Out of 100 of these hungry people, how many can be pressured into getting a job
by denying them food? Will the old, the school-aged children, and disabled
among them become "enabled" if they are fed? It's time for
conservatives to stop enlarging the holes in our safety net. Let's give
these people the leeway to build or rebuild their tomorrows instead of
scrounging for food today.The children in these families are not
likely to have parents ready to go out and fight for a seat across the valley in
the newest, trendiest charter school. They will depend on the nearest regular
public schools. Equal opportunity to me means making quality public schools the
rule instead of the exception.
A two party legislature is a great first step in resolving this problem.
This is what the anti-union movement has brought you. Salaries have been flat
for 30 years, while inflation has continue unabated. Your purchasing power is a
fraction of what it was in the 70s.
1 in 7 households struggle to provide food, yet 7 out of 10 households have some
sort of subscription tv, and 9 out of every 10 Americans owns a cell phone.Being able to put food on the table is not the problem. Teaching people
how to establish priorities in what are "wants" and "needs" is
the problem. Just another sign of the entitlement age screaming they
have no food, but not willing to part with their cable tv and cell phones.
It is sad, but Ironmomo has valid points. I have been involved in many
circumstances where I saw food being distributed to people in need. I've
seen people who were just delivered a good selection of food items going to the
nearest fast food place rather than prepare food "from scratch."
I've seen people who had limited means having large parties in the park,
after which the excess food went into a trash can. I've seen chiildren
dumping most of the food served to them in school breakfast (in fact, once I saw
a group in which not one child ate the toast). I've known people who were
"desperate" for food, but didn't want vegetables offered to them
because they "didn't eat squash or eggplant." They were elated to
have homemade grape jelly though! In our household we eat extremely well in the
garden season because we have an abundance (which we are happy to share). We eat
well enough the rest of the time. We don't have tv subscription because we
don't have time for tv after harvesting the produce and distributing it.
Iron and Nan make good points. My test is always fairly simple. If you pay more
than zero for tv, if you have a cel phone, if you have a pet...you have enough
money. If you don't have enough food but do have some of these
luxuries...you're making bad decisions.
Having a cell phone is no longer a luxury. This isn't the 1990s. It's
nearly impossible to get a job without a phone number. And cell phones are not
My parents were pretty much into food storage, that seems to be engrained in
myself and my brothers. I am not some fanatic and I am sure there are things I
need to add, but it sure is nice knowing that I have things on hand. Three
times we lost power in Missouri for over a week each time, the 2nd and 3rd time,
we were able to enjoy our full house generator and 15 house guests when they
were without power, due to ice storms. As Latter Day Saints we have been told
for about 70 years to plant gardens and store extra, that voice of warning needs
to be heeded now. People use to laugh at members for doing that, now I hear
about 72 hour kits like they are yesterdays news. We also have a NOAA radio
since we are in a tornado area.
So I wonder how many of those 1 in 7 have monthly luxury services in their
house?Like....cellphone service, cable tv, satellite tv, netflix,
internet for their tablet, etc. You can find a job with a home-phone. It won't be as convenient without a cellphone, but life is not about
convenience. Part of what life is about is making choices about how to spend
your limited money/resources in a manner that shows you are responsible for
yourself.I'd even say a regular phone is a luxury item when you
can have a VOIP phone like I do for $30 a year. Yes $30 a year, not a month.
Checkout magicjack. Anyone paying $30 a month for their home-phone is getting
ripped off....no wonder they don't have enough to pay for their groceries.
Oh yes and shop at NPS (1700 S. and Empire Road), instead of the
regular stores (I do and my wife makes 90K). Why should you pay full price for
food when you get can it for much cheaper?
So why do we have an obesity crisis?
This is because businesses like Wal-Mart are the largest employer in the
country. But candidates like Mitt Romney aren't interested in the plight
of the working poor. They just want to know why half of all Americans
don't pay federal income tax.
Considering over 50% of the population gives 10% of their income, or more, to
the Church maybe they ought to take a break and keep the money for their
Re John C CYes, these food insecure people need to get a Job. Better
yet a highpaying job, high enough paying so they don't qualify for
foodStamps. If not they deserve to go hungry.The fact there is
high unemployment and not enough jobs to goaround is not an excuse.
