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Your Take: Could You Live Off Food Stamps?

Posted By Jim On 03/06/2009 @ 7:39 am In Frugal Living | 91 Comments

Sean Callebs will try and he’s documenting the whole experience [3] on CNN. This is a little more realistic than the $1 a day meal experiment [4], which was more about publicity than reality. What I find most interesting about Callebs’ reports is the insight it gives him and his readers. “… it stinks being hungry when you go to sleep.” (Feb 13th) How many people go to sleep hungry? I probably have only a handful of times in my life and it was mostly because of scheduling, not because I couldn’t afford it. I think that unless you have lived it, you can’t faithfully criticize.

Much like when I talked about living on minimum wage [5], it’s difficult to understand the lifestyle until you try to live it. For some, the thought of food stamps invokes the image of someone on welfare spending it on cigarettes and alcohol. For others, it’s seeing a bright light when you’re lost in the woods at midnight. Regardless of how you feel about food stamps, the majority of people who get food stamps need them. They’re not living the good life financially, sipping a Mai-tai on the beach; they’re struggling.

I find myself struggling with the idea of handouts because I believe, especially in America, you can, through hard work and determination, succeed regardless of where you start. Food stamps and welfare, while necessary, will give some a reason not to work as hard and I recognize that; but I think you have to accept those who will take advantage of the system if you want to help those who just need a little bit extra to get them over the hump.

What are your thoughts on food stamps and other welfare programs?

(Photo: pengrin [6])


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[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/could-you-live-off-food-stamps.html

[3] documenting the whole experience: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/30/am.callebs.foodstamps.blog/index.html

[4] $1 a day meal experiment: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/one-dollar-a-day-meals.html

[5] living on minimum wage: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/try-living-on-minimum-wage.html

[6] pengrin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pengrin/2704951513/sizes/m/

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