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Old 11-04-2013, 03:15 PM   #61
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I also grew up poor but my family did whatever it took and never went on assistance. I remember times when my mom would not eat and we also grew up with the mentality that if you did not grow it, catch it, or hunt it you didn't eat it. I am very grateful that my family taught me certain life skills which I used to work 2 jobs while putting myself through college. I was the first in my family to graduate from college.

I have a great job that allows me to provide for my family in ways I never had as a child and I try to give back all year. Giving back means a lot to me as I remember being a child in need and now I am the mother of 3 children who at one time were in need. Our 3 children are adopted from the foster care system and at one point in their lives they were not given food nor had a christmas. Our 12 year old still deals with food issues as he was starved when he was 2. Our 14 year old has a scar down his stomach because when he was 5 he was hungry and his birth mom was passed out on the couch and so he decided to make himself mac and cheese. Well he was standing on a chair over the pot of boiling water and got hot so he tried to take his shirt off and hit the pot and boling water dumped on his bare belly. Due to their birth situations when we adopted our children we made the deicion that my husband would stay home with our children so they would have constant care and know that someone would always be there for them. Our DS12 has some pretty severe mental health issues as well so it was necessary for someone to be home to address any issues that may come up.

Please keep in mind that sometimes when a parent decides to stay at home, even if it means being on assistance, it could be because there is a mental health issue with a child. These issues can be severe and as a parent you could be called to come pick your child up from school and depending on your job situation if you end up leaving you lose your job. Again we are blessed that I make enough income to provide for my family but there are a lot of people where this is not possible.

Thank you OP for a great topic!
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by mickeyboat View Post
DH and I work really hard to support our family, and I see way more abusers of the system than I see hard-working people who really need help.
But is it because they're so common or because they're uncommon enough to stand out? I think of it as like driving - I don't remember every good driver I pass on the roads, but I certainly remember the one guy driving like a total idiot. That doesn't mean most drivers are bad, it just means that the bad is unusual enough to stand out from the general background noise of daily life.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #63
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DH and I work really hard to support our family, and I see way more abusers of the system than I see hard-working people who really need help.
amen!!!!!
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:29 PM   #64
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I just wanted to add that sometimes appearances aren't what they seem. We are a foster family. When we have infants we take wic or other public assistance for the child mainly because formula is expensive! Once they are on table food, we drop it because you have to go to monthly visits with the wic office where they lecture you with outdated medical information. It's a waste of time and at that point the amt of money spent On the kids food is small. So you may see me in line paying for some stuff with public assistance, some with my debit card and yes I drive a nice, relatively new cross over and wear nice but not designer clothes, but it doesn't make me a deadbeat. I've even purchased steak and store made baked goods. One of the other mothers in my area was followed to her car a harassed about taking money she didn't deserve etc because like me she paid part pa and part cash and had a nice car and the person who followed her didn't like that.

Exactly! Just because you see someone pay with food stamps and then drive away in a fancy car, doesn't mean they are abusing the system! You truly do not know what is going on and should not judge. Just mind your own business and worry about yourself. The majority of people receiving help aren't scammers and don't need to be criticized or judged simply because you don't know what's really going on.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #65
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Also in Ontario. Paying $160 a month for 3 phones (2 of them Iphones, one a Samsung.) Nobody pays $150 a month for an Iphone.
I live in Saskatchewan and my bill is 100 a month or more. It was 65 for unlimited text and talking to people on sasktel mobility. However I live where everyone is long distance and not everyone has saktel and we go to the states a lot so had to add on the north American plan.
That being said the system Canada has set up compared to the states is like apples and oranges. I lived in the states for 5 years and cant say I'm an expert but they give food stamps and such where Canada you just get money. People still get money for assistance and such just not like they do in Canada.
I have stopped giving to the food bank because of what I personally saw, the one thing that has kept in my memory is this aboriginal man driving up with his big brand new 4x4 smoke in hand coming in and getting food while there discussing loudly how much money they get blah blah, then while driving away his bumper sticker said "keep working whitey, I need another new truck." I have never given another thing since.
I think in Canada there is way more people taking advantage of it. Our kids school adopts families in our city and we give a ton because it seems less likely these people can scam. I also have a strong opinion on people taking advantage of the system and how people say they can't find work. Sorry but hard to believe when Canada is bringing in as many foreigners as they can to fill jobs. Flame me if you will but my opinion is formed not on one thing I have seen but many. While true some people truly need assistance most I have seen do not.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #66
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Ah, I wondered when it would appear: the Annual DisBoards "they are all just a bunch of scammers" Holiday Thread. (Not that the OP meant for it to be, of course, but you see how quickly the tide turned. It never fails.)

