With reports that the economy is strong, it can be difficult to comprehend why millions of Americans continue to receive support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), often referred to as food stamps. According to the USDA, most SNAP recipients who can work, do work.
Ann and her son are one of many working families struggling to find good-paying jobs, keep up with expenses, and have enough food on their table. Ann has worked 40 hours per week in retail for many years but recently her hours were reduced. She does not want her son to work while he pursues a degree in Information Technology.
“I want him to get through school and have a career, not a dead-end job,” Ann said. If it were not for the support she receives from the pantry, and SNAP, Ann would be stranded. On a recent visit to the pantry, she confessed that her 15 hours a week job is not enough to survive.
“I only have enough for maybe two weeks, then I’d be living like I was in college: a bag of potato chips to last me the whole week, or Ramen soup,” she said. “That is not good food, brain food, for a young person who is going to college or for me. I’d get sick.”
Despite her current plight, Ann is hopeful that better times are ahead. Her son is close to finishing his degree, and in the meantime, she has an interview lined up for a second job to help make ends meet.