Food Stamps: Work? WORK FOR THEM?

I find this important enough to blog today because it’s exactly what is going to have to happen when Republicans take over the presidency;  there is no other way that America can survive than to get people off the government and on to private food banks, etc.  Please try to read the whole thing;  the last few paragraphs are so important:

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — More than 9,000 Maine residents have been removed from the state’s food stamp program since Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration began enforcing work and volunteer requirements late last year, officials said. 

The number of people that have been dropped from the program has exceeded even the administration’s expectations.

food stamps

About 12,000 adults who aren’t disabled and don’t have children were in the program before Jan. 1. That number has dropped to 2,680 this month, David Sorensen, spokesman for the Department of Health and Services, told The Associated Press.

Advocates for the poor say there aren’t enough jobs and volunteer positions available to recipients, especially in rural areas, forcing them to lose their benefits and turn instead to their local food banks.

“Northern Washington County really has never come out of the recession, so there aren’t economic opportunities that there might be in other parts of the state,” said Barbara Chatterton, a case manager at the Down East Aids Network in Machias who says many of her current and former clients have been impacted by the change.

Since October, healthy adults without children have been required to work at least 20 hours a week, volunteer or participate in a work-training program to continue receiving benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after three months. It’s the result of the administration’s decision to no longer seek a waiver for the federal requirement, which it had used since 2008……………..

…..DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the goal of the requirements is to encourage people to find work. It’s possible that some of those people no longer on the program have found jobs so their incomes make them no long eligible for benefits, she said.

“If you’re on these programs it means you are living in poverty and so the more that we can help incentive people on that pathway to employment and self-sufficiency the better off they’re going to be,” she said.

The department had estimated that about half of the 12,000 people impacted by this change would eventually be removed from the program, Sorensen said. By January, about 6,500 fewer people were on the program. Once someone loses their benefits, they’re ineligible for assistance for three years.

Maine was one of at least eight states that declined to use the federal waiver this year out of the 37 states that had been eligible, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The Center on Budget and Policy priorities, a left-leaning think-tank in Washington D.C., estimated in January that about 1 million people nationwide would be removed from the program as a result of those changes.

Democratic Rep. Scott Hamann of South Portland, who’s also the Cupboard Collective Program manager at Good Shepherd Food Bank, has introduced a bill that would direct the administration to seek a waiver in certain counties that have high unemployment or a lack of jobs.

food stamps two

But it’s unlikely to gain support from LePage’s administration. Sorensen said recipients only need to volunteer for 24 hours a month to comply with the requirements and the administration believes there are enough opportunities to comply with that in even the most economically depressed parts of the state.  (end of ARTICLE)

Z:  SO…..what do you think?  Only 24 hours a month to comply with requirements … is that too much?
I think this is a pretty good idea and probably needs tweaking, particularly because Maine is a harder state in which to find a job.   So, tweak it and LET’S MOVE FORWARD. Encourage private food programs, they EXIST and they are feeding a lot of people.

What do you folks think, GeeeZ Readers?  Should this work?  Is it fair? Thoughts?

Z

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20 Responses to Food Stamps: Work? WORK FOR THEM?

  1. Anything that provides a positive incentive to become self-sufficient is good with me. I like these kinds of programs. It’s about time the government got back to actually helping people get ahead – what a novel concept!

  2. Kid says:

    Sounds fair to me. They should add drug testing. One thing that bothers me about it though is the requirement to not have kids if I read it right. This is just further motivation for people to birth more democrats into loser environments though I don’t have a suggestion.

  3. cube says:

    Years ago when we were starving college students, my best friend took food stamps and often suggested I could do the same. Even though I qualified, my pride just wouldn’t let me do it. Perhaps I might have thought differently had I had to work for it… NAH! I’d rather take on five extra jobs… the entitlement mentality eludes me.

    Off topic: My mother in law is coming over to teach my husband and me how to make choereg. This is our first time and we are both very excited, but he’s over the moon about it because he remembers his grandmother and mother making them many times during his childhood.

