dental issues.
    I would not even attempt to cook lobster.
    I never liked roe.
    But there are other economic issues present.
    Walmart receives 20% of all food stamp monies.
    Do you really think that Walmart would allow this change?
    Oh, and even though repubs always wish to punish the poor...
    Well they aint gonna wish to punish Walmart! hahahahahah
    By the way....
    I went 11 years without this commodity thing.
    But it supplements my diatary needs.
    My real dietary need is to fast once a week.
    But a child of six does not need to fast once a week.
    the end.

    I feel that liberals are just mad at repubs for being dirty rotten poor hating bastards.

    This commodity thing might not be that bad.

    Fruits and veggies and meat and other foodstuffs must supplement these boxes.

    What liberals seem to be mad about amounts to the 'intent' of these rotten mangy repubs  hahahaha


    I remember Grandma getting the equivalent as you are, precisely this way. After dad and mom let me stay over one night with her, I asked them: Grandma has all these cans of food with plain black and white labels. How come we don't have those kind of cans? She gave me some meat from one of them, it was real good, how come we never have that? 

    I remember Mom thought this was hilarious, but she didn't explain why, and I didn't understand why until I was older. It was Spam!

    It was probably somewhere around 1960. She was certainly Social Security eligible, but probably a very low payment, qualified for "welfare" as well, which at the time included getting military surplus food.

    And my Dad, her son, was a "as long as I am working, we will have real meat on the table" kind of guy, so I had never tasted meat loaf, much less spam. (Also probably splains why, as they went on to have 5 kids total, they were often broke, often borrowing my babysitting money till payday to pay for that meat. Which we had to buy every few days, because there was only that teeny tiny freezer compartment on the frigidaire.)

    (I'd still chose Spam any day in preference over what my mom did with "round steak", the cheapest cut--suffice it to say, the color was always grey--and, yes, canned potatotes. cheeky She wasn't going to peel potatoes anymore, she did enough of that on the farm.)


    Spam straight from the can leaves alot to be desired, but nicely browned in a skillet with butter becomes something truly wonderful!  Ranks right up there with fried bologna ... with mayo on white bread ... the way it just curls up ... and hot dogs almost blackened on a grill ... funny how some processed meat products (how unappealing does that sound?) are completely transformed with just the slightest effort.  The exception?  Those little cans of "potted meat".  Horrible - don't ever read the ingredient list.

    Dick, the biggest problem (or at least one of the biggest) with making shipping food to people part of SNAP is that it simply wouldn't work logistically.  And besides, your example, along with food pantries, show that it works very well as a supplement to the program rather than a substitution.

    In my part-two life, I'm a cashier in a high-end, downtown-in-the-city small "elite" grocery store - and at least 35% of the customers use their food stamp card.  The key part of the above sentence is "in the city".  The clientele differential is amazing, but on a day to day basis they're not really all that different; they're just buying food.  That SNAP users can't buy hot, pre-prepared food stuns me.  I'm not talking about fast food, I'm talking warm sandwiches or chicken strips.  Not telling you anything, Dick, I know.  But I've learned a whole lot.

    One other point that I find interesting: here, anyway, SNAP card holders are offered the choice of "EBT" or "Cash" (sometimes "Food" or "Debit") when they swipe their cards.  If they choose the cash or debit option they can buy hot stuff - they can also get cash back.  The experienced users know what they can do and what they can't, often splitting purchases into several transactions.  Those who are obviously new to the program, and often embarrassed as they whisper, "do you take food stamps?", aren't so savvy.  (Don't tell my bosses who operate all the overhead cameras, but I make suggestions now and then ... )

    Life is complicated, Dick.  Why must little details just make it more so? 

    It wouldn't be the first time trump wanted to send you food in a box.



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