SNAP news : the new USDA requirements for SNAP are not going over well

 

Did polygamous sect have a right to share food stamps? – You know I rarely even touch food stamp fraud news because there’s such a small rate of abuse of the program but this here… “FLDS members will argue religious right to hand over food stamps in fraud case“.
An FLDS sect (Jeffs family) is trying to argue that they have a religious right to have access to their members’ benefits. The FLDS-owned stores in that community have been using members’ EBT cards to claim purchases that the members didn’t actually get to keep and when they do have needs, they need to petition for items from the community storehouse. There is so much abuse in this particular FLDS sect that my 1st thought is that they could very easily be using food access to harm & control members (mostly women and their children). And hell,no… they don’t have a religious right to government benefits issued to members. That’s bullshit.


Hundreds Of Thousands Have Lost Food Stamps In Florida – more cuts due to the new requirements that limit to people w/out dependents. The burden now falls on churches and food pantries to feed people


Food Retailers Push Back Against SNAP Stocking Rule – we knew this would happen


REP. FRANK LUCAS: USDA proposal threatens rural America’s access to assistance – this man gets it and this really touches on how the USDA requirements may impact poor rural people even more than urban folks.

Families who currently rely on these assistance programs would be forced to travel even further for affordable and sustainable groceries or lose access to them altogether.

In fact, many of these stores have even indicated that a vast majority of customers using food stamps at their locations are residents of the community, not just those passing through.

The bottom line is that SNAP must remain accountable and accessible for all Americans – not just those in heavily populated parts of the country. I have joined several of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in a letter to the USDA requesting that they stick to what the 2014 Farm Bill laid out.

As I’ve said on numerous occasions, the Farm Bill is not written for the good times but for when times aren’t so good. This applies to both the production and the nutrition side of things.


.Paul Ryan, GOP Eye $23B In Food Stamp Cuts In 2017 Budget – Paul Ryan can go to hell.


Here are 6 important things Republicans want you to forget about food stamps – all good reminders


Arkansans React to New SNAP Ruling – again, reinstated work requirements have Arkansans  left without SNAP. And again, there’s quote from a supporter who thinks this will actually encourage and motivate people to get jobs, even if there are no jobs to be had or if it’s a low wage job.


How A Plan To Make Food Stamp Recipients Healthier Could Backfire – exactly.


LA farmers markets start signing up to accept food stamps – apparently not all LA farmers’ markets were SNAP eligible before.(I hope this sinks in w/ the people who claim that SNAP people need to buy nutritious food at their local farmers’ market.They don’t get that not everyone has a local market).  Now more are and also doubling dollars


Data Reveals Millions Of Eligible Seniors Are Not Receiving Critical Federal Benefits
Ending the Senior Snap Gap
It’s shameful.

 

thanks

Thank you to everyone who donated money this month, either through paypal or as a Patreon supporter. Your contribution has helped alleviate a lot of stress here. The Patreon funds will help get a new print zine out early in June (fingers crossed).

A part of the monetary donations were spent on new shoes for my little guy. He told me one morning he wanted “pink shoes with unicorns on them”. One of his sisters also said that one day he told her he wanted shoes like hers but pink. They’re Converse high tops. I struck out finding pink converse with unicorns but he was just as happy with the shoes.

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Best shoes ever. I realize this is a weird picture but I took it during lunch on his field trip I chaperoned yesterday and it was about the only time his feet weren’t moving

I also scored that t-shirt he’s wearing at a thrift store for 99¢ last week. I was able to get a few other good scores for the kids’ summer wardrobes,too. Even little  expenditures like that wouldn’t have been possible w/out the support.

I also want to individually thank Cheryl for helping make my little one’s birthday an even more special day…and also including my other son in your generosity. Thank you so much!

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saying “goodbye” to his dog before getting on the bus with hsi new backpack. Thanks, Cheryl!

 

 

Thanks to Laraine for the care package with little essential goodies much needed in a household with 4 women.

Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement and support lately. It’s helping me to get through this more than you might imagine.

Bread Facing

I love watching people’s reaction when I point them in the direction of Bread Face.
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In case you haven’t seen this, there’s a young women who has an instagram account of nothing but her smashing her face into bread products. Perfectly good bread products.

 

Some of the bread looks sooooooooo good.
I can’t look away.

I have so many questions. Like does she still eat it after she smooshes it? I think a lot of people would feel better just knowing she does. This hits a very touchy nerve with a lot of food insecure people (or previously food insecure people) ,even if it’s easy to recognize that this isn’t grand scale epic food waste because the act of destroying food here is so in your face. Back in December I read that she had spent $200 just for bread .

I wonder how many donations she gets? I bet it’s a good number. If only I had known that’s what people wanted to see on the Internet, I would have happily shoved my face in some Pepperidge Farm . Dumpster dived bread,of course.

