Friday, May 4, 2012

Helping People Changing Lives by Lorie with OACAA

As this is the last day of the Challenge, I think about the fact that I get to eat “real food” now, which makes me reflect on the week . What came to my mind is the motto of Community Action:   “Helping People Changing Lives.” 
The local agencies work so hard to provide programs, services, and partnerships with other organizations to clear a road to help low-income individuals and families travel to self-sufficiency.  It’s not a fast road or an easy road. I think about the day a low-income family finally overcomes their major hurdles, are stable, and each day is getting better for them. The day they can go to the store and buy the food that is needed, as well as some that is wanted. The day they can pay their living expenses without the help of social services and know that they are not on the edge of their pay check, and the day they can take their family to an extra activity that doesn’t leave them having to cut something somewhere else in their budgets. 
There is a difference between providing food for someone for a short timeframe until they are on their feet and punishing them because they need taxpayer help with food for a short time. The current system for food stamps is out of date. It doesn’t feed people, it only allows them minimal food enough to stay alive. After this week I truly know the difference. The food I could afford on the $23 has left me feeling sick. I rarely have headaches and I have had two this week. In general I feel irritable and I want some different food so badly I think about it constantly. I can’t imagine feeling like this and trying to get an education, find work, or deal with major issues in my life. It’s time to fund programs so that people can truly get to self-sufficiency and live comfortable while they strive for that goal.

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