Steak Dinners and Welfare

frigI love social media, however more than once lately it has upset me to the point I feel like screaming. I’ve seen several pictures and comments about how middle class refrigerators are mostly empty and those who receive welfare are full of steaks and crab legs. Well, maybe that’s true for those who misuse the system, but it’s not true for all. I would love for some of these people who post these images and responses to take a look at my household.

I’m a single parent of two wonderful children. I work a full-time job and I’m a consultant for a direct sales business. You can come to my house at any time during the month and you will never see the items mentioned above. In reality, it barely has anything in it.

Yes, I do receive public assistance; I also have an order for child support. Since most of the people who post comments are placing everyone within a stereotype, let me add I was married to the father of my children and it didn’t work out. We divorced and he hasn’t done anything for them since then (that’s a whole other subject that I won’t get into today).

I struggle everyday with the thought of what can I feed my children for dinner. I try to feed them healthy items, but I can’t do that between my paycheck and what I receive for help. Yes I said help, because food stamps aren’t and shouldn’t be hand out–it’s a hand up. Common myths about those who receive assistance continue to misinform.

Actually, even though many on food stamps are children, elderly, disabled or temporarily unemployed, lots of people who use food stamps already are working. According to Feeding America “76 percent of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits.” According to the USDA, “Over 30 percent of SNAP households had earnings in 2011 and 41 percent of all SNAP participants lived in a household with earnings.”

So why do people continue to judge others based on supposed “facts” they don’t even know? I can give you several examples of why.

First of all, they are so unhappy with their own lives that they feel that can make others feel bad as a means to to make themselves feel better. In reality,  it makes others (the ones like me who try so hard to make ends meet and provide for their family in the best way possible), feel like crap. Well congrats to you for that. I hope you sleep well at night.

Secondly, they don’t know the real truths and just go with the flow of others. Well here’s my response to that, good job on drinking the “kool-aid”. Finally, they don’t want people to know that they, or even one of their family members, were once also in that position. In that case I feel sorry for you. The bitter truths are so painful at times, but it doesn’t give you the right to condemn a whole groups of people who need that extra help to make it through the month without going hungry; even if it is only enough to buy a couple of loaves of bread and some bologna.

I can hear it now. Get over yourself lady; you shouldn’t take it personally; you don’t know what you’re talking about; I feel sorry for you. 

Well okay then, we are all entitled to our own opinions. However, even though I receive a helping hand and I don’t have steak and crab legs in my fridge. I am always willing to share my dinner with you and yours. Being the person I am, I will always be willing to help those in need without ever questioning what they have in their fridge.