from Gaycation via 

I honestly rarely pay attention to my “likes” on the Poor as Folk Facebook page but I can’t help but notice that any time I post anything related to transgender people struggling  with poverty,homelessness,housing and job discrimination  – I lose a ton of followers. “What does this have to do with anything here?” I hear it SO many times. As long as I keep hearing that question and see people turn away because of my support of transgender people, I will keep putting the information out there about why this is an issue.

weekend links


» Fifty years later, Black Panthers’ art still resonates – this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers’, the architects of our current day school lunch and WIC program.

» More colleges open food pantries to address hunger on college campuses

» Exploring the Untold Stories of Refugees with Rolling Blackouts Cartoonist Sarah Glidden

»  Does Big Ag Really Feed the World? New Data Says Not So Much

» via  Bad memes I made on my phone …




This is a fascinating lost interview from 1979 with Ronald Reagan , 18 months before he was elected President. I think listening to this helps me understand why my Grandfather  (grew up poor during that same era) loved Reagan so much. It’s interesting to hear him discuss the way the political parties had shifted at that point. Much talk of bootstraps. He says the way to help poor people is that poor people have to “get over” being poor like it’s a mindset and not an economic situation.



recent podcasts listened to

Well, I listen to a lot of podcasts but these particular ones/episodes felt relevant to share here.

Out of the Box podcast ep 105- Scott Santens on Universal Basic Income – Whenever I mention Basic Income, either here or elsewhere on social media, there are always questions. Most people have never heard of it and a lot of those who are in the know just have a lot of questions about how it would work. This episode is great because it covers just about everything about UBI you could possibly wonder. Universal Basic Income is how we can lift people out of poverty, reduce crime, boost the economy, improve health and well being, and create a much happier society.

In the Dark –  episode 6 – This may be a hard podcast to listen to, even if you’re a fan of true crime like I am. I had to take breaks to get through it sometimes and that’s undoubtedly in part because I have a 11 year old son and this podcast focuses on the 1989 abduction of 11 year old Jacob Wetterling. Yep, it’s a tough one. I know this doesn’t on the surface seem relevant here but episode 6 talks about the effects of legislation regarding sex offenders and the national registry. It was Jacob’s mom Patty who pioneered and pushed for a sex offender registry and now she’s not so fond of the monster it’s become. The overwhelming research on pedophiles and other sex offenders says that the lack of stable housing,jobs, and support after incarceration increases the chance of recidivism but because the consequences of being on the registry is so damaging to all of those things, that stability is impossible. The registry covers a broad range of offenses and there’s many people who really shouldn’t even be on it. The intention was to keep children safe and it hasn’t actually done that but it has pushed people into poverty.

On to happier things. Literally…

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – This is a super complicated podcast for me, even if I do love it. As someone who struggles with ADHD, I am constantly looking for strategies that help keep my mind and life better organized and aid in productivity and this really fills that need .I can’t say that it really makes me happier but at the present time, my mood is very influenced by my financial status, so I feel like all the little things suggested (sometimes they’re things I already do) don’t really make anything better but they may reduce some stress or help me embrace the things that are awesome in my life, which helps me get through the day . Poverty-induced depression isn’t a thing that I can fix by  making my bed every morning or taking photos of my everyday life but it can’t hurt either.



daily links::a food waste cookbook!, news on teen hunger, and more


There’s a cookbook called Amazing Waste with recipes entirely devoted to cooking with scraps,leftovers,etc. I haven’t had a chance to look through the entire thing yet but this looks like the kind of cookbook I would write. Am writing. These kinds of recipes are great for food pantry users (at least my food pantry) where you might end up with produce that is not the prettiest or freshest.

The entire cookbook is available for free RIGHT HERE.

Thanks to my local food waste reduction -anti hunger group Friendship Donations Network for passing along that info.

·:   Five Questions with JoAnne Berkenkamp, Food Waste Expert and Advocate  – there’s a lot of food waste going on but it’s getting better thanks to mainstream recognition and initiatives to reduce waste

:· some new research reveals some sad information about teenagers living in homes with food insecurity  . Even if teenagers do have access to programs that give them food,they’re too worried about what their peers will think to use them openly but also they are underserved by programs like The Backpack Program, which focuses on elementary aged kids. This is something touched on before here when one of our readers was trying to develop a program for older kids.

