Many food stamp recipients already work
I was recently driving exhausted from my shift as a volunteer at a West Side food pantry. We'd had over 40 customers in two hours. The last one was a single mother of four who'd just lost her job as an in-home health-care worker and her food stamps had run out. She was in tears. I wished her luck on a job interview the next day.
As I was thinking about her, the news came on the radio that the Republicans in Congress were talking about doing away with food stamps altogether because there were good jobs out there if people would only work. My blood boiled. Later I read they were only talking about deep cuts. No matter.
My job at the food pantry is to check people in, help new people fill out applications and sign them out. I hear their stories.
Patti is a single mother of two who works at a popular restaurant at the mall. Last year she also spent many a cold night ringing the bell for the Salvation Army to stretch her money and food stamps so her kids could have a nice Christmas.
Many of our customers work at fast food restaurants. One young man rushed in just before closing last week in his apron and hat saying his stamps had run out and his wife lost her job the day before.
We also help many other in-home health-care workers. They come with their clients and pick up groceries for their clients and for themselves. Both qualify for food stamps. As is the case of the fast food workers, the health-care employees don't clock 40 hours a week to earn decent salaries.
Our customers have roughly doubled over the past two years. If food stamps are cut or eliminated, we are going to be hard pressed to keep up with the greater demand. There are roughly 40 pantries in Kanawha County and we will all be in the same boat.
Mr. Williams will forever be in my heart
I would like to share a story with you about Mr. Woody Williams.
My husband, a Marine during the Vietnam era, was very sick, dying from lung cancer. He had been in ICU for a week before discharge on Aug. 24, 2012. My sister, who was neighbors with Mr. Williams for years, wanted to surprise my husband with a visit with Woody. He was to come to our house Aug. 25.