Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Living On Food Stamps

I read CNN.com every day at work, and I came upon this article about a CNN correspondent who decided to try living on food stamps since so many Americans now have to turn to food stamps to make ends meet.

Sean Callebs decided to document his experience while living on food stamps. As a quick over view, Sean has agreed to live on $176 for food for the month of February. He has also been in contact with the Food Stamp program to see what services they offer to help people spend and budget wisely, he discusses how Obama's stimulus plan would support the program and what I find most intriguing is that he discusses parts of emails that people who live on food stamps send him. The real life stories show you just how important government help is. One of the stories he blogged about today was this one.
"Kendra, is in part why we began working on these stories. She writes that she was a business executive that graduated with a 3.9 gpa. But once her company went under in this economy she couldn't find work and is now on food stamps.
Kendra says food stamps are "more dignifying" than having to go to a food pantry. She says "the latter is incredibly embarrassing and shameful for me." My heart goes out to her."
I particularly like that he has compassion for these people and in turn helps me to better understand the need of so many.
If you are interested in reading his blog you can click here.


imee said...

I admire Callebs' empathic point of view about life... However his friend Kendra is, well, I dunno. I don't think going to food pantries is any less dignifying--admitting that you need help is already a brave act and I don't think people lose their dignity that way.

- Imee

Katie said...

imee, I agree with you. It is hard and brave to accept any help, and I don't think people should lose their dignity by utilizing food stamps or food pantries at all. I'm hoping Calleb's experiment helped people feel more comfortable with using the help that is available to them.

I volunteer at a food pantry a couple of times a month, it is so nice talking to these people and heartbreaking listening to some of their stories. I hope they feel dignified and comfortable coming to my pantry.