Unless our congress acts soon people who receive food stamps will see a substantial cut. A family of four receiving $688 a month now will see that amount dwindle down to $432 dollars. It may take a year—but I expect that's no consolation.
According to government statistics 83% of the people who receive food stamps exist below the poverty level.
Money Watch notes that , "Today, more than 1 in 4 children live in a home that gets food stamps." "Nearly fifteen percent of American families, or 18 million households, lacked enough food at least some of the time to ensure that all family members could stay healthy."
Are we attempting to reduce the deficit on the backs of poor families?
Forty-One percent of people receiving food stamps have some sort of a job. Nearly half of the families with children have parents who work. The working poor.
The minimum wage doesn't provide enough money to allow people to have decent housing and sufficient food—especially if they have a family.
Recently a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio opted to hold a Thanksgiving food drive. Managers encouraged their hourly workers to give some of their wages to other hourly workers who were having difficulty making ends meet. Does Walmart look in the mirror and question their wage scale, their reliance on part-time jobs that allow them to limit benefits.
I looked up some stats for Walmart—market value of $260 billion, $17 billion profit last year. Walmart says that the average full time salary is $25,000— but watchdog organizations say that the number is closer to $15,000-$20,000.
The Wall Street Journal has a section in one of their weekday papers called Mansions. Magnificent homes are highlighted where people spend millions of dollars on renovations, hundreds of thousands on kitchens, where indoor pools are considered necessities and some closets are one thousand square feet.
When I worked in New York City a number of my students lived in housing that was way below acceptable standards. Rats, poor plumbing, insufficient heating—were common problems.
My bottom desk drawer contained a large jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread—hungry? Make a sandwich. My father initiated the breakfast program in the New York City schools. I recall him saying, "You can't learn if you are hungry."
Companies need to make money, CEOs need to be paid—but how much is too much. When the United States Government releases their poverty guidelines—too many Americans fall below the acceptable level. And most of those who fall below are working.