We also have food storage and it has helped us alot as the price for food goes
higher and higher. We don't have cable TV, or any toys of any kind, we
don't have junk food, and we don't even go to fast food places. We
don't drive a luxury car and our house is humble in comparison to
today's standards. I might also add that to help our needs for food we have
a garden and it's been super abundant and a great blessing. I have been
able to make our own pickles, bottle tomatoes, store squash, and jams. We are
also able to keep egg laying chickens which has also been a great blessing. Hard
work pays off :)
"I've seen people who were just delivered a good selection of food
items going to the nearest fast food place rather than prepare food 'from
scratch.'"Many low income families work a lot of hours just
to scrape by. At the end of the day it is sometimes easier to buy fast food
than spend even 30 more minutes working to prepare a meal for the family and
then spend more time washing dishes. I am not saying it's right, but there
is a level of exhaustion among low income families which more economically
comfortable families do not understand.Of course we want to
encourage healthy eating and fresh food is absolutely less expensive, but even
when low income families take the time to shop at grocery stores, they usually
end up buying the unhealthy food, (the sugary, processed food)because it is
cheapest and their money goes farther. The results are the same: Unhealthy
eating leading to obesity and other health problems for a group of people who
cannot afford proper medical care or escape the vicious cycle into which they
have fallen. It's not right, but it is what's real.
"Americans oppose cuts to SNAP. They believe it is a program worth funding
and that government should — and must — do more to address
hunger."Yes, let's get the government involved some more.
Only government can solve problems like this.Its impossible for me to
understand how our nation ever came to be great before we had such massive
amounts of government. Surely as we continue to vote to send back to Congress
those politicians who have gotten us into such an era of unemployment, things
will certainly change? More government, less individual
responsibility and without God's help! That's the solution.
It's better to have a guaranteed level of income for all, even if some is
misused according to some personal standards, than to 'sit on our thrones
while our fellow humans perish around us'. It isn't unconstitutional
to not have desperation and starvation haunt our country.
There are always reasons why people are poor (addictions, poor choices, bad
habits, lack of job skills, mental issues or laziness to name a few)! If they
(and only they can) change themselves, change the reasons they are poor, they
are never poor again. Giving them free food only makes them more dependant and
they almost always remain poor. I know liberals don’t like to hear that
but nevertheless it is still true. Which is more compassionate, to help them
change or to make them forever dependant, permanently poor?
Utah has its owN unique cultural challenges when addressing the hunger problem.
We have a large number of young women/men who marry young (< 21), and
whether they marry extraordinarily young or not, tend to have more than an
average number of children. This keeps family centered financial help
constrained by the sheer number of people per household. We also have lower
wages generally here in Utah, in part driven by the large supply of labor from a
large working age population, but also due in part to very few large, for-profit
corporations which tend to pay higher wages and benefits.Blaming
anti-unionism, politics, etc. is simply naive and is uneccessarily politicizing
the issue. In addition to the above, a failure to better prepare our youth in
20th century job market skills such as math, critical thinking/communication,
and science will be a long term weight on these people's ability to create
sufficient value to support themselves.
And so we are going to vote for the party that wants to cut any help at all, who
wants to erode the safety net in our affluent society? What madness!
"Which is more compassionate, to help them change or to make them forever
dependant, permanently poor?"Of course it is best for all
involved to "help them change" Guess what? Even the democrats would
opt for that.However, the issue is HOW. How do we help them change?
That is the tougher issue, and one that both R and D struggle with.I imagine the politicians knew the answer.An Observation - we
have seen articles recently about how Utah is the most charitable state and the
residents should be commended. Yet there are still 15% of the population with a
Hatred among men/women is the cause of our national poverty. The
lack of love towards each other is the cause of our hunger in the richest nation
on earth. Political parties are not religions. No one party has
all the solutions to life's hardships or problems. There is
always an endless supply of money for wars, lawsuits, and fighting, but a
shortage of money for the poverty created by a misguide society.
Has our country degraded to the point where we "must have a government who
cares"?Are we a bunch of whiners, wimps, and beggars?
