Sharron from Northampton, MA

Faces of the Federal Budget

The extra $100-$200 dollars that I get [from SSI] has cut my food stamps dramatically. Every year I see a decrease. My experience is that it has nothing to do with the government’s decision… from my point of view every year I saw less and less of a food stamp amount… I make $1000 a month and people say that’s a lot. In SSI benefits, that’s not. If you equate it to someone working at McDonalds or Wendy’s… they get… what I get. However, [the SNAP administrators] kept saying I was getting too much. [My food stamps] went from $200 to $160, from $160 to $120 all because my disability income is greater than what others get. I don’t know how they do it but to me it’s out of whack, because I’m really below poverty… if you multiply the thousand times 12 months it’s only $12,000 a year, it’s nothing.…
[In the past] when I would find various jobs that paid well, like seasonal with the post office where all you did was work 6-7 days a week and when I got paid really good money, then I did not qualify for food stamps at that time. But then when that job runs out because it’s seasonal then you’re right back where you started. So it’s like a give and take. A Catch-22, they say. So, I always found myself back in the system, so to speak.
...I think Americans need to put their foot down and say we aren’t going to tolerate any more cuts, because if cuts continue to happen I probably won’t see any benefits in food assistance. People don’t realize [the impacts] until they come across someone who is living with that situation.

Sharron from Northampton, MA | Map

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