Saturday, April 28, 2007
Oregon governor tries living on food stamps
Could you live on just $3.00 dollar a day for food? One dollar for breakfast, one dollar for lunch, one dollar for dinner. Well, the governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, tried to do so this past week. The goal was to raise awareness of hunger issues.

When the governor came into office four years ago, Oregon ranked last in the country for its hunger rate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In other words, more people in that state than anywhere else in the country were having a hard time putting food on the table. Things have improved there, but Democrats such as Kulongoski are concerned about possible cuts to the food stamp program.

Cameras followed the governor as he shopped for groceries. All he had was $21.00 to spend on food for an entire week. That's the average amount of money allotted to a food stamp recipient. He had to say "no" to organic bananas and Swiss cheese. Too expensive on a paltry budget.

If the governor's goal was to get publicity, he certainly succeeded. The story made the front page of both local newspapers and various TV outlets covered it.

-- By Dan Simon, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 11:48 AM ET
  32 Comments
Hello Dan,
Granted, $3.00 a day is not very much for food and of course those who are hungry should recieve more, however; in a country where over~weight and obese thrive, lets make sure these people are really needing the food.
I have been to many countries and I have never seen the obese problem as we have here in the U.S.
I can not tell you how many times I have been in line at the grocery behind an obese person who used food stamps to pay. Should people have to "weigh in" to recieve the food assistance? If there are children involved then they should recieve free school meals.
I believe in the health and benefit of the all the people therefore I believe that we should all learn to eat to live, not live to eat.
There needs to be more control over the food stamps. The ones who are truly starving should be the reciepients. There has to be a better way.
You are what you eat. Why can't people get that? America is eating itself to death.

". . a tape measurer may be the best diagnostic tool we have to predict you risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. That's because your waist size shows how much abdominal fat your body is carrying. Abdominat fat, it turns out, is a killer." Dr. Sanjay Gupta~
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches, Tx : 12:20 PM ET
Hi Dan, I often wondered if food stamp receipients actually received enough in food stamps to actuallly eat in a healthy manner. It appears that they do not although I guess each state may give out different amounts. I feed only myself, do not eat red meat, and rarely any other meat but I still spend about $100.00 a week for groceries. Once in awhile there is someone in front of me in line at the grocery store with food stamps and following your report, I will do what I have always wanted to do, pay for their groceries.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn MI : 6:34 PM ET
My hat is off to the Governor. How ironic that he couldn't afford swiss cheese on his new food budget. I'm sure those living on that small amount of food allowance feel like they are falling through those holes! I have to say, it would be a good idea if all the elected officials, Presidential hopefuls too, took on this one week challenge. It wouldn't hurt for me to try it as well. Take Care.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 7:50 PM ET
Perhaps all polititians should be required to purchase their food at food stamp limits for 1 month upon taking office. Now there's a reality check for anyone!
Posted By Anonymous Vivian Harbaugh, Olivehurst, CA : 3:03 AM ET
It's great the Governor enlightened us on how difficult it is to survive on $21 a week. HOWEVER, I've witnessed the opposing side of this. I can't tell you how many times I've been behind a Lone Star card holder (TX foodstamp card), and witness the individual set aside (from their food items) a case or two of beer, or a couple of bottles of wine, and/or a carton or two of cigarettes because they must pay for this with cash. I wonder, if they have money for these non-essentials, why is the State of Texas paying for their food? Oh, I must mention that I often see some card holders drive off in nicer cars than I have. My point here is I know there are good people down on their luck that legitimately need help buying food, but the amount provided should be just enough to buy the bare essentials, and there should never (except very rare instances) be life long card holders. After all, we should encourage people not to lean on the government for this assistance, but rather get out and work.
Posted By Anonymous Tommy G, Houston, Texas : 8:41 AM ET
It is good to see a politican touching a part of life that he does not live every day so that, hopefully, he will have empathy with others and plan his actions accordingly.
Posted By Anonymous j. martin winston-salem, nc : 10:45 AM ET
That does not sound like a lot of money, but let's not forget what food stamps should be used for. They are not meant to support a person or family, but to supliment them depending on their income.
Posted By Anonymous Steven Oceanside, Ca : 12:00 PM ET
It's wonderful to see the Gov. taking an interest and trying to get an idea of what so many people experience every day. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone involved in passing legislation tried it for a week? It might shock some of them to realise that a large bag of potato chips is cheaper that a bunch of bananas.
Posted By Anonymous Trish S. Saskatoon, Can. : 12:03 PM ET
I think more of our politicians need to put themselves in someone else's shoes. If they did they might actually start working for the people they represent. Too often our political leaders are sitting in an office somewhere making decisions about people they know nothing about. If you are going to be a true representative and leader you need to know the people you are trying to "help." You have to meet the people where they are, and in order to do that you kind of have to know where exactly they are.
Posted By Anonymous Lindsay, Baton Rouge, Louisiana : 1:50 PM ET
The commenter who described obsese people buying food with food stamps and suggesting a "weigh-in" for federal assistance is way off the mark. In order to live a fit, healthy lifestyle access to nutritious, whole foods is necessary. These foods include fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains--foods that are expensive in most locations and difficult to find in less-privileged areas. The type of food that limited budgets and federal assistance allows access to is mostly empty calories, non-nutritious foods that contribute to poor health and, yes, obesity. Consider the nutrition value in a box of kraft mac 'n' cheese (cheap!) versus a box of whole wheat spaghetti and fresh tomatoes (not cheap!).