We're going to cry, because Romney only paid a million dollars in taxes,
and he doesn't care? What kind of person would have you believe like
that?The motivation, and survival instinct must be re-kindled.
Let's quit whining and DO something.Feel the urgency!
Loose the high speed cable, Smart phones with data plan, organic food,
Starbucks, nice cars, and that should put a dent in the issue.
Another story that brings out a ton of comments about how liberal Democrats are
the compassionate party while conservative Republicans want children and old
people to starve.Give me a break! Just because we want to see some
limits to the free-for-all handouts to many who won't even try, does not
mean we don't want a social safety net.We need to provide for
those who can't provide for themselves. We need to provide opportunities
for those who can, but haven't learned how to make good decisions. And we
need to cut off those who are gaming the system.A large portion of
welfare dollars goes toward people who feel totally comfortable on the dole.
Some find ways to buy cigarettes and beer with food stamp money. Some get free
stuff while buying luxuries that others can't afford. Some feel entitled to
free stuff that others struggle to pay for.We need to demand some
real effort in return for every dollar given. It will stop the fraud and may
teach them some real life skills in the process. Only at the Democratic
Convention are independence and self-reliance bad terms.
Not only the current drought has been an issue this year which is going to hit
hard this next year but the cost of transporting finished product that gets
passed to the customer! At 4+ dollar a gallon for diesel fuel and wages and
insurance plus the inflation factor we all are going to pay except the well well
off like politicians and corporate moguls.Nobody should be starving in this
country at all,we should be making sure our people are taken care of first
before we should feed outside our country.
more voters for obama. big government loves this kind of thing.......citizen
dependency on the feds.
Most SNAP (foodstamp program) participants were children or elderly. Nearly half
(47 percent) were under age 18 and another 8 percent were age 60 or older.
Working-age women represented 28 percent of the caseload, while working-age men
represented 17 percent. Many SNAP participants had jobs. Nearly 30
percent of SNAP households had earnings in 2010, and 41 percent of all SNAP
participants lived in a household with earnings. For most of these households,
earnings were the primary source of income.The majority of SNAP
households did not receive cash welfare benefits. Only 8 percent ofall
SNAP households received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
benefitsand another 4 percent received State General Assistance (GA)
benefits.The average monthly benefit received by SNAP households was
$287.SNAP households had little income. The average
gross income for all SNAP households was $731 per month.Most SNAP
households were small. The average SNAP household size was 2.2 persons,but
varied considerably by household composition. Households with children were
larger, averaging3.3 members. Households with elderly participants were
smaller, averaging 1.3 members.(USDA Food and Nutrition Service)
A definition please:I keep seeing "We" need to do this and
"we" need to do that and "we" should be taking better care of
our citizens. Just who is "we"? Each of us individually or
the government?And therein is the crux of the problem.More government, less individual responsibility and just forget God. This
surely is the answer.
Someone took a picture of a grocery store receipt they found in the parking lot
that showed the purchased of 4 lobsters and 2 steaks - payment showed that it
was paid for with an EBT food stamp card. Went to get son's innoculation
at the county health department and saw morbidly obese mothers with skinny kids.
Plainly, when one out of seven families cannot afford food, we should quit
critcizing the poor and help them personally, through our churches, our
charities and yes our economic and governmental structure. There is nothing good
or acceptable in having the poor among us.
LDS are a majority in UT. I'm surprised there are any Utahns who use
foodstamps, because as we all know, charitable Christians will take care of the
poor which is why we don't need govt. assistance programs. I recall a
recent TV program highlighting a vast warehouse stocked with food...
Just get Obama re-elected, and we'll probably ALL be desperate for food.
Production comes from the "private sector," not confiscation and
redistribution by a socialistic system that provides no incentive for people to
think or work. No communist country has ever been able to feed itself, and
we're headed in the same direction. Bilking the taxpayer and future
generations in the name of "fairness" will never be the answer and never
solve the problem. I spent a quarter century working with all levels of
government, and I can promise you that any government program only intensifies
and complicates the problems, and makes them harder to address. Right now,
things like uncertainty regarding taxes, the pending threat of
"Obamacare," etc., have employers afraid to expand and afraid to hire.
