Free Essay

Ending Poverty

In: English and Literature

Submitted By JPH1989
Words 1386
Pages 6
Audience Analysis
My Targeted audience I want to center around for this would be men and women who are interested in knowing and understanding more about poverty, food stamps, etc. Who either are in poverty or are not, and with high school education and up.
When it comes to poverty, I feel each year more and more families are in crisis and in need. However I also feel some people are getting government funding help who, in reality, do not need it. I am not saying everyone who is receiving help does not actually need it, but there are people out there who if they put in more effort, they wouldn’t have to depend on government assisted help nor would be struggling day to day.
I have not been in a situation where I myself needed help, however I do know some people who are truly needed help and received yet, as well as others who honestly did not need the help but did not want to work hard. I am hoping my paper shows both the good and bad of today’s situation with people struggling, and hopefully some readers will have changed opinions on this whether it be good or bad.
My Paper is written in APA format.

Ending Poverty One Meal at a Time
After reading the article “On the Edge of Poverty” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg[->0], it’s realized that it was written from a point of view that shows the many down falls of a situation where a SNAP card is needed yet doesn’t point much at improving it. In many ways it supports the food stamp system, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as it is currently laid out. Stolberg starts off by phrasing Dustin Rigsby from Tennessee. She goes on to lay out that he is a struggling mechanic who reluctantly accepts food stamps as a way to feed his family of three. It goes on to say that while he is off work due to a knee injury his wife only works part time as a cashier at a local JC Penney. Having more than half the household income taken away is a rough way to go. Their one year old son Drake sometimes goes without milk because the card’s $350 month allowance is up too soon. . While she explains that Mr. Rigsby hunts deer, doves and squirrels all while shopping for discounted groceries the thought arises to me as to why if Mr. Rigsby is laid off due to disability. Why wouldn’t Mrs. Rigsby seek work as a full time cashier? Or possibly find another job. Their family falls in line with many examples of families on hard times. Another hard off family talked about in the article was Tarnisha Adams who unfortunately fell ill to cancer and was forced to leave her job as a hog skinner at a slaughterhouse. While she does get $352 dollars a month in food stamps according to what the government decides she is eligible for, she also has three “College age sons” who eat off the months allowance as well. While it doesn’t go into detail of their situation or status she does buy discount meat and canned vegetables which are cheaper than fresh products and generally have a few days shelf life on them. What would be stopping these boys presumed to be 19-22 years old, from seeking jobs? That would be something that would ultimately decrease the overall dependency on monthly food stamps. Going off the National average minimum wage[->1] which is $7.49, if all three of Mrs. Adams boys where to find even part time employment for 20 hours a week, that would increase their monthly income by around $440 before local and federal taxes.
Many SNAP dependent families rely on alternate means of acquiring food to put on the table. Another unfortunate SNAP recipient Kathy Baucom, 61, was a welder before she became ill with lupus and forced to leave her job. She lives alone in a trailer and hunts for deer to use for roasts, burgers, and jerky. While Mrs. Baucom and Mr. Rigsby have the drive to seek alternate means to make up what SNAP does not, everyone in a family can increase a bad situation whether it is by helping provide food, money, taking care of upkeep, or just making everyone’s day run a little smoother.
“People think it’s associated with homelessness when, in fact, it is working poor families, it’s kids, it’s the disabled. Hunger is often invisible” noted spokeswoman Maura Daly[->2] of Feeding America. With nearly 48 million Americans[->3] claiming food stamps and a nationwide average unemployment[->4] rate of 7.3% as of August 2013. Stolberg uses this information so that everyone will get an idea of the magnitude of people using the SNAP program and show that not everyone has the ability or drive to work to better their situation.
Arising the argument, are the large amount of SNAP leeches. What are food stamp leeches you might ask? A food stamp leech is someone who uses the SNAP system solely to get as much money as they can. Mr. Rigsby refers to leechers as “moochers on the system”. Leechers use the system to appear as poor as possible, to gain the maximum benefits: Housing allowance, new home loans, car loans, maximum food stamps, etc. But some people want to see change like Robert Rector[->5], senior research fellow at the conservative The Heritage Foundation[->6], who calls for reforms to the stimulus bill which has currently been in effect since 2009.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009[->7] (ARRA) called for cuts to the stipulations required to claim food stamps and also raised the limit on what one could be given. Mr. Rector strives for economic independence, rather than the drastic amount of people depending on assistance indefinitely. He also pushes for safety nets for the program such as mandatory drug testing. This would weed out those abusing the system; if you have money for drugs, you have money for food. Leaving the money from those who have been ousted for the families of those who legitimately need it. Lawmakers burn the torch in the name of spending, and nonpartisan budget analysts. Considering the food stamp program now accounts for over $80 billion dollars a year and climbing. Statistics from the Food Research and Action Center[->8] (FRAC) show participation increased by 125,059 between May and June of 2013 for a total of 47,760,285 participants. Participation also increased by over 1.08 million from June 2012 to June 2013.
While people already count on the SNAP system Hunger relief advocates warn of a spike in “food insecurity” among Americans. Every year since 2000 the number of people on food stamps has risen. Giving way to groups Such as Feed the Need[->9], who calls on churches, groups, companies and individuals to take in donations to be used at food drives. One such drive listed in the article was attended by Mrs. Baucom from earlier on. She attended the food drive in Dyersburg, Tennessee, where 21,000 pounds of meat, potatoes, grains and produce had been trucked in from Memphis. The group, who is operated mainly by volunteers help out more than 700 families each month. These groups help when and where they can, they are not a replacement for the SNAP program but attempt to help fill the gaps and down falls of the current system. While the changes to the stimulus package are coming, some better than others, It’s going to affect everyone including those who are not on some sort of support.

Works Cited
Calculations, Political. The National Average Minimum Wage. 25 March 2013. .

FRAC. FRAC Food Research and Action Center. 2010. .

IRS. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information Center. 31 May 2013. .

Labor, United States Department of. Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. 2013. .

Need, Feed the. Feed the Need. 2012. .

Rector, Robert and Katherine Bradley. Reforming the Food Stamp Program. 25 July 2012. .

Stolberg, Sheryl Gay. "On the Edge of Poverty, at the Center of a Debate on Foodstamps." New York Times (2013).

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation and Costs. 26 September 2013. .

Wikipedia. The Heritage Foundation. 20 September 2013. .

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