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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:21 AM
Original message
I applied for food stamps yesterday..
I was kind of expecting the "third degree", instead the lady who took my application was very sympathetic, nice and helpful.

I got the max, $200 per month as a single person, should be getting my card by the end of the week.

If you need the help, don't be afraid to ask for it, my experience was very positive. I live outside Atlanta, when I mentioned that I was in construction the lady (who is probably about 30) said that her husband operates a concrete pump truck and has had to go to Lafayette Louisiana to find work.

She also mentioned that her department is overworked because they are unable to hire more claims processors and that a lot of the people who come in say they are uncomfortable with asking for help.



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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm gald this worked out for you. I just hope that money sees you through to the end of the month.
We Americans need to take care of each other.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I eat very simply..
I'm trying to lose weight and get back in fit shape anyway so I don't eat any processed foods, lots of stuff like whole wheat bagels, beans of various sorts, 12 grain bread, rice, lean meats like turkey, ham, chicken, tilapia, lots of nuts and veggies, raisins, bananas, apples, limes..

I'm probably spending about $35 to $45 a week so $200 a month will pretty much cover my basics and get me the occasional treat as well.



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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. That sounds like a good diet.
Kudos to you for taking the initiative to improve your health.

Best of luck to you.

If you want a great recipe for lentil soup, let me know. It's full of vegetables, virtually no fat, high in protein and delicious. It's also filling and super cheap. The recipe can also be easily modified to become a barley soup, which is excellent for weight loss because barley is a complex grain.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. I bought a "microwave pressure cooker" at the thrift store up the road the other day..
It isn't actually a pressure cooker per se but it does greatly accelerate cooking stuff like stews, beans and such. I made mashed potatoes in it the other day, twenty minutes from the time I put them in the microwave until they were ready to mash.

I also have a Rival automatic vegetable steamer and rice cooker that makes doing veggies and rice really easy, it steams fish well too.

Any recipes you care to share would be welcome, barley soup sounds interesting.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
33. Here's an easy rice recipe that goes a LONG way, is freezeable
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:42 PM by SoCalDem
and healthy for you :)

confetti rice

cooked rice
shredded carrots...the more you use, the yellower the rice
green onions (chopped)
peas & sliced water chestnuts (optional)
diced/cubed/shredded meat of your choice..or no meat at all if you want
(bacon/ham/cooked pork is what we usually use)

brown the meat, add the green onions and when they are browned, just stir in the cooked rice, add the shredded carrots, and cover to steam a bit.

My boys never liked rice that much, but they loved bacon, and I did not cook it much for them, for obvious reasons. By cutting a pound of bacon into 1/2 inch bits, and then stir-frying it, and using it with the above ingredients, I satisfied their bacon-cravings, made an easy one-pan meal, and had lots of leftovers...and I used a LOT of carrots & peas, so I sneaked in veggies ...in a big way..

It was also a great way to use up ham left overs .. I could slice off all the little bits of ham left on a ham-bone. (Husband's boss used to give us a Honey Baked ham every Christmas).
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. That sounds good..
I'll give it a try when my food stamps card comes and I can get the ingredients..

Thanks.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
32. sweetie, you paid for those stamps by working all your life. DOn't
feel badly. You earned them. Consider it a withdrawal on your deposits all this time. :)
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Exactly
I've paid taxes for 30+ years

Never had an unemployment check, never had a child and pay property tax..

If I ever need to I won't be embarrassed at all signing up for food stamps nor unemployment nor any of the other benefits I've paid for all my life.

Somehow I doubt I will need them though...

SSI and medicare yes, if they exist by the time I get old enough to use them.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. I don't feel bad, it was just a little difficult to walk in there at first..
Once I took the plunge, everything was fine, I'm definitely glad I did it, the food will be really nice.

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
45. Good for you and I'm glad
you were able to get food stamps(EBT card), no problem.
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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for sharing your story--best not to be uncomfortable with asking for help.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:29 AM by Louisiana1976
$200 in food stamps/month for a single person? You're lucky--I've been getting only $107/month for a single person and usually run out.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. I'm selling my blood plasma to make a few bucks..
I get $50 a week that way, but getting to and from the plasma donation center is costing me a little over $20 of that so I net $30 a week or so.