This will never be compensated by stealing and redistributing even more money
and building astronomical amounts of debt for future generations. But we have a
lot of naive people who support ANYONE who promises them a something-for-nothing
Clearly it's their own fault, there can be no other explanation.I am amazed that in this Utah of all places people's self righteous
judgments and political ideology trump their charity, goodwill, and ability to
be non judgmental. Whether it's their own fault or not, weather they have
cable TV or not shouldn't matter.Sometimes I am ashamed to live
in this state. I'll now quietly wait for all the comments telling me that
if I don't like it here I should leave, that's usually how it goes
when someone here disagrees with the popular norm.
Esquire-This is NOT a political issue. It is an education and
cultural issue. You have let the current political divisiveness pushed by both
sides cloud your thinking.
Esquire -This is NOT a political issue, and neither party has helped
the situation. Billions poured into safety nets and welfare programs has NOt
solved the poverty problem (poverty rates are about the same as they were before
the new deal, including among seniors).We have three key problems:
1). A lack of relevant education. 2). Over consumption and a lack of savings
during working years, and 3). Cultural circumstances such as very young
marriages, and households with a larger than average number of children.
Addressing these issues will take everyone, and no party has a monopoly on all
of the needed answers.Don't let the highly divisive politics
pushed by both parties cloud your thinking on this. Blaming a single party or
ideology is naive and non-productive. Both sides have failed to address the key
problems. That's how we got here.
It seems that most of these commentators have never had to face real hunger. No
matter what the reason, and there could be many people who do go hungry.
Seniors, for instance, who are unable to work any more have no means of getting
more income. Some live solely on Social Security and must live in austerity to
make ends meet. Many don't even know what a cell phone is, and if they
have cable, it's because it's not expensive and there are no free TV
services available. Many still don't have cable and just make do. Same
goes for some young families who have children to support but both parents are
out of work and cannot get another job. There are truly hungry people out there,
and those who say that these people are faking it simply don't know what
they are taking about. Some have no concept of what it means to be poor and
hungry yet they judge the ones who are.
I don't know how to interpret these findings. On the one hand there are
lots of hungry people in Utah. On the other hand obesity rates have never been
higher. Where are these starving people with distended bellies and stick-thin
re:carman"poverty rates are about the same as they were before the new
deal, including among seniors."Sources?Absolutely not
true. The poverty rated dropped significantly between the late
1950's to the mid 1970's and then has been somewhat stable, except
between 1980 and 1993 childhood poverty rose significantly. In recent years
poverty rates have edged up for people over 18 yrs and under 65 yrs. The problems contributing to poverty:1. lack of education/training 2. decline in manufacturing (and union membership)3. decline in real
wages 4. more single-parent familiesre:SalCalorie dense
foods are not necessarily nutritious foods. People can be obese and poorly
Possible solutions:1. Cut all aid and watch the fittest survive.
This would mean some people would compete better for work and use resources more
wisely. Those who start succeeding become models of hard work and
responsibility. However, this doesn't change the fact that competition for
work will always leave some percentage out to dry. 5% unemployment is about as
good as it ever gets because capitalism can't sustain growth if every
able-bodied person is working. So, if we cut all aid, we should expect to see 1
in 5 Utahns (or more in this economy) actually starving to death because there
just isn't any more income to be had.2. Increase aid, and some people
who would otherwise become responsible and self-reliant may choose not to,
because they will have a guarantee of some comforts. But, it means that the
very worst off, with few skills or resources or with severe disabilities, avoid
starvation.3. Create a welfare system that rewards people for making
better financial choices, or provides basic financial counseling for people who
need it most. It means more government involvement, but it might fix certain
problematic behaviors.Any other ideas?
I keep seeing these posts about cell phones and cable tv. Cell phones are not
much more expensive than land lines, especially if you get the cheap models.
And cable tv is often included in rent costs. Renters = the relatively poor =
the ones using food stamps. Giving up cable wouldn't necessarily save them
any money. Oh, and if they were to sell the tv, they'd get maybe $50 for
it - enough to feed a family of four for 2 days, but it's not a sustainable
source of food security. So, yeah, complain about the TVs and phones, but
imagine how little return they'd get for parting with them. The real focus
really should be on job training and education.Working hard doesn't
always pay off. You can work hard bagging groceries 90 hours a week, and
you'll earn enough to support a family, but it robs you of time that you
could be using to become educated (expensive) and develop marketable skills. We
need to remember that some people really do need help, and it's not
necessarily immoral or impractical to help them.