  4. Mustang says:
    I do not know of anyone who wants to see other human beings going without food, living under bridges, or wallowing in filth. As a wealthy society, the question is not so much about what we ought to do, but rather how we should go about it. Reaching out to others in need is the Christian thing to do, but adopting social policy that perpetuates this suffering is not. Government programs seem to adopt the latter more than they do the former. We have millions of suffering homeless people because Jimmy Carter ordered the release of mentally infirm persons from one coast to the other. How is that working out? We should wonder who among us benefits from the welfare state … and the answer is, politicians and government bureaucrats. There is nothing wrong with requiring people to work for their benefits, just as there is nothing wrong with expecting working poor to pay some taxes, along with everyone else. We call this inclusion.
  5. John M. Berger says:

    I don’t know much about Maine, per se, but I like the first graphic appearing in this post as it should apply to the Nation, at large. If B.O.’s alleged “recovery” was, indeed, [that] the obvious spike in the second graphic wouldn’t exist. Further, our diminished Labor Participation Rate and burgeoning National Debt speaks volumes about how this Administration has failed to allow the free economy to work while favoring unsustainable government hand-outs and red ink. Insofar as ‘make work’ projects go (if that is the case) color me skeptical. Sometimes regions cannot provide employment due to depletion of or restriction on the use of natural resources and those impacted must relocate. This has always been the case.

  6. Kid says:

    JMB, Yep, there is no recovery. As long as the Fed Funds Interest Rate stays at zero or below, there has not been a recovery.

  7. Silverlady says:

    Shovel snow. And when there’s no snow, shovel moose droppings.

  8. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, I’m not sure but I think the ‘children’ mention is just a qualifier because children get special benefits apart from these? Not sure. And, of course, while Americans aren’t having children (tho practically everybody I know under 40 is pregnant right now :-)) , you know who ARE.
    I think they should test for drugs for food stamps, too….where are they getting money for drugs?
    You don’t want to know my feelings about the zero interest rates…..when I think of the money we’ve all lost because of that. I can’t go into detail here on the blog, but I SURE HAVE lost out BIG TIME.

    Dennis..hi…Yes, VERY novel concept! 😦

    cube…I couldn’t do it, either. And good luck with the cheoreg! It’s a real art and I have one sister who mastered it….I love it warm with string cheese 🙂 Let me know how it goes!
    Take good notes! “a handful of this…two handfuls of that..” !!
    Here’s what it is for those of you who haven’t heard of it.
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Choereg-Armenian-Easter-Bread/
    Our family usually makes them in small roll ‘knots’….and the slight sweetness of it is what makes salty string cheese SO GOOD on it!

    Mustang; Why’s Reagan get the blame for that if Carter did it? I agree with all you said.

    John; glad you liked my graphic; GREAT, isn’t it.!! You have a good point about making sure these “pay for your benefits” fit the area. For instance, there’s mentioned in the piece that sometimes it’s almost literally impossible to get any or enough work to buy food with; those folks need HELP.
    But I’m with Mustang; Charities should help. NOT THE GOV’T, except when absolutely needed.

    SilverLady; I can’t relate…we’ve had a long string of THE most gorgeous weather days here even I can’t believe it. As my friend who was here for Spring Break and is back in S Carolina for school said on the phone yesterday “it glistened the whole week in Santa Monica”. She’s right.
    Still, I’d LIKE a little snow.
    but not your metaphorical snow, of course!

  9. Imp says:

    Excellent article…..and as usual insightful and excellent comments….conservatives do have compassion contrary to the libs who just want more of everyone elses fruit from their labor. Feed a man for a day or teach him how to feed himself is the best result.

  10. The one big advantage to having the needy rely on food banks and churches for food is their ability to assess the need. Also, it becomes a gift rather than a right, which makes a BIG difference in the attitude of the recipient. No one should go hungry, but the rest of us shouldn’t be made out to be suckers, either. To quote my late father, “I’ll help a man lift a heavy load, but won’t lift it alone for him”. And like John mentioned about relocating, sometimes that is necessary to find work.

  11. geeez2014 says:

    Imp; I get SO TIRED of those who truly believe that, as a woman, I am against women, or as a middle class person, I’m only for the rich, etc etc…and that’s what liberals believe of Conservatives…. As an aunt of a black nephew who I LOVE, I’m a racist, etc etc….it’s so untrue but they go from “no government assistance ” to “Republicans want you to STARVE” They give no credence to any of the good thought in these comments above, you are so right.

    Mal, excellent comment….yes, “give a man a fishing pole, and not the fish” and I often add “but teach him to fish..” that’s the part the Left likes to leave out in describing Republicans “they just don’t want the poor to EAT!” 🙂 So stupic.