At the end of the year they are opening another center a lot closer to me so my net will increase somewhat.

There basically is no work for a near sixty year old here right now.
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madamesilverspurs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
42. Same here.
I usually run out about 10 days before the next batch.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. If I win the lottery I will remember you.
:hug:
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Thanks..
I appreciate the sentiment.
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peace13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:33 AM
Original message
Thank you for this.
I am glad that the woman was kind. I hope that things look up for you soon.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. My needs are pretty simple..
I figured out some time ago that the wanting is so often better than the having.

Thanks for your kind thoughts..
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Flirtus Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. there's other help out there, too
Food Stamp eligibility is often used by other agencies as a qualifier for their aid.
There's an agency in some places called First Call for Help administered by the United Way that could help you determine where you would qualify for other assistance. And the job posting programs are often worth investigating.

My brother is not far from you, he lost his job Friday, he's a EE with 30 years experience. Seems like the recession is not over in the Southeast.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. I don't think the recession is anywhere near over..
My brother was talking to me about "The Baltic Dry Index" last night, international shipping is way down and that is one of the prime indicators of economic activity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Dry_Index
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. Nope it isn't.
One of the down sides of so much bailout and stimulus is that it helps reduce the depth of recession, but the trade off is usually a longer one instead...

And there are a few bad news hurdles we'll be faced with soon, like the next mortgage interest rate resets etc.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. I wish people weren't uncomfortable asking for help
Everyone pays taxes, more so in good times. There's nothing wrong with getting something in return for that in bad times.
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm glad the lady was nice to you.

Maybe now with so many people out of work,
the Social Services clerks are realizing that
'YES'- they are there to help people.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. It probably helped a bit that I got there before they opened
And was the first one through the door, the lady I was dealing with was fresh and not tired.

I made sure to have all my paper work and filled out everything as clearly as I could.

She had "Get Fuzzy" clock on the wall, I recognized the character and commented and we had a rapport very quickly, that's one of my favorite cartoons.

She did mention that some of her clients are "difficult" sometimes and that it's often the people who have been on assistance for a considerable length of time.

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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
12. Thank you for taking good care of yourself.
Seriously.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Luckily I have family who is helping me out..
I'd be living on the street otherwise if my daughter and son in law weren't letting me stay with them.

But I try to carry my weight, I help out with those things I'm good at, for instance I babysat my three grandkids all summer, kids like me and it's quite a bit of fun actually.

I've also been doing some of the cooking lately, work on keeping the yard equipment running, stuff like that.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
14. Good, I hope they help you out
and I'm glad the clerk at the office understood where you were coming from. That's a big help.

People are uncomfortable asking for help because they've been judging themselves harshly for months and can't face a judgmental asshole of a bureaucrat when they finally steel themselves.

I've noticed a change in bureaucrats over the years. Most of them have gotten considerably more humane, even at the DMV.
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yost69 Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
16. I am glad they helped you out. I for one am
glad to hear that someone that needed help got it. Most times the dhhr around here won't give you anything unless you are to lazy to work. The ones that are working and can't make ends meet get nothing cause they make to much money. What a crock.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. that's good news
I'll never forget sitting in the waiting room of a family services agency one time waiting for information about medical transportation for low-income disabled, and hearing the manner in which the staff were talking to a woman who had come to apply for food stamps for her family. They were insulting and bigoted, and it infuriated me to the point where I had to leave to avoid making a fuss and getting thrown out.

The stats for food stamp applications are off the charts in my state. More than 30 percent higher than expected last quarter.

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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I think a lot of them are seeing problems in their own families..
And with people they know personally.

This economic downturn is hitting a great many people who thought they were more or less immune to economic hardship.

It's a lot harder to be judgmental when you are seeing the problems close to you and yours.
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mizz zen Donating Member (12 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
21. Do you need to provide any documentation that you are at a certain level?
I have found it near impossible to prove my lack of income (even though I am unemployed) because I live with my partner. But he gets paid in cash! So how would we go about doing this, if we were to try?
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I didn't provide any documentation at all..
At least not for my income..

