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May 21, 2007



I am 68 years old. I receive 74.00 per mo. in Food stamps. My SS check is 498.00 per mo. I receive a section 8 housing voucher and bi monthly help with my light bill. Also I get a reduction in my phone bill. I drive a 1989 car. I add 75.00 to my food stamps for groceries but it still is difficult to eat healthy. I don't eat meat or chicken but do eat fresh fish which can be expensive. Also veggies are expensive here. I don't want to divulge the reasons etc for my circumstances in this comment as my situation is not common knowledge and one wants to maintain a bit of dignity. Asking for this help was devastating to me as I encountered some rather cruel and disrespectful case workers. But luckily I had a friend who accompanied me the first time (actually she dragged me there) and I got through it. Life wouldn't be so difficult if I hadn't incurred debt trying to survive before receiving this aid. Trying to keep up with credit card payments and these usurious interest rates is pulling me under. Even if you close your acct., the interest continues. Bottom line ,I appreciate your concern for people like me. I sure could use a few more groceries and a decent bottle of wine once in awhile. There are people who abuse the program, I suppose, but we seniors just want enough to eat and a roof over our heads.
Thanks for your kind attention,Sunshine


I have to admit when i first heard of this, i simply couldn't comprehend how anyone would really know how simple folk could get buy without living it more then a week. I'll also admit that i was a bit angry because most people can't get the help they need without such red-tape that most simply feel degraded and give up. Yes it does happen that way. After reading your blog, i feel you and your husband will have a greater appreciation for what you have and feel that you personally will try to make a difference. Please prove me right. I may not be on food stamps or assistance anymore but there are so many out there that need it and deserve to be treated with respect, without so much the hassle that many have to face. Many blessings to you and to your blog readers.


i have read this very carefully and what i see is complete ignorance about home economics. a subject that once was taught in every high school in this country

in my hand is a weekly sale notice from GIGANTE. it is a mexico based supermercado with branches in some mexican immigrant neighborhoods in the united states. the nearest to me is a leisurely 20 minute walk. i live in so.central l.a

the budget is $21 dollars:

10lb bag of potatoes - .99 cents
3lbs green limes - .99 cents
3lbs brown onions - .50 cents
3lbs chicken legs (9pcs) - $2.15
4lbs oranges - .99 cents
8 avocados (4@.99) - $1.98
7 bunches cilantro - .99
SUBTOTAL - $8.58

from local 99/cent store
another 20 minute walk:

1 dozen eggs - .99
1 quart milk (buy 2 qts) - $1.98
1 carton margarine - .99
2nd SUBTOTAL - $12.54

all that walking and
shopping gives a man
quite a thirst:

2 - 32oz beers - $2.60
8-1/4% tax and crv - .21
GRAND TOTAL - $15.35

damn i've got $5.65
left. think i'll go
over to CVS tomorrow
for a qt of ice cream - $3.50

2nd GRAND TOTAL - $18.85

2 bucks left and enough healthy tasty food for over a week of meals to boot

california, what a state!


Dear d,
Those prices are great! Where I live one would multiply them by a factor of at least 4 ,possibly 5 . Ladies of my age all had training in home economics starting in about the seventh grade. I know how to plan meals and how to shop. It is ,however,difficult to eat a healthy diet with a limited food budget.Everyone has their own idea of healthy food. Incidentally,"d", everyone receiving food stamps is not a resident of an immigrant neighborhood. Some of us are from families that have given their blood and treasure for America for many generations. "d" ,I think you may have a motive beyond a helpful shopping list. Your disrespect for the poor among you is shameful and ungentlemanly. Shopping list indeed!

Lynne Livingston

Lisa, I am glad that you and your family have made it through the week of food stamps aand have gained an appreciation of what the poor have to go through all of the time. I hope your husband will be a champion of legistration increasing the money for the food stamp program and get a new bill passed.

Just Me

D, I wish I lived where I could get 10 pounds of potatoes for 99 cents. The prices you mention have to be multiplied by 3 to equal those where I live. Not everyone has access to such inexpensive groceries. The closest place to me that has vegetable and fruit prices even close to yours is 40 miles away, much farther than your 20-minute walk.


Wow here in South Dakota I watch people go into the gas stations and I can tell who has cash and who has EBT (food stamp) cards. Those with cash make choices, those with EBT load up with out thinking. Feed their kids on the $1 premade sandwiches, pop, candy and even buy for their friends. Even treat their boyfriend or girlfriend to some tax dollar treats. It is a site to see and one that is seen over and over again. I welcome someone to go watch for just 1 hour. I think what a diet, what a waste. The good groceries they could get with that money they just wasted in an overpriced gas station.

After a $50 EBT junk food bill, $50 worth of beer plops on the counter from the same person.

A few hours later they are back again for more beer.

It is an amazing process.

I work my butt off and I can't shop like that.


I'm in my mid-50s, disabled, living on SSI + foodstamps. SSI allowance is $623/month, foodstamp allowance is $113. Housing expenses including utilites total around $475/month. I'm on Medicaid but it does not cover most of what I need including dental work. So I am paying on credit cards. Cannot afford much gasoline anymore but have to keep the car (20 years old) insured for emergencies. God help me if it needs any maintenance beyond an oil change... I end up with about $150/month for food and that has to include the cats. If not for discount grocers who sell dented can and out of date stuff, and the local food bank that limits you to once a month visits, we would be starving. Oddly, I keep gaining weight because fresh vegetables and fruits are too expensive. Frozen is even higher. I pick wild watercress when I can find it which is rare, and sometimes eat weeds from the yard and the occasional road-killed rabbit.

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