As a result, in households where hunger was most acute, teens reported engaging in all kinds of risky behavior to obtain food, including: shoplifting food directly, selling drugs for cash and/or engaging in “transactional dating,” i.e., engaging in sexual relationships with older adults in exchange for food and money. In a few communities, some teens even viewed going to jail as a viable option to ensure regular meals. The report also revealed the degree to which hungry teens look out for each other and for their younger siblings, often forgoing meals or sharing their food with those also in need.

Here’s a summary of the full report: Impossible Choices

My teenager’s high school made school lunch available for free to ALL students, regardless of income. If high schools did that widely, this would eliminate so much of these issues. Her school also has Free Food Friday where food donations picked up from a local rescue agency is available in the school lobby for anyone to take home. My daughter very rarely gets anything because it’s completely gone by the time she has a chance to check it out. Even when she is there on time, it’s difficult to get anything. No one is shy about taking food home. Now I have to wonder why these students have no reluctance to take free food. The school is a small charter school that focuses on sustainability and social justice (nope, don’t go off on me about how awful charter schools are) . Is it just that the culture of the school is centered on taking care or others and being stewards of the earth? A lot for me to think about there. I asked my daughter what she thinks and she says it’s because the school works hard to be a safe space for everyone and “no one judges people for things like that”.

Meanwhile in my community, the school district just expanded their Fresh Snack Program to include another school so that it now serves 1,200 elementary students. The Youth Farm Project (which one of my older kids worked at and let em tell you…that’s an AMAZING program) and other local farms provide a weekly snack to be served with the intention of expanding food horizons and food accessibility. It’s awesome.

My 6 year old was very critical of the yellow watermelon mentioned in the article linked above. He spent his summer growing his own watermelon, so he’s an expert now.

He’s a super proud watermelon farmer.  I think we actually have a couple left to harvest. I plan on making this watermelon pie. YESSSSSSSSS.

The bounty of tomatoes and pumpkins coming out of the garden makes it easier to not stay mad at everything. Today’s tomato harvest was 2 colanders worth (scientific measurement) . It’s been hard for me to give everything a measurement and value like I intended . Maybe with the tomatoes I’ll measure by the product I end up canning, whether it be sauce or salsa or whole tomatoes. I would say pumpkins the size of these would be about $4-5 each around here. This bunch will be canned.

It’s 3p.m. as I’m writing this. No word yet on the car. Our food pantry is this evening so if we don’t get the car back within the next couple of hours, we’ll miss that. It’s the last one of the month so that will be a bummer.

We also have a school event tomorrow for one kid that he really wanted us to go to. We’ll cross our fingers and everything else that we at least get the car back tomorrow so we can make that. We missed out on a lot of school events during the time we were a car-free family. I try to make it to everything now if it’s at all possible.

This thing tomorrow evening is also a dish to pass (side dish or dessert). I predict whatever I end up making will have either tomatoes or pumpkins. I’m glad I have them to work with. Something else that has stopped me from going to things like potlucks in the past was truly not being able to take anything. Add that to the list of “The Many Ways Being Poor Can Make You Feel Like Crap”.






10 Reasons To Get Behind Basic Income

This is aimed at Bernie supporters who need to focus their fire on something now that he’s out of the race but the points are laid out so well for anyone else who is interested in solutions to making life better for low income people in the U.S.

One minor irk: The first reason given states that ALL people deserve to have money for work, no matter what work they do but excludes those who don’t or can’t work who are susceptible to living in poverty. I’m thinking of disabled and elderly people specifically. Yes,there’s disability and social security but those usually do not meet all the economic needs.


(This post comes to you via my FIXED laptop! No more forced hiatus. Thank you so much to those of you who offered replacements in the event it couldn’t be fixed. I love that there are people like ya’ll out there. Mwah. )

What foods would you like to see in a Backpack Program?

I’m sharing this question today from a reader who is involved with starting a Backpack Program for junior high aged kids in her area.

For anyone not familiar with the Backpack Program : every Friday during the school year, food is sent home via backpack . The goal is to provide  food for the weekend to kids who rely on free school meals.

S asks:

If your student came home and opened their backpack on Friday afternoon, what would be most helpful to find?


Total gross weight under about 5 pounds

Picky kid friendly


Easy prep since some families have no cooking facilities except possibly a microwave

Pretty cheap, like $5 retail