Bizarre times, my friends.

how i’m measuring garden successes

While weighing my rhubarb haul the other day, I started to think earnestly about what the best way is to measure success in the garden. I was weighing the rhubarb mainly out of curiosity. At the grocery stores here,  fresh rhubarb is currently around  $4/lb. I was just wondering what the dollar value of my rhubarb would be.( $80 so far, in case you were wondering,too)

Weighing what comes out of the garden seems to be the most used method for measuring food production success. We see it all the time on homesteading blogs and articles. “This family grew 2,000 lbs of food in their backyard!”. Totally an actual headline. But here’s what I’m thinking…is that really as impressive as it sounds? I mean, does that weight have pumpkins and tomatoes happening in it or is it a lot of  romaine lettuce and snap peas?

My rhubarb is valuable dollar wise and rhubarb is awesome to have. I have lots of plans for it but my family isn’t going to subsist on rhubarb alone. Spinach,though…. that’s something we eat a lot of. Spinach leaves are light. 8 oz costs around $3 here. It’s more expensive than rhubarb and more practically valuable for us but it’s never going to add a whole lot to any weight total. If I manage to grow even 5 lbs of spinach, that’s worth a confetti and streamers celebration to me.

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Potatoes. We eat a lot of them,too. I decided not to grow a large amount of potatoes this year though because I can buy them pretty inexpensively from my favorite local produce vendor. Less than $10 for a 20 lb bag. If I was measuring my success by pounds, I could use the weight of potatoes on my side.

Weighing the garden harvest for just the sheer weight total feels disingenuous to me. The entire reason I am personally growing food is to alleviate the financial costs of feeding my family. It makes more sense for me to put dollar amounts on this. That’s weird for me because I hate equating dollars with value & success but here it will make sense.

I think stating the weight of garden wealth is also somewhat of a slap in the face to those who are growing with obstacles. Like very limited land or just balcony or patio space. Growing 12 oz of herbs might be a huge success, even if it’s not hefty. For that matter, everything we manage to grow can be a very huge deal.

 

 

oh,SNAP

I applied for SNAP again today. The twins are back home for the summer and job hunting. When we lost SNAP it was because we were making $75 over the limit and they weren’t counting the twins because they were away at college. I thought it was worth applying again, even though once they do get jobs their income will count (even though it’s not like they’re going to give me their entire paycheck, yanno? )

Losing SNAP has been the thing that’s been hurting us the most over the last few months. If we could get that again it would make a big difference.

On Tuesday my husband got hurt at work. Sounds like he may have to be out of work for a bit and possibly surgery with a longer stretch out of work while recovering. I’m bracing myself for whatever happens with that,too.

But the good news: New washer will be here either tomorrow or Monday.  I am never going to get on board with this whole fascination some people have with “the good old days” and wanting to live like Ma Ingalls on the prairie. I really love machines that do the washing of clothes for me.

I do like the sun to dry clothes for me though. I have to add that to my to-do list this weekend: put up clothesline.

SO happy the sun has come back to us. It was a ridiculous winter.

rhubarb bonanza

I probably mentioned this already but the town historian tells us that years ago before the property we’re living at became neglected, this house had the best vegetable garden around for miles. She pointed out to this overgrown field near the pond as the former site. It’s so hard to believe looking at it now. When we moved in it was nothing but goldenrod and stupid scrubby bushes & prickers. Now that it’s spring and the field is renewing I’m finding few signs of what it formerly was.I’ll find a clump of daffodils or lillies coming up among dried stalks left behind by the goldenrod.

Monday I stumbled upon a beautiful row of rhubarb. A perfect row, a long ago gardener as it’s architect.

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I started harvesting what was ready. I filled a clothes basket full.

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Now I’m at the full on chopping stage, freezing and preserving most of it but looking forward to strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert tonight and apple-rhubarb muffins for the boys’ school snacks. My grandmother used to make rhubarb syrup that I loved. I’ll can some of that.
There’s plenty to share,too.

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My multi-tasking media today:
::watching:: The Family. I started watching a few days ago, then found out yesterday it’s been cancelled but I’m in too deep now. Damn, Andrew McCarthy is great-creepy in this.
::podcast:: Season 2 of Serial. The general reaction from most people has been “meh. It’s not as good as season 1” but I’m into it so far.
::music:: Painted Shut, Hop Along

 

 

Debunking Marginalization & Meritocracy Myths w/ @MistressMatisse & @traceylross — #KatieSpeakShow Ep36 05/14/2016

Debunking Marginalization & Meritocracy Myths w/ @MistressMatisse & @traceylross — #KatieSpeakShow Ep36 05/14/2016

In brief: I’m a big fan of debunking myths and amplifying conversations that make all the right people uncomfortable. This episode features Mistress Matisse sharing some 101 on sex work — decriminalization vs legalization — and a bit of how the persecution of sex workers relates to other areas where the supposed “protection of women” is used to cover up marginalization and injury. Also on the show, Tracey Ross from the Center for American Progress and Talk Poverty Radio tears down the myth of meritocracy in the tech sector. Turns out the only people getting funding to launch their ideas are rich, white, male drop outs from Harvard.

Note: This show is available to stream and download for free so it can be accessible for everyone. If you’re able, consider becoming a supporter for as little as $1/month at PATREON or making a one-time donation through PAYPAL. Thank…

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