"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Feb 17, 2019

Not always Good being Right

Didn’t I tell you?  Last month the government gave out February’s SNAP benefits early because of the shutdown. We were warned to be frugal and make it stretch until March’s benefits.  I predicted I would, along with many others, not be able to resist the early bounty; and that shortly after the first of this month I’d be out of food and going hungry until March. In this I hate being right.

Well, they’re about to distribute March’s benefits early for that very reason.  People like me will be blamed by the President (and others) for being unable to properly manage (our) food stamps.  Try living on $75 a month for food and see how well you manage, Mr. President.  Trump’s officially obese, so he’s definitely blind to such troubles.

At the moment I’m finishing off the remnants of my cupboard: an unopened box of spaghetti (trying to be imaginative without sauce); single emergency serving of Spam; and I’m throwing bacon bits into everything.  Eggs are cheap, and before I tossed the shredded cheese in the garbage I reminded myself that that’s what Blue Cheese is, so I picked around the whitish fluff.  I’m stretching the last of the butter for all it’s worth, because I can almost buy a hot chicken for the price, and THAT I can stretch for at least 3 days.  The Dollar Store is my current market.

I’m doing this not only because I’m closing up and leaving the RV once the snow stops, but more importantly for financial reasons.  I’m sick, watching my meager savings go down because I’ve had to buy food with real money, but my car needed some maintenance.  Which do I choose?

I realize some people may think I’m exaggerating, but are you paying attention to similar comments voiced more and more in the news?  The thing that bugs me is: as well-meaning as progressive politicians and community figures think they are with their social crusades, they truly don’t understand the problems of the Poor.

Just as I can never claim to understand what it’s like to be Black. Or Hispanic.  Or a Man, for that matter. You see my point.

So SNAP benefits will be early again this month, but at least not the two weeks as in January; with the hope that next month we'll have learned to manage and it won’t be as bad. 

“Oregonians who normally receive food stamp benefits between the first and the ninth of each month will get their March allocation on March 1. Oregon SNAP benefits for February were issued Jan. 18 due to the shutdown. The early March issuance is designed to help people who have had a longer than usual gap between benefits, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services.”  (From Fox 12  Oregon.)

You know, I’d have been happy to wait for the original dates of our SNAP benefits.  I wrote at the time that I didn’t really understand why they issued Feb’s benefits early, but again, Beggars can’t be Choosers.

They could have taken all the money spent gathering facts, issuing statements, following-up on their mistake, re-issuing statements, etc., and divvied it up between SNAP recipients…and does anyone doubt the government WOULD STILL HAVE HAD MONEY LEFT OVER?

Pal Rita would bitch-slap me right now as I look outside the window at last night’s lovely, light snowfall, likely to be gone by noon.  How pretty.  Do the homeless on the streets think it’s so pretty?  Or the people without heat? I’m currently interviewing some of those people for a local non-profit, and their stories would put you to shame, as they have me.

SLAP, SLAP!  And I think I’ve got problems.

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