The only thing that I will contribute is this: I live in a city now, but I've also lived in the country for many years. For many people who are poor or suddenly become poor, reliable transportation is the most likely thing to go. In the city you may be able to take a 3hr r/t bus ride to the grocery store and take home as much as you can carry in your hands, but that's not a very thrifty way to shop. In the country it's even more of a problem, because the price of gas to go the distance needed is an added expense. They beg rides a lot of the time, or especially if they are elderly or disabled, ask neighbors or relatives to do their shopping for them. Church groups often "adopt" elderly or disabled shut-ins, and many times one of the things that they do for those folks is go grocery shopping. Matching a vehicle to an EBT card isn't any kind of evidence unless you are also going to look at the registration to check that the owner of the car is the owner of the card. (When I lived in the country I also knew people who ran informal taxi services (there was no licensed taxi service); many times the people who needed the ride to the grocery store didn't have cash, so they would "pay" the driver by putting some of that person's groceries on their own EBT card.)
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:20 PM   #67
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This reminds me of the disability threads...
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:47 PM   #68
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This thread hits me close to home. I am 27 and have auspergers which is a very high functioning form of autism. Unfornutly because of my disability I rely on food stamps title 19 and now Medicare. Yes I do work three days a week at goodwill but don't even make minimum wage which is a whole other ball of wax that I don't want to get in to here but I understand why it is that way and don't think it should change. When i do my grocery shopping I am sure I am sometimes judged because I use food stamps and by the occasional steak as well as some junk food and diet coke. I am trying to stop the diet coke though. I hate the fact that I have to rely on these programs but if I did not get them especially the title 19 and Medicare I would not be able to get my meds I need to function or go to the therapy appointments I need to be able to cope with life. Ya it sucks but the fact is there are a lot of people out there like me. My goal in life is to one day get a good job and my own insurence but intell I can do that I am thankful for these programs.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:42 AM   #69
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It means there is a fraction of the population that believes if you are any type of assistance that you should not have a cell phone.
Yes there are still a few who thin k a phone is a luxury. Most people no longer carry a land line if they are strapped for money or even if they aren't, so it should not be a surprise to see a lot of people carrying cell phones.

Years ago before cell phones were common, my step daughter's mom didn't have a phone. It was so hard for us to communicate with them. We also worried when the child was at home alone, because she had no way of calling anyone if she needed help. I do not begrudge anyone having a phone. To me it is a necessity.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #70
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There are telephones available for people on Medicaid. We also pay for another person's cell it is the 7th on our plan. A relative that is on assistance who lost their job 2 years ago an still can't get another.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:25 AM   #71
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a little bitter

I sadly only give my food to Church food drives these days.
4 years ago I went through a very bad patch.
There were two months where I simply did not have enough money for food for me and my sister.

I tried to reach out to the Food Bank several times for assistance and got little to no information.

When I showed up to a location I was told I make too much (income)
I had also brought my statements showing how much my rent was and the unfortunate car repair bill, doctor's bills, high electric, bill car payment that had temporarily taken away our ability to eat.
I agreed that I make too much money to be on food stamps but that I had hit a rough patch and only needed help getting through that.

Nothing.

I went to a local church a couple of days later and no questions asked they shared food with me. Also a friend who had figured out how bad things had gotten dropped of some frozen beef for me.

I have since donated more than I received back to them.

If someone says they are hungry, I feed them.
No, I never give a homeless person with a sign cash, because I really don't want it to be spent on booze, etc. But if I can manage I give them food. I keep nutrition bars and bottle water in my car just for this purpose.


Still, I am not telling other people not to donate to Food Banks. I don't want to sound like that, I just wish that my local one was a little more helpful.

My message is actually simpler. If you can at all spare it. Please share food, weather you do it privately, to a church, or a food bank.

You never know WHY someone may need it. In the end it doesn't matter why. Nobody should be hungry in a country with so much excess and obesity.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:49 AM   #72
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There is a lot of need...and there is a lot of fraud. These threads are always full of antedotal stories - I have mine as well of both abuse AND need. It's always important to note that those defending the need also acknowledge the abuse and those identifying the abuse also acknowledge the need. One does not exclude the other.

