Ugh, SNAP.

Here’s my good-bad news:

My husband got a raise. 50 whole cents more per hour.

I am finally easing back into work at home mode. The summer and our hectic move made working difficult. We’re settling in, my kids are in school full time. I am not at a place where working outside the home is a feasible plan- economically and logistically, working elsewhere won’t fly.

 So I’m grateful I have skills and options that help me work at home. It’s going well but it’s still a small source of income. Still, small is better than none….

BUT….

We just had to recertify for SNAP. That small income was enough to make us ineligible. By $73.

I say this all the time… being in the income range where you just miss qualifying for help is just as dangerous a place as qualifying. SNAP works and it works well. Without SNAP, there is no food budget. SNAP opponents will often deconstruct the acronym to point out that the S stands for Supplemental. “It’s meant to be extra money for food!” 

No. No, it isn’t . I mean…maybe that was the intention but that isn’t how it works. Anyone who has ever lived on a SNAP budget will attest: That money is not extra money for food. It IS the food budget. 

Even McDonald’s gets this. Recall when Mickey D’s offered “helpful tips ” for employees on how to live on poverty wages. Their McBudget had no food allowance. Why? Because they were well aware that employees would qualify for SNAP. SNAP was the food budget.
Low income families without SNAP have to make economic decisions that sacrifice food.Pay rent or groceries? Heat & electricty or food? Food is always sacrificed because no one is going to come knock on the door and give the food in the fridge an eviction notice. Know what I mean?  Priority goes to making sure you have a place to live. 

So, I’m in this weird place now where I should be happy we’re achieving small successes but I can’t because we’re still living under that poverty line and not making enough to make ends meet. 

This is ridiculous,y’all .

I have gratitude for all that I do have, so there’s that. And I have to add that. I am so damn grateful and count allllll the blessings . Blessings counted. Thanks given. Every day. But I have to actually SAY that I am because poor haters will assume I’m not . That’s how the Interwebs works. 

14 thoughts on “Ugh, SNAP.

  1. My husband and I were happy to be taking in little less SNAP funds because he got a small raise and I started a VERY part-time job. It felt like we were finally getting a somewhere in pulling ourselves out. Then the car breaks down, and you realize that that grocery budget is just smaller, we aren’t really getting ahead.

  2. Appeal. They may have calculated you budget incorrectly. If you’re under the poverty level and have rent or utilities and children, you should qualify unless your worker made a mistake… So says the woman who processes snap and Medicaid apps 40 hours a week.

    1. I talked to the worker on the phone. I don’t think she really made a mistake but she did say that he did work more hours than usual which would make a difference and also they don’t count my twins in college , so we’re a household of 5 on paper

      1. If you have one or two unusually large checks or pay periods they should be marked as non-rep and not counted (the same would hold true of an unusually small pay period)…at least that’s how we do it here, and since SNAP is a federal program income shouldn’t count differently in your state.

  3. This suck so much. We spent a great deal of our children’s younger years in that space. Making to much but not enough. Every program they passed we missed. I am thrilled for your success. I just want to say that sucks.

  4. Raises and temporary hours never seems to be enough to move us out of poverty, just enough to hang in there. It infuriates me when people think its because we want to be here. No one understands to obstacles of being poor I have a chance to become higher up in my retail job, this would mean paying for daycare, getting a better car to drive longer distances…the pay just does not offset the cost of “moving up” a notch. Picking up and moving closer to work is out of the question.

  5. I applied for SNAP, because my son was 21 and not working (he’d been looking for a job for over a year while also going to college full time) my income was such that I “qualified” for SNAP, but the amount was zero. Seems like we can never get ahead.

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