"Deadbeats and Leeches?"
Do you know what someone on SNAP (food stamps) looks like? I often hear the stereotype that SNAP recipients are deadbeats and leeches who sit on the couch all day, refusing to get a job.
But that is so far from reality. I know because I was on SNAP. Hard times happen, and sometimes people need a hand.
Food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP — are a lifeline for 1 out of 6 Americans. This week Congress is voting on the farm bill, which funds SNAP. The new bill could cut SNAP benefits for 800,000 families and kick 2 million people off of the program.
But thanks to your support and involvement, Bread for the World is fighting to make sure this doesn’t happen. Just a few days ago, I joined hundreds of compassionate Bread members like you who came to Washington, D.C., to talk with members of Congress.
You can help keep that momentum going by joining our summer effort to help hungry people. A few generous donors will match your gift to Bread with one of their own—up to $85,000!
I never imagined I would need to receive SNAP benefits. I’m a single mom who has always worked full time. But when the recession hit a few years ago, I was laid off.
Three weeks later, I began to receive unemployment. It was helpful, but didn’t replace what I was making. I started to apply for every job that I could. Eventually, I found myself applying at McDonald's—and was told that I was overqualified.
Feeling desperate, I realized that if I was going to take care of my son, I was going to have to ask for help. This was like admitting defeat. But I learned that the strongest people ask for help.
SNAP was there when I needed it, and we need to make sure it will be there for others. That’s why your gift today is so important. People should never have to face hard times or hunger alone.
Dawn Phipps is a nurse and Bread for the World advocate living in Boise, Idaho.
Photo: Dawn and her son. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Phipps)
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