After receiving notice that my foodstamps (SNAP benefits) have gone from $234/month to $42/month, I’ve had on my mind what this means for other people. If I had received this notice when things were at their worst, it could have had serious consequences. I was barely holding it together at that point (summer of 2011). Setting aside my beautiful daughters, the benefits I began receiving were one of the only bright spots in my life back then. I clung to what felt like a gift as it gave me the sense things could get better.
It happens that my life is much more stable and my income is beginning—only beginning—to come close to providing what I need to make ends meet. In fact, I had in my mind that in the next six months, I would be able to terminate my participation in SNAP. (The ACA health insurance options played a role in that plan, too.)
It’s not time for me, yet, to be done with SNAP. $42/month does very little relatively speaking. But, because I am no longer in a true crisis, I believe I will make it through. The stress and worry of it (I still have MaineCare) aren’t overwhelming.
The people out there who are living in crisis-mode, with constant scarcity, are surely being crushed by these reductions. It’s devastating that our political priorities put corporate (military) spending and Wall Street bailouts above these important human assistance programs.
I am very lucky. But, if this reduction had happened at a darker time in my life, it could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. I suspect some people won’t survive the near-elimination of SNAP.