Let’s have another talk about food stamps.

I’ve done a lot of talking in a lot of other places about hunger related causes. I have been fired up and emotional. I have jumped out of my chair in panels and cried with people who have pulled me into hallways to share their own personal stories of survival and poverty.

I just haven’t been as fired up HERE. I don’t know why there are these congruent Dresdens because I am both a woman who loves writing about the adventures of single parenting as WELL as a women who cares deeply about writing and speaking about causes. I don’t feel a need to make this a shiny happy space of perfection because I often let all the emotions come tumbling out like a sink that has finally been unclogged. So really, this not talking about ALL of the things that matter to me, is my fault.

When it comes to food stamps, or SNAP benefits, I am, if nothing else, emotional. There are politics involved, there is my history involved, there are people and opinions involved. It’s actually harder to talk about food stamps than it is to talk about religion. As far as I am concerned a person’s religion is personal and has nothing to do with me or my family. However, their beliefs about food stamps VERY MUCH impact other families.

I also accept that there are many factors, mostly political, involved with food stamps that I just do not understand. That fact is most likely what prevents me from doing a lot of writing about the subject because I come from a place of heart and not a place of knowing all the whys.

To me it seems so simple, so basic. If someone is hungry I want them fed. I don’t just want to give them the heel of bread either, I want them fed the same way I am fed with a complete meal.

Today the House will finish its “tweaks” to the Farm Bill. These tweaks will include many changes to SNAP benefits (the food stamp program). I already do not understand many of the changes that have been bantered about in the news.

But I DO understand hunger. I understand it well. I have no idea if the men and women who are elbow deep in deciding these cuts to SNAP have any concept of it.

While we wait for news from the House I wanted to share with you some updated news from Feeding America. Updates to the data for their “Map the Meal Gap” were released while I was at BlogHer Food and sadly it shows very little has changed in our hunger crisis in America. Click on the map to be taken to the interactive site where you can see EXACT numbers about the hunger crisis in your state and county. This puts information in your hands and lets you know that no town, no state is immune to hunger.
Map the Gap: no state is immune to hunger

I also want to share Theresa’s story with you. She is a single mom with two daughters who both have special needs. She simply needs a little help now with public assistance. Just like my family did. These are the families who depend on SNAP.