Obesity should not be used as a gauge of wealth.
Posted By Anonymous kate, washington, dc : 1:51 PM ET
Why does it take so long for somebody to finally reallize, that there are a lot of hungry people in America.

Why so long..........
Posted By Anonymous Angel P. Chula Vista : 2:03 PM ET
I applaud the gov for bringing attention to an important issue.

One problem is that, often, junk food costs less and is easier to prepare than good-for-you food. Perhaps there could be a proportion of food stamps set aside for only purchase of fruit/vegetables, etc. And it would be great if the public assistance offices could partner with retailers and offer special coupons for healthy foods (the cost for which would be underwritten by the stores and would not cut into the food stamps). Maybe large national retailers, local grocery chains, and local health food stores would be willing to contribute, and clients on public assistance could pick up a special gift card for a store near them when they stop into the public assistance office.

Also, a HUGE bureaucratic problem is how hard it is to communicate with the welfare office. Despite the talk about having them call people like me back (I have to send in attendance verification sheets for some of our students so they can get transportation and other monies), it rarely happens. And when I send in a fax for attendance or whatever, it has to go to the supervisor's supervisor, then the supervisor, and then the worker in order to be processed. So, rather than having a system where faxes are delivered directly, they often get lost (with people's social security numbers on them!!!) and students have to wait even longer to get their welfare monies after I re-fax and re-fax again.

Hunger is a problem I see with our low-income adult students, especially near the end of the month and the start of the next. I try to keep some granola bars, cereal/fruit bars, nut mixes, and sometimes fresh fruit in my office, and my students know they can come and ask me for something to eat. (I usually buy these items at bulk/big-box stores, Trader Joe's, and the produce stand in Reading Terminal Market in Philly so they are not expensive.)

Many times, I will have students in my office talking to me about another issue and I will ask if they have eaten, and the answer will be "no," so I will give them something. I also have gotten pretty good at realizing who hasn't eaten when I pass students int the hall (it is sort of a sunken look, and a slight sheen to the forehead), so I will pull them into my office for a second and hand them something. Some students are comfortable enough to just come to me if they are hungry, but there are others I still have to gather (but, so far, I have no complaints). For any of you working with similar populations: the trick is to not approach them in front of others, and to be very casual about it (as in, "Hey, would you like a granola bar?" or "Did you get breakfast yet?").

A bit tangential (who, me?), but one issue I am REALLY worried about with low-income folks is emergency preparedness. I am working on writing some "tips" about ways low-income families can prepare. One thing is simply to let people know what resources are out there. Yesterday, I went out with the Red Cross and a local fire department and we handed out literature and smoke alarms in a low-income neighborhood where there had recently been a death caused in part by lack of a working smoke detector. A lot of people had no idea there was a smoke detector hotline in Philly (215-686-1176) they could call to get a free smoke detector. I think many fire departments in other areas have similar offers.

I create flyers for my students that provide resources on topics they come to me about (recent example: affording health/dental/mental health care) where I provide self-advocacy tips and then point them to resources. I have received great feedback on these sheets from students and think the reason they are helpful is because they provide both skills for handling an issue (e.g., what do you do if they say you can't schedule a doctor's appointment for three months?) and resources. This formula is very replicable for those of you working in social services.

Bottom line: there are so many resources that are not being tapped and, for those of us who work with low-income populations, it is about helping them help themselves.