Pawn your TV and get rid your cell phone. I think we can do better in the
solution department than this...
I missed a chapter somewhere. How do you tell which people are getting food
with food stamps? How do you know who is working, how much and at what rate.
What their medical expenses are, how old their battery is in their old car. The
LDS Church does give temporary assistance to some and I know that is true for
other groups. I would agree that there are abuses just as there are
by millionaires and they get advance word on stocks etc. We should work with
them and work towards helping them become self-sufficent BUT there are those who
who are trying, who both parents are working but the money just isn't
enough for all the bills. Should they camp on the Governor's lawn or on the
lawn of the executive of some big company. The truth is they can't make it
to either place.Many organizations, including the LDS Church, other
Churches and community groups accept donations to help others. Maybe we should
all cut our internet access and contribute that to help those less fortunate,
especially those who are trying, That would be one bif pile of money!
A lot of self righteous hypocrisy on here. I doubt many on here on have
experienced real poverty. Reminds me of of one of my favorite Book of Mormon
scriptures. Suffer not the beggar to put up his petition in vain. For all we
not all beggars. Perhaps thou shalt say the man has brought upon himself is own
misery , therefore I will stay my hand and not give unto him of my food nor
impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer for his punishments are
just. Mosiah Chapter 4. I suggest reading the entire chapter. The Book of
Mormon prophets did indeed see our day and the pride and materialism that would
that would define our society. I drive for UTA. Every day I encounter people
in desperate circumstances. Many are disabled or have mental, emotional
problems. Blaming poverty on cell phones and cable tv is ridiculous.
I see that no one except Mountanman addressed my challenge concerning the
elderly, the school-aged children, and the handicapped. And he says, "heal
yourself." Cjb says they need to "...get a job. Better yet a
high-paying one." These pitiful responses to real needs were
foreseen over 2,0000 years ago:"Perhaps thou shalt say: The man
has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not
give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not
suffer, for his punishments are just--"But I say unto you, O
man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he
repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest
in the kingdom of God." (The Book of Mormon, Mosiah, chapter 4, verses 19
I truly can not believe some of the comments left following this article, and
the stereotype that prevails here. I am mother, full time college student, and I
also work average of 30 hours a week. I struggle to make ends meet. I don't
not have the luxuarys that are defined in some of the comments left here. After
paying rent, power, water, sewer, gas which are needed to function my house
hold, plus the rising cost of a gallon of gas, I am lucky that I am left with
50.00 to 100.00 for 2 weeks of food for a family of four. Sometimes a 5.00 pizza
is what I can afford, not because I prefer to choose this over something
healthy, but because I cant buy much with 5.00 at the grocery store. Yes I
receive SNAP benefits which is 120.00 per month to subside what I cant afford. I
don't buy name brand items and I'm a faithful coupon collector. I live
on a strict budget. I do grow my own vegetables. Utah, I am the working Poor!
"Just go out and get a better paying job." Seriously?? Do you people
know how hard that can be for some people especially in this economy and with
the current high unemployment rate?Some of you would do well to
remember "There but for the grace of God go I."
Truthseeker:Sorry, meant to say that poverty rates have not changed
much since the Great Society push by LBJ. It was about 15% before and about 15%
now. One could argue that the 15% now would be lower but for the recession, but
then you would also have to take away the bubble years of the late 1990's
and 2005-2007. Net, net, most economists agree that the surge in welfare
dollars since the 1960's has done little to change long-term poverty rates.
The food-stamp meisters must be happy with this report.Schwa and those who
agree--you think the purchasing power was greater in the 70's? You and
yours obviously didn't live through the 70's under Carter's
sky-rocketing taxes, 18% home mortgages, gas inflation/rationing, and a teacher
living on a monthly take-home pay of $777. What purchasing power! People need
to be better educated, better informed, quit whining and start supporting