Skip to comments.In Florida, a food-stamp recruiter deals with wrenching choices
Posted on 04/24/2013 11:18:14 AM PDT by Hojczyk
In fact, it is Nerioss job to enroll at least 150 seniors for food stamps each month, a quota she usually exceeds. Alleviate hunger, lessen poverty: These are the primary goals of her work. But the job also has a second and more controversial purpose for cash-strapped Florida, where increasing food-stamp enrollment has become a means of economic growth, bringing almost $6 billion each year into the state.
Rhode Island hosts SNAP-themed bingo games for the elderly. Alabama hands out fliers that read: Be a patriot. Bring your food stamp money home. Three states in the Midwest throw food-stamp parties where new recipients sign up en masse.
On the Treasure Coast of Florida, the official outreach plan is mostly just Nerios, who works for a local food bank that is funded in part by the state. She roams four counties of sandbars and barrier islands in her Ford Escape, with an audio Bible in the CD player and a windshield sticker that reads Faith, Hope and Love. She distributes hundreds of fliers each week, giving out her personal cellphone number and helping seniors submit SNAP applications on her laptop.
A Korean War veteran on oxygen who mostly wanted to talk, so Nerios listened: 32 years in the military, a sergeant major, Germany, Iron Curtain, medals and awards. A hell of a life, the veteran said. So if I signed up, what would I tell my wife?
Tell her youre an American and this is your benefit, Nerios said, pulling him away from the crowd, so he could write the 26th name of the day on her SNAP sign-up sheet.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Liberals measure compassion by how many people are given welfare. Conservatives measure compassion by how many people no longer need it. - Rush Limbaugh
Family is the safety net....But the government has gone all out to destroy that.
They used to run radio adds to get people to sign up for food stamps. I haven’t heard any for years. Probably they figured out that conservatives were the listening audience and they moved to other means of getting the word out.
Yes but this is the Social Security generation. “When I get old, the government will take care of me.”
“A Korean War veteran on oxygen who mostly wanted to talk, so Nerios listened: 32 years in the military, a sergeant major, Germany, Iron Curtain, medals and awards. A hell of a life, the veteran said. So if I signed up, what would I tell my wife? “
Two things struck me about this passage:
-If anyone’s earned a little something extra from the government, it’s this guy. Yet he still has the pride and core instinct to not want to do it. Not one iota of “I’m entitled” or “the government owes me a living” from this man.
-What kind of setup do we have where a Sgt. Major who served his country for over 3 decades should have to even consider needing food stamps?
That’s whatr I was thinking. He should have retirement pay, privileges at the PX, health care (VA)etc. etc. thirty-two years sounds odd unless he was retired because of health but even then...
I could rant, but I won't. But I have to ask: How on earth does a 32-year military veteran (that's a pension of 80% of his final base pay) retired E-9, who also is probably getting some Social Security, qualify for Food Stamps?
“My former neighbor, who had a bunch of kids and whose husband was killed in a robbery when they were all small.”
Was he the robber or the robbee ?
And the money they used to spend to feed themselves goes straight into the casinos.
And I'll echo it. I went thru the slide show at the posted website and all the pics were of elderly people. There are resources out there but these people are not aware of them and likely have no family to help them and like the lady said, some are too proud to even ask.
I play senior softball here outside of Detroit and guys are getting together to play pick up ball. There is one semi-crazy guy we call Jimmie the Cab Driver who falls in the above category.
Last fall he took a bus for Texas to live with his niece. He was just kicked out so he came back here the only people he knows are us softball players.
He's a Vietnam vet whose total monthly income is only about $735.00. About $580 from social security and another $150. from his military disability. One of the guys picked him up at the Detroit bus station and found a cheap motel room for him for a couple days till his money ran out.
Then they found a church for him to stay in at night for a couple more days......Meanwhile another guy was callin everywhere trying to get help for Jimmie, the VA, the Vietnam Veterans Assn., the state of Michigan, on and on and on......
We succeeded in getting him on a list with the VA for housing but they said it might take anywhere from 6 months to a year. We got him applied for a Bridge card which will get him more money for food each month and the state or VA will also give him more money.
Meanwhile, it all came to a head when he showed up at the park last Friday while we were playing. He had run out of money and had to leave the motel we had found for him so he walked to a nearby coney island for the evening until it closed then he walked over to the park where we play ball and slept under a picnic table that night....After we found that out on Friday, another one of the guys stepped in to help. From what I've heard since then, we got Jimmy a place to stay with the Salvation Army in downtown Detroit but we don't know how long they will keep him.
It's a long story and just gets more complicated so I guess the point I'm trying to make is that yes, there are elderly people in need whose life circumstances were far different than ours and there are more than anyone can imagine.
Knowing Jimmy the Cab Driver for the past few years, I think I've gained some insight into how the homeless street people think.
Jimmy has no posessions whatsoever except a few clothes in a handbag and his softball glove. All he lives for now is to play softball, it doesn't matter to him if he eats or not or has a room to sleep in which is evidenced by his willingness to sleep under a picnic table in the cold. He asks for nothing and wants for nothing. As long as he can play softball he is happy............but he's a pain in the ass to the rest of us.
He should be getting about $50,000 per year in military retirement as an E-9 with 32 years of service retiring in 1982 (based on his comment he was a Korean War veteran).
That would make him born in 1932 (80 years old). He could have been born earlier, but probably not too much earlier. He could have been born a couple of years later (the Korean War lasted until 1953). But either way, the $50K/year number will be close.
The military paid into Social Security since 1957, so he should have considerable Social Security contributions from his military career.
Also, if he retired from the military in 1982-1985 at age 50, he may have also had a second career, with more Social Security contributions, and potentially another retirement or savings.
” However, if these were my parents, I would insist they live with me”
My parents generation hated that idea. My mom outright refused to live with any of us.