But it absolutely helps when a politician like Oregon's governor comes along and brings awareness to such problems. Further cuts in welfare that will hurt so many? Like I have said about so many penny-wise, pound-foolish cutbacks: Your tax CUTS at work!
Posted By Anonymous Norah, West Chester, PA : 2:03 PM ET
In a world where we are so focused on international issues (war in iraq) or celebrity issues (brit/baldwin), it is so refreshing to see someone bringing the issues of the everyday people back into the media spotlight. Like it or not, many americans are suffering... whether through poverty or disease. We aren't taking care of our own. People rushed to donate cash to the tsunami/katrina survivors because for many, it felt great to give to those causes.. to help those people rebuild their lives. Please don't think I'm trying to diminish those donations, but I believe there are many in our own communities who are suffering and who receive nothing (or close to nothing). Donating to one of those charities is much easier than searching in our own hometown for people who need help. Good for you governor, good for you.
Posted By Anonymous Melinda W, Valdosta GA : 2:40 PM ET
Hi,

I saw the piece and thought it was very well done. However, having years of experience with the Food Stamp Program on the program administrative side, I would like to "weigh in" as it were. First off, yes, obese people are on food stamps. Many times the foods recipients can afford are the fattest cuts of meats, empty carbs, etc. Fresh fruits and vegetables may be beyond their means. Obesity can be a sign of poor nutrition as much as overindulgence. Many states have programs to improve recipients' health and nutrition and to teach them how to better budget their food stamps and make their dollars stretch. The Food Stamp Program was one program that worked as it should during the Katrina debacle. Just because we have all been behind someone in line at the grocery store making what we consider to be poor food choices using food stamps, is no reason to paint all recipients with the same broad brush.

I think Oregon's governor is to be commended for his actions to bring attention to the problem of food insecurity in this country. We don't need to have a steak on every grill, but it would be nice for everyone to be able to afford apples and bananas.
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 6:46 PM ET
Its great that finally someone is trying to see it from the other side of the table. My hats is off to him. It needs to be brought to the attention of everyone. And to the others who left comments, should there be welfare reform? Yes. Is there some cheating among recipients? Yes. Do some buy beer and cigarettes with their cash? Yes. Do some drive nicer cars than I do? Yes. But there are so many who struggle and need this measly amount of help to survive, so thanks to someone for finally bringing it to the attention of the masses. Now, lets see someone try to survive on minimum wage, with a family to support?!?!

And a PS to Betty Ann... Obese people should't get food stamps because they are fat? They aren't camels, you can't just live off the reserves. And I am not sure if you know this or not, but the cheap food, the stuff these people are buying with their $21, is usually the least healthy food in the store. Fruits, veggies, lean meats, are all far too expensive on this budget.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea, Phoenix, AZ : 11:35 PM ET
Yes, I want to see ALL of our politicians and wannbes take this challenge! As for seeing obese people in line at the grocery store, let me tell you, as someone who has been on food stamps, raising 4 kids as a single parent, just how it is. You don't get enough food stamps to eat healthy- period. So you go with mac & chesse, lots of cheap grade hamburger because you need to make your food stretch farther. And that's fattening food! But if you want to feed all your kids, that's what you do. My kids can attest to the fact we had no sweets or "treats" in our house, food stamps had to go for meal stretching foods- add oatmeal to hamburger, it goes farther. Leftovers didn't exist. Fresh fruit? Forget it, too costly. Yes, let's see how the people who set the rules can live by the same rules!
Posted By Anonymous Connie Lydon, St. Paul, MN : 9:25 AM ET
I am college educated, with a degree in engineering, and was out of work for 15 months (laid off 14 days before my pension vested when our division closed).
I had poor cash flow- because I had been throwing too much money toward student loans and car payments before the layoff (and couldn't believe that I'd need THAT big of a nest egg/savings in case of emergency- the recommended 3 months worth goes pretty fast, and doesn't do you much good for months 6-15 -even when you make 3 months cushion stretch for 5 months).
Don't preach to me about 'folks on f. stamps not wanting to work'- the market was saturated with highly educated tech types, and I couldn't get work in my field, and was too far away to move back in with relatives, etc.
I DID apply for everything short of ditchdigging (and didn't only because it wasn't advertised). I couldn't even get work at McDonalds- everyone said 'You're overqualified, and you'll quit when you find a better job.' (Well, no kidding-who wouldn't?- for ANY job! Even interviewers admitted that THEY themselves would quit their current job for a better one if it came along!)
Yes, I finally did apply for food stamps, but I was d*mned hungry by the time I did.
I received $30/month - and I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches to make it stretch. Yes, there are abuses, which rile me as much as anyone. I can attest, however, that quality food is EXPENSIVE and you don't get much of it- you can just about forget about protein. (Do NOT preach to me about beans and peanut butter!- you have to eat about 9 cups of beans a day to satify your protein requirements - YOU can't do it either!)
The obesity likely comes about simply because cheaper food (simple carbs) are filling and come in volume, with virtually no nutritional value.
Believe me, if you are hungry, you will eventually want to have SOMETHING on your stomach, even when you know better.....but most folks who are judging have never been to that EXTREME a point to understand that.
I can also attest to the fact that you get bloated and your mind doesn't work as well when you don't eat quality food, which is likely due to the severe lack of protein.
So: let's cut the sanctimony about poor dumb fat people on food stamps, please.
Simply put: many who judge could not meet their own pontifical standards should they be put in the position of those whom they judge. Put up or shut up on this one - and find some compassion, empathy, and largesse, please!
The Golden Rule goes a long way in this situation, along with 'Judge not lest ye be judged'.
Posted By Anonymous J. Foster, IL : 9:57 AM ET
Betty Ann, yours is a very uneducated response to the article. Do you not understand that it is IMPOSSIBLE to eat healthful and low calorie food on such a tight budget? You can't afford low fat items or fresh fruit on $21.00 per week. All you can afford are high-carb, low nutrition items like pasta, high fat cheese, high fat beef, etc.

