Social media and mainstream media is exploding with a story shared between news outlets. The government is shutting down food stamps and many are fearing riots, food shortages and more. Sometimes, the factor of myth is more powerful than the truth. While there is a reduction scheduled for November 1, benefits will continue to be disbursed to families who depend on the SNAP program. It is time to bust the myth on this story speculating and hitting social media outlets. Many families are stressed out, concerned their food stamps are set to stop in November. Fear no longer, it will not. Do not allow the fear mongering to stem from the truth.
Articles from many news outlets are creating a panic with headlines promoting riots, food shortages and starving families. This kind of negative media feeds into the masses, resulting in chaos leading to the headline. People take the news hard, looking to hit the stores – holding out benefits until this week when they are expected to rush the stores. Media, sometimes fails to accept responsibility for the mess they begin. Spreading the news like wildfire are outlets that are biased for either political side which only grows a fabric of fear.
The Recovery Act of 2009 boosted the benefits about $36 monthly for a family of four. No cut is ever acceptable in the face of poverty or lack of food, but food stamp benefits are not shutting down in November. The reduction is a direct result of the stimulus package now coming to an end. There are additional sources of lowered or minimal cost avenues. There are grocers such as ALDI, Save-A-Lot, Wal-Mart, Farmer Markets and food ministries online that are willing to accept the EBT food card. Bust the myth of a stoppage of benefits, no such thing is taking place November 1.
Talking to a single mother on Facebook, lead to an upsetting discovery. She was under the impression her EBT card would be canceled on Friday and shared her feedback:
I think when I was looking, I just read ‘stopped’ and ‘eliminated’ and I got scared. I have four kids and my husband died a few years ago so here I am thinking ‘oh my god’ I already work 52 hours weekly. I can’t do no more. When you showed me it is just a reduction and not a stop, I actually cried! They shouldn’t be doing that to us folks, that isn’t cool and it isn’t right.
People receiving benefits are more willing to handle a slight reduction over a complete end. The common logical factor here is the rise of use since 2009, over 47 million Americans receive food assistance from the government. The reduction is the end of a boost that was enacted by a majority of Democrats in 2009. Now the public is looking to blame Republicans, Democrats and just about anyone, but this is where consumer education on bills is most needed. This boost was given a deadline of 2013, this should not come as a surprise, it was part of the Recovery Act bill a few years ago.
Do not allow the mainstream media to incite anger, or treat those on the program as if they are nothing more than caged animals. Proclaiming riots and unchained crime waves is not only ludicrous, it is insulting to the many families who need to supplement their income. Many of the families who depend on the assistance work one to two jobs to make the other bills. There is a significant level of misuse in the system, sadly many families who need the benefit do not receive it, while cheaters drain the system. To reduce the levels of potential fraud, a new Republican backed bill is soon to be introduced to make parameters stricter. This bill brings with it a level of controversy based on the parameters for review.
This article is not taking a side in a sad battle of food versus the people. It is dispelling the myth of horrible articles circulating the web and social media with headlines broadcasting a complete elimination. Sadly, both sides of the political field are using these extreme tactics to enhance their own stance. These extremes are not necessary, people are suffering financially – that alone is no secret. Job losses continues, financial hardships, the bills mount and the prices continue to climb. Dismiss the politicking of media outlets that enable the aspect of violence this Friday. Food stamps will be reduced as noted in the chart, but they will not shut down and it will not be eliminated in November. Be sure to come in contact with local grocers, small farmer markets and online food ministries for pricing and quality.