    And yes, relocation is necessary oftentimes, in this “Brother, can you spare a dime” new society the left has put on our country. The more they tax, the MORE jobs are going, too…….till relocation isn’t even helpful!

    And Mal, I LOVE your thought on GIFTS versus RIGHTS….you are SPOT ON there….Entitlement has ruined a whole generation or two of once-proud, hard working Americans.
    Thanks, Leftwingers.

  12. John M. Berger says:

    Perhaps, to B.O. followers, the spike depicted in the 2nd graphic is some mark of progress. But as I look at the exploding growth of the Body Mass Index (BMI) in this country I ask: Where is/was the famine to begin with?
    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2014/05/28/america-tops-list-of-10-most-obese-countries

  13. geeez2014 says:

    John, I had the same thought…that B.O. followers would think the 2nd graphic is so wonderful for Americans! I don’t think these people even know what self reliance feels like……what great pride in oneself feels like. SO SAD>
    And ya…..obesity is big in America; and we’re paying for it, right!?
    and I’m THIN and pay for my own food! And theirs. And I don’t mind if I COULD CHOOSE how much I could give and to whom. Though I think anybody hungry should get help, not just who I choose to give to. That runs along the lines of how I stopped picking who I’d give a few bucks to on the street or telling them where to spend it……..now, if I have an extra dollar bill and I have the minute to stop, I give it. That’s what’s important and what’s asked of us, not to grill the taker and give a lecture.

  14. geeez2014 says:

    oops, sounds like I just gave an unsolicited lecture..sorry!

  15. If you offer food instead of $$$$ they often turn it down, saying they “prefer” cash. Yeah. Right.
    Can you say “DRUGS”?

  16. When Scherie had her first brain surgery in the 70’s and for a short time of bad seizures in the 80’s, she had to go on food stamps. But when I met her, she was working two jobs to pay off her debts and had saved a down payment for a small bungalow.
    Sometimes people need help. Sometimes they don’t.
    If the community doesn’t provide help and the churches or secular charities don’t have the resources, then where do they go, and what do we resemble as a society?
    But it’s become a vote buying strategy.
    I have a dear friend (she has spent the last few days sitting with and driving my wife to doctor appointments as she recuperates) who was quite fearful of her situation until she recently qualified for SSD. Our small church helped as best we could.
    She listens to conservative talk radio and votes democrat.
    She’s afraid repubs would eliminate her benefits.

  17. jerrydablade says:

    I don’t find much of anything to disagree with any of the good folks here. I would only add that the first place someone who is down and out should look is there family. It’s no accident that there has been a systematic breakdown of the family. Quite purposeful to empower an overreaching big government. I pine for the days when the safety net was only the size of a double wide hammock.

  18. geeez2014 says:

    Jerry, when the family’s being destroyed, people must go to the gov’t, you’re right….I like your hammock analogy!

    Ed, as most of us have at least implied above, sometimes there MUST be help for folks who need it….you can’t work 2 jobs and still not have enough food and not get help!
    I’m sorry your friend feels (and votes) that way, but she might be right.
    We have a young single woman at our church who sends desperate prayer requests to us all and always talks about how she’s going to look for a job, but her back hurts, and her roommate’s moving, and she got a new dog which needs food, etc etc. She’s pushed me away; isn’t that sad?
    We have to be very careful all around; those who need, those who can give. I still think it’s better to go to family or church or friends, but that gets old on the family, church and friends, too.
    And then the gov’t is the only place to go, sadly.

    Do you believe in some of the qualifications outlined in the article I posted?

    Mal; I feel that way, too….I’ve offered food in a box I’ve carried from a restaurant and they won’t take it. … but I still think it’s mine to give and not to ask for what. IF I can and IF I feel like it….

  19. In my two examples, Scherie and our friend, workfare would be impractical as they couldn’t.
    A libertarian might say, not my concern, not with my taxes, and I agree.
    That’s how this country started.
    It will never fly now.
    Perhaps those unemployed would vote for pols that would encourage employment growth strategies. They might also vote socialists.
    Workfare sounds good, but what work? What liability to the agency employing them? What additional overhead for oversight?

  20. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, I like to think that those who’d be afraid of voting Republican, God forbid they miss out on their goodies, would vote for a party with more encouraging employment growth strategies.

    Workfare is not unworkable. There are situations where it works.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workfare
    This makes me feel a little iffy on it, but I think it could work with some…?

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