The problem isn't that food stamp receipents are over weight, the problem is that food stamp receipents are too poor to eat properly. And that is our problem, not theirs...
Posted By Anonymous Linda Robinson, Warrenville, IL : 10:00 AM ET
To Betty Ann of Nacogdoches:

Maybe the reason there are so many obese people in the United States is because all the cheapest food is full of fat and sugar. What can you buy for a dollar? A McDonald's cheeseburger.
Posted By Anonymous Scott, New York, NY : 10:58 AM ET
I think that all governors and politicians should try this for at least a week, if not a whole month, just to see if they could survive on what we do. I only have an income of $601, (disability), and can only get $77 in food stamps, they only let you count rent and utilities for expenses but not car and insurance payments.
I would love to see them live on what they think we should survive on and stick to it for the whole week or month, and be monitered to make sure that they do not cheat and use their bank accounts or credit cards to get the little extras that they are used to having.
Posted By Anonymous John Gunter, Virginia Beach, VA : 12:02 PM ET
As a single mother of three, we had to go on food stamps for a while, and although the responses I've read here are appropriately sympathetic, I found that my peers on assistance took too many things for granted. Sure, I'd get treated like a useless piece of crap by most store clerks, but I felt it was the price I had to pay to feed my children and I sucked it up. (nothing's free)

The truth is, there are many government programs which provide food to the needy, including "commodity foods," and "WIC" for infants and their mothers.

I didn't know anyone else like myself who appreciated the fact that my children wouldn't starve to death like they would have in many other countries. I had friends who would try to get as much charity as possible, regardless of their needs and I knew of many people who would sell their foods stamps at a discount to buy beer and drugs, then complain when their kids had no food.

The bottom line is, eating on food stamps is not supposed to be easy--it's supposed to keep you from starving. Oh,what those kids in Darfur would do with $3 a day for food!! (Judy from MI--Bless your heart)
Posted By Anonymous chris hooksett, nh : 1:11 PM ET
To those who think you can not eat healthy food on $3.00 a day. It is all about choices. I eat healthy and spend about that much. Fast food? why not opt for a salad. yogurt parfait, or other healthy items on the menu. Beans and rice are nice and CHEAP! Put a salad with it. Great! Have any of you read Dr. Sanjay Gupta's book? It is very enlightening! I encourage you all to make better food choices. It really can be done well on a budget. Just food for thought Thanks!
I wish you all good health~
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 4:07 PM ET
I was so angry by the time I read some of these responses I could hardly keep my composure. While there are people in our country who do need a little extra help because things can get tough at times, there are more than a fair share of those who abuse Government Assistance programs and use the mindset that "if you can't take care of yourself and your children, the Government will". We Americans take way too much for granted. It is typical that the people who most need help, don't get it.

I like the way Chris H from NH said it so I will quote he/she directly!

The bottom line is, eating on food stamps is not supposed to be easy--it's supposed to keep you from starving. Oh,what those kids in Darfur would do with $3 a day for food!!
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Nashville TN : 4:28 PM ET
This is in response to Chris Hooksett of NH.

