Tag Archives: SNAP

Don and Mark’s Thanksgiving Food Drive

My Dad (Don) and I (Mark) wanted to do something special to help our nation’s ever-growing problem of homelessness and hunger. The number of people affected each day by hunger issues is staggering for such a rich and bountiful country. According to the great organization Feeding America: “In 2012, 49.0 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children.”
Families unable to make ends meet; senior citizens having to choose between medicine or food; children having to rely on free school meals for nutrition — hunger in this country is an equal opportunity affliction and not isolated to certain economic demographics.
No matter what our national economic situation may be, we, as a nation, still have an abundance of food and there is no excuse why anyone should ever go hungry. Feeding America is making excellent strides in combating this problem (check out their website for more info).
We are asking for your help in this very winnable battle and our goal is to raise $500 by Thanksgiving Day — a national day for giving thanks and giving to others — thanks so much!



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Modern Mythology

How and why do age-old political myths still thrive in this modern age of unlimited access to information? Case in point: the myth of Excessive Welfare Fraud.

The “Welfare Queen (or King)” has been a oft-used stereotype for decades, but proof of her (his) existence is hard to find. The actual percentage of fraud among welfare recipients is extremely low and has gotten lower during the last 10/20 years [mainly due to technological advances] — depending on what source you use, the number hovers around 1-3%. Stories of scores of people abusing the system, usually told with wild embellishments and exaggerations, are simply that: stories, not fact.

Most assuredly there have been and will continue to be bad people that take advantage of various social aid programs — people that receive benefits and services that they do not deserve due to falsifying records, etc. Unfortunately, because human nature is what it is, eliminating that problem in its entirety is an impossible task. But the actual number of serious abusers is very low. Statistics also show that most of the fraud that does exist comes from retail establishments and/or organizations and not from individuals.

Part of my job is to research on a daily basis the very real and chronic problem known as corporate fraud. Every day I compile information about various types of fraud committed by large domestic and international corporations that go virtually unpunished. Million and billion dollar fines are paid and elaborate, ‘guiltless’ settlements are arranged to make these crimes go away. But they continue at an alarming rate and affect thousands of investors, customers and average members of the general public. That is a much more serious problem and it is very real; not a myth.

Why do these myths exist in the first place? Simply as justification for cutting important and beneficial social programs (including the very troubling cut in SNAP benefits made yesterday)? I don’t have a solid answer to that but look through these links I’ve provided for some different theories — and do some digging yourself — I think you’ll also find that [to borrow an Oz analogy] behind the curtain of the very loud and scary rhetoric, there is a much smaller reality.




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