Unemployment Stories: Why I Don't Go To Food Pantries

Yesterday, a friend and I were discussing the proposed cuts to the SNAP program passed by the House of Representatives a few days ago.

During our conversation she commented that a new food pantry had opened in Uptown and attracted a sizable crowd on its first day.  She later went on to say that in Uptown there are 6,000 people struggling with food insecurity.

If you don't know, "food insecurity" is 2013's  re-branding of the word hunger.

As we continued to talk, she asked me why I don't go to food pantries and save what little money I get from unemployment.

I replied that I'm not in a bad enough spot to need a food pantry just yet.

Those resources are for those far worse off than I am.  There are people who rely on and truly need that food every few weeks.

While I don't have much, I can still eek out groceries.

Frankly, I'm not sure how much longer that's going to be as my unemployment may go away (yet again) and sequestration cuts have reduced the amount I receive (after taxes) by 16%.

But I still can buy groceries.  For now.

This person knows me pretty well.  She knows the stories and struggles I choose not to post or share with other friends and acquaintances.  In short, she has an accurate picture of what's going on in my life.

I could see my friend ponder the fact that someone has it worse off than I do.  I couldn't tell if it frightened her or made her sad.

It's bad out here folks.

You're lucky if you never personally find out just how bad it is, but make no mistake it is just that bad.

This is just my way of paying it forward.


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