You should feel no shame in doing all you can to provide for your children. Hold your head high for doing what all mothers should do.

I am so sorry that store clerks made you feel like you were nothing.

Many years ago, I was a cashier in a supermarket. I have seen numerous customers come through my line with food stamps buying the best of the best - the most expensive vegetables and fruits, the choicest cuts of meat, etc. but one evening, about an hour before the store closed, a young mom came through my line, with 2 children in tow, buying all generic products. After I rang up her groceries, she said she didn't have enough money so she started putting items back. As I was voiding her return items, I noticed her clutching food stamps in her hand, trying hard not to cry and refusing to look at me. I immediately started ringing up the same items that she had put back, took the amount of food stamps she had, bagged her groceries and told her to have a good night (I later put in about $4 of my own cash in the register to make up the difference).

From then on, she would only come through my line and would give me a shy greeting and the best smile. A few months after that encounter, she came through my line again and this time, paid cash - because, she told me, she got a job as a cleaner at a hotel. That was more than 10 years ago but I never forgot her. Her name was Clara and her two children, Lizzie and Katie.

I am impressed that a politician would test this himself. Let's hope more will follow in his footsteps.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Chan, Boston MA : 5:01 PM ET
(I'm resubmitting this comment since I think my city and state weren't included in the Name line below. Sorry!)

In response to what Betty Ann from Nacogdoches, Tx says about obese people having to 'weigh in' in order to get food stamps, I say this: Shame on you!

Your narrow-minded and discriminatory observations don't seem to take into account what that person may be going through in their current lives, if they have any physical ailments that might contribute to their current weight, or what kind of life they have been brought up in, necessitating their need to rely on federal aid to survive. Your "let's judge a book by its cover" attitude is just the kind of mindset that contributes to the overall stigma of even applying for and using food stamps.

Did you take into account why this person might be using food stamps? Perhaps he/she had been laid off from a very financially profitable job and was forced to apply for food stamps in order to survive. How do you know that this person wasn't starving? Just because a person is overweight doesn't mean that they don't get hungry just like you.

I would hate to be someone you know who has found themselves in financial need and turns to you for help. God forbid they be overweight or they might simply starve to death because in your mind, they can't possibly be hungry if they are fat.

Betty Ann, please think twice in the future before you summarily dismiss people who in your mind don't deserve federal aid simply because of an arbitrary number on a scale.
Posted By Anonymous Carolyn, Washington, DC : 5:14 PM ET
Hey Doubters:
I would love to take the $21 per week challenge to eat healthy.
Bring it on!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 7:57 PM ET
I'm not so sure I can even feed my dog for three dollars a day. Kudos to the Governor for trying.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 9:00 PM ET
Norah from PA,
I’m impressed by how you are able to feed students yet still allow them to retain dignity. I’m also interested in hearing more about the flyers you provide to families. There are many programs out there that are unknown and not taken advantage of.

Donna Beegle is a speaker I heard recently. She was raised in generational poverty. She left school at age 15 and continued to live in poverty for ten more years. Then she got her GED and was able to complete her PhD. I highly recommend checking out her website (www.combarriers.com) and hearing her speak if you get the chance. She will likely change your view on the world.

Kudos to the governor for attempting to walk in another’s shoes. Why is it acceptable (and expected) to take advantage of federal money once you retire (social security) but embarrassing to have to do so before then?

Compare the salary raises given to Congress in the last ten years to the raises in minimum wage in the last ten years. Miserable. Most Americans just want to have a job that will support them and their families.

As Donna Beegle says, the president lives in the largest public housing building there is.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Bend, Oregon : 6:41 AM ET
Has anyone else been in line at a grocery store and seen someone use food stamps to buy groceries then whip out cash to pay for beer and cigarettes?
No one is starving in this country.
Posted By Anonymous Mark: Shreveport, LA : 12:12 PM ET
To Lisa in Oregon:

Hi. There are several main things I do in terms of resources: I have a resource wall in the student lounge (and also extra copies of flyers when possible on the window ledge in there); I talk to all incoming students about some of the common problems other students have had and resources for those issues as well as how they should feel comfortable reaching out for help because our school aims to be a very supportive environment; I have a whole stash of resources in my office and I am pretty good at finding stuff via computer searches and calling around if a student comes in with a question; we have some outside speakers talk to students (recently on domestic violence); I am posting one-topic "resource of the week" flyers that are like "man with a van" in that they have tear-off strips with info (topics range from serious, like dealing with a landlord who acts like a slumlord, to fun, like the day the art museum is "pay what you wish"); and I have the flyers (sometimes several pages long) I mentioned in the previous post, which I go around and announce in all the classes and then leave copies in several spots around the school.