Driver's license and SS card were all that I needed, I also had to tell them my bank and account number but they never asked to see my checkbook for verification even though I had it and offered to show it to them.

I suspect I wouldn't even have to have told them about the $50 a week I'm making selling blood plasma, although I did tell them.

Apparently they looked up my SS number in their computer system and it came back as no reported income for a while now.

You do have to document any bank accounts, IRA, home or any other serious investment you might have. You also have to document your expenses, rent, mortgage, insurance, medical bills, utilities and so forth. I got a letter from my daughter stating that I'm paying them rent for a room in their home and the amount (which I'm working off, not paying in cash although we didn't mention that) also I brought my cell phone statement since that is my only other bill right now.

You can look up the paperwork for application for your state online through teh google, here is the one for Georgia where I live.

http://dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/DHR-DFCS/DHR-DFCS_CommonFil... (Rev8-04).pdf



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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
22. I'm getting $16 a month, so I'm waiting to get enough for a week's worth of groceries.
I eat simply too because you can eat well and eat simply. No meat to speak of, lots of veggie stir fries, rice is a staple. I don't go hungry by any means.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Exactly..
I suspect it would improve the health of a lot of us to have to severely economize on food, I know I ate too much and a lot of the wrong things before my divorce and subsequent pauperism..



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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. I don't eat a spartan diet and neither do I feel deprived. I do treat myself to some goodies.
But my diet is simple and I do not eat a lot of processed foods. I also seldom eat out and avoid fast food for the most part. Can't say that I'm ever hungry.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
23. I'm glad you shared this. It has reminded me to suggest it to someone I know. Best of luck to you.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Thanks..
In some ways I feel better than I have in a while, simplifying my life and exercising (I ride a bike most everywhere I can now) and eating far more nutritiously than I was has really increased my energy level.

Another single guy who got food stamps suggested I try to get them, that's what gave me the motivation, definitely tell the person you know.

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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. I made a call to County Soc. Svcs. to get some info first, not wanting to send someone on a ,,,
... wild goose chase. I had so many questions the clerk (who mumbled a lot) finally connected me with someone who could answer them articulately. I got a lot of info re max income for family of 3, how to prove income for self-employed people, etc.

I don't know if my person will qualify, but I think she should try. Things are tough right now, to say the least.

Hekate

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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
26. Wonderful. Happy to hear somebody is actually benefiting from a social program..
...and pugs say it can't work.
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
29. Thank you - I'm forwarding
this to my daughter.
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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
30. Hope things get better for you Fume
Hoping some work comes your way!
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. I traded my sign making ability for some more workout gear today..
I got a really nice Nordic Track ski machine with a heart rate monitor, a big floor standing fan to keep me cool and a pair of huge US Divers flippers to replace the pair I tore up late this summer.. All for making a 5' wide by 2' high sign for the thrift store I got the stuff from. And they are buying the paper..

I've been advertising my photography on Craiglist and got a small job a couple of weeks ago, did group and individual photos of a class of of brand new PhDs at one of the local schools. They liked my services enough to tell me they would use me again.





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Lilyeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
36. I am happy that you were able to get help
Sadly, some people are unable to put their pride away and ask for it when needed. I hope that times get better for you and for many others in the same position.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
40. our application was the complete opposite
We had the third degree AND an argument. Seems we were over the amount of income by LESS than 10 dollars, so we were denied totally. And that ten dollars was bogus, because part of our income was a gas allowance that was a reimbursal.


Ask for help, yes, but don't expect Little Susie Sunshine from across the table. We also live north of Atlanta.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Sorry to hear of your difficulties..
I didn't really mean to imply that everyone will get the same treatment I did, just that it doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to be relentlessly scrutinized.

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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I know -- not meant to complain either
It's just really frustrating for my DH who has worked for decades to even ASK for help. And then get some snot-nosed public servant tell him he's eight bucks over the limit, so we can't get food stamps. He's been under-employed since 7/08, and it's been an eye-opening experience.

I'm very glad you were able to get help. Honestly -- good news for once.
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padumdang Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
41. A few years ago, I was getting food stamps too (long story) but the DHS people were very
kind and nonjudgmental. I was lucky to get back up from the temporary hole after about a year but I'll forever be grateful for the help when I really needed it.
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