An Ex-Food Stamp Recipient Kills Food Stamp Myths

Florida EBT Card

Somehow or another, food stamps became a discussion between two coworkers. One was a Latino guy. The other was a white woman. The white woman and I get along. Plus with her nice shape, she’s easy on the eyes.

Yet, she opened her mouth about people abusing food stamps. She mouthed the usual lie about food stamp recipients; many who receive them don’t need them.

“That’s not true,” I said. “I used to be on them.”

The Latino admitted he was once on them too.

Truth be known, I collected food stamps for almost five years. Why that long? I wasn’t collecting a stable income. Many times, I was in between odd under-the-table jobs. Food stamps filled in where I wasn’t making any money.

I would have loved finding a full time job with benefits. Yet, I live in Florida, one of the worst states for employment. To add more fuel to fire, I live in Orlando. Among all metro cities in the nation, Orlando ranks last for wages.

For the longest time, I made more money in Sanford than I did in Orlando. Still, that money wasn’t enough to keep me off food stamps. So, when I hear folks call food stamp recipients lazy, I cringe. Cringe, my ass. Sometimes, I really feel like punching them in the fucking mouth.

Your typical food stamp recipient works. Some some work at fast food places like McDonalds. These companies make billions every year. As they offer part-time jobs with low wages, many employees are forced to collect food stamps. When they collect food stamps, guess who pays for that. Tax payers.

Still, as you point that out, some people still choose looking down on food stamp recipients. Shouldn’t fast food companies pay more money in the first place? Isn’t it true putting more money into people’s pocket boosts the economy? I guess I don’t know what I’m talking about.

After pointing out I used to be on food stamps, my coworker changed her tune.

“I’m not talking about people like you,” she said.

I wasn’t buying it. The damage was done.

Earlier this year, I was booted from food stamps. An able-bodied recipient with no dependents must prove he or she must be working twenty hours a week. Actually, I do work twenty hours a week. Sometimes even more. The problem? I can’t prove it. My contractor job doesn’t give me a piece of paper showing the hours I work. Plus some of those hours I do at home.

Still, I wasn’t making enough to drop food stamps

As for those who think I was living the high life? I received almost two hundred bucks a month. With that kind of money, you are buying some of the cheapest food you can find. Plus you have to learn how to budget. I rarely ever bought beef. Because pork was cheaper than beef, I usually bought pork. Even the steaks were pork.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I may not need food stamps for a long time. Yet, it still pisses me off when people continually repeat food stamp lies over and over again. Do people really think I enjoyed showing the cashier my EBT card? Let me tell you, showing that card made me feel like a total loser. Especially when nosy people behind me saw that damned card. Because of ongoing lies, I knew some of them thought I was another lazy minority mooching off the government.

I personally believe those looking down on food stamp recipients are searching for an ego boost; looking down on food stamp recipients gains them a superiority feeling. Yet, the question begs asking. Why would they need that kind of ego boost in the first place? I’ll just let that question hang there.

I’m not holding any anger towards my coworker. Yet, I don’t see us hanging out as best friends soon. I no longer have patience for those who spread and/or believe harmful lies about other individuals. Even when you successfully prove their belief a fucking lie, they still hold on to it.

Imagine someone believing a harmful lie about you that isn’t true. More than likely, they’re going to treat you like shit or give you an attitude you wouldn’t enjoy receiving. Harmful beliefs earn some companies a discrimination lawsuit. Because I know I wouldn’t enjoy dealing with individuals who believe harmful lies about me, that’s why I’m done with those who believe them about others.

About Patrick Scott Barnes

Most of Central Florida knows Stone Crazy (Patrick Scott Barnes) as a poet. Yet, he also photographs, DJ and blogs. The rest of the time, he's guzzling booze in a Central Florida bar.
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3 Responses to An Ex-Food Stamp Recipient Kills Food Stamp Myths

  1. Jinzo_2400 says:

    Outfuckingstanding…..I worked at a grocery store and I saw my fair share of EBT cards. For every one abuser,there were 99 hard working,proud people just trying to put food on the table for their families. There is no shame in needing the help and getting it. I know a few of my peers who even now are using EBT and the WIC program….and more power to them.
    Sounds like you may have found a good gig if you no longer need to be on the program. Just keep all those good money habits you developed….

    Like

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