I try to address some of the problems many students have in getting proper services: one problem I find is that, if there is any hurdle, however small, people might just give up and so I try to give ideas about what to do if they encounter hurdles. (I also tend to sit students down in my office and have them make calls with me, as I can help them think of alternate routes and how to be persistent enough to get someone on the phone who can help.) I am pasting below the intro to the "affording health care" flyer to give you a sense:

So many of us put off taking care of our health for many reasons, including time constraints and the cost of healthcare. Here are resources on free/low-cost screenings and treatments; low-cost health insurance; and applying for medical benefits through the government. There are also resources for more information on a specific health topic for adults and children.

A few tips:
• Please note that, in many cases, you may have to meet certain eligibility requirements (such as income) in order to qualify for services at a center offering free or low-cost services. Find out what those requirements are and what paperwork you would need to bring with you to prove that you qualify for services.
• Ask about fees (and whether services are free) when you call to make an appointment. Write down any fees and the name of the person who gave you the information.
• Some places have what is known as a “sliding scale” fee, which is when the cost is based on income or ability to pay. Again, ask about what paperwork would be needed and see if you qualify.
• You may also have to wait for services at a certain center, so it may make sense to call around to different locations offering treatment in order to find an appointment as soon as possible. Also ask if you can be put on a waiting list if someone cancels an appointment; you can even call once a week to see if anyone has cancelled.
• If a center does not have the services you need or has a long wait, ask if they have any suggestions about where you might get help.
• Get regular checkups and dental exams, so that you can catch any potential problems early.
• Keep a folder of your (and, if you are a parent, your child’s) medical forms and prescriptions. You may also want to copy this information and leave it with a trusted family member or friend should something happen to your copy. Make sure to add to these folders as you get new information.
Posted By Anonymous Norah, West Chester, PA : 4:50 PM ET
I don't know where they are getting their numbers but I know my two sisters got food stamps and they were living large! They could have been living at home with their every need provided for but the government encouraged them to move out with "hey you'll get free healthcare and $200 a month in foodstamps- and don't worry about working we'll take care of you!" $50 for one person per week, is that really necessary! My husband and I CHOOSE to live on $25 a week because we are self sufficient and wont stoop to government handouts, we are trying to get ahead by saving our own hard earned money. If people make good choices and live within their means they can survive. And don't give me crap about not being able to afford healthy food. Apples, potatoes, lots of veggies, bulk grains and beans are all VERY cheap and I lived on them alot as a child(and no, I don't have any poor nutrition or obesity problems as a result of eating cheap food). You don't need a bunch of fancy food, organic bananas, cheese and meat to be healthy and not be obese. Let me tell you during the Depression you didn't see any obese people, so don't be preaching that poor nutrition causes obesity because thats BS. Did you know you can buy soda pop and candy with food stamps - yeah, go figure. If you must survive eating cheap mac & cheese then eat smaller portions and let me tell you - you will not get fat! People need to stop relying on the government for their every need. That makes us a weak lazy nation of helpless sheep. The program of food stamps may have been created to help legitimate people in need, but it is now nothing more that corruption and Liberal propaganda. People need to have some dignity and work ethic and not run to the government everytime they aren't able to keep up with the Jones'es. Because thats really what it's about now, trying to make everyone's lifestyle equal. I say if you aren't willing to work for a better standard of living then you shouldn't just get it handed to you!
Posted By Anonymous ReeRee, of Oregon : 7:17 PM ET
so you aren't going to post my comment huh? just because I disagree and my opinion isn't politically correct. way to stifle free speech. nice going you Left wing liberal media!
Posted By Anonymous ReeRee, of Oregon : 7:33 PM ET
ABOUT THE BLOG
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.



ARCHIVES
• 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006
• 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006
• 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006
• 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006
• 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
• 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006
• 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006
• 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006
• 03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006
• 04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006
• 04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006
• 04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006
• 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006
• 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
• 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
• 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
• 05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
• 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
• 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
• 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
• 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
• 06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
• 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
• 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
• 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
• 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
• 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
• 11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007
• 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007
• 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
• 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007
• 12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008

SUBSCRIBE
    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.