I did snicker a little at the "box of mac and cheese." We did a food drive last year for a local food bank and boxed mac and cheese was actually on the "do not donate" list. The "donate' list was extremely limited actually - whole grain, organics, etc. Nothing processed, only canned items with no extra sugar added, etc. I understand wanting to distribute healthier items, but after seeing the list, I know why the shelves are emptier. The old adage "beggars can't be choosers" came to mind. We are again getting the request from the food bank to help, and again getting the limited "acceptable" donation list. It's unfortunate but I suspect their donations will be down again.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:50 AM   #73
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See but that was the point - yes the car could have been hers but you don't know- if people judged my friend and neighbor yesterday on what they saw, they would have seen a married lady with six kids hop out of a new higher end mini-van. Even further looking and you would know her husband hadn't worked in years. His injuries are mostly in the lower half of his body (and ptsd) and not completely obvious- it would be easy to think he is some lazy deadbeat not a man who risked it all for his country.
Back when I was a single mom there were a few months I had my parent's Mercedes. They didn't want me driving in an unreliable car and I needed to wait a few more months to get something. My kids still had the designer clothes grandma bought for them, and my oldest who was only 5 at the time had a cell phone so she could contact me if her dad didn't show up to pick her up etc. (which happened) and I had one because my youngest had health problems and I needed to have a phone on me at all times. I didn't use government assistance or the food bank, and I worked my a** off, but our shelves were still bare and things were really tough. Many nights I didn't eat because I was worried that my girls wouldn't have something the next day if I did. I can't imagine how I would have been judged had I gone to the food bank, in a Mercedes with my well dressed children and cell phones. But there is no doubt that I could have used the help.
Funny thing is those that look the best at first glance may be in just the type of intermittent trouble that a lot of programs were meant to help you through.

These stories confuse me. If I could loan out my Mercedes and it my grand kids designer clothes why would I not also buy them food? Food is far more important than designer clothes.

I must think differently. I have paid to drop a new transmission into my sister's car. Bought many people food, when I knew they need some extra help. Bought clothes for kids who needed it.

Food is the most basic need. Why would they not supply that when they obviously have the means?
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:00 AM   #74
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Our foodbank will take almost anything (can't be past the expiration date). It must be nice to be a food bank with enough donations that you can ask for people not to bring in Mac n Cheese. Reminds me of dog rescue organizations that have so many homes looking for dogs that they can afford to turn up their noses at families that don't have a fence.

Of course, they have preferred foods - they'd rather see things with decent nutritional value, fewer boxes of mac-n-cheese, white pasta, cans of green beans. They'd like it more if people shopped for the food shelf with "healthy, easy, and shelf stable" in mind - but they know a lot of their food comes from "Mom, we are having a food drive at school, what should I bring?" where a can of green beans or peaches in heavy syrup gets grabbed from a shelf - or worse, the can of beets that you thought maybe your family might eat sometime when you bought it two years ago. It would always be nice to get more tuna fish and canned chicken. The LOVED the Girl Scout cookies we brought in last year (I donate my extras), its a big treat when something like cookies shows up on a shelf.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:11 AM   #75
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These stories confuse me. If I could loan out my Mercedes and it my grand kids designer clothes why would I not also buy them food? Food is far more important than designer clothes.

I must think differently. I have paid to drop a new transmission into my sister's car. Bought many people food, when I knew they need some extra help. Bought clothes for kids who needed it.

Food is the most basic need. Why would they not supply that when they obviously have the means?
Food IS the most basic need. And these are other human beings. And almost everyone in this board can afford to go to Disney - if we believe the current survey 80% of us make more than the median income in this country. They can loan out the Mercedes and buy their grandkids designer clothes for the same reason why we can go to Disney while people visit the food shelf. Because we are entitled to make choices with what we do with our money. We can choose to help our relatives, we can choose to help strangers, we can choose to drive a Mercedes, buy designer clothes, and go to Disney. Some of us choose to do a little of each of these things, but none of us is required to directly support any other human being once they are an adult and we get to choose how to help - other than the tax dollars that are spent helping fill in the gaps where we have been too selfish as a society to fill them in completely.
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