Good Morning folks : )
When I first sat down and thought about writing this post, I started to get a little nervous as this blog has usually been on the light and airy side featuring healthy recipes, work outs, etc but maybe the snow has also brought in with it a need for truth. I know that the welfare and unemployment systems have been a topic of controversy for a very long time and especially now with benefits running out in the past week. However, I ran across an article yesterday that really got me thinking and to be honest a little perturbed. (oh yea.. I said it.. perturbed)
I read an article yesterday that was discussing white potatoes being added to the list of approved food for WIC and how one man went on a potato diet for an extended period of time to prove they are not detrimental to your health. He lost weight, his cholesterol and blood pressure came down and obviously that must mean that the food is healthy? Anyone remember the Twinkie diet? yea that guy lost weight too ...that doesnt mean that its healthy to shove a whole box of processed white flour, sugar and cream into your mouth everyday.
It was a comment on this article however that got me thinking about how the government handles food for those less fortunate ( or those working the system). The comment sounded something like this (paraphrasing of course)
" I went to get my mail in my apartment building and saw a woman on her Blackberry smartphone with her coach bag, hair and nails done.. complaining that she didnt get her welfare check yet" The comment really got to me because it was the perfect example of how people cheat the system. This got me thinking about government programs dealing with food. I have seen first hand how people abuse WIC and welfare..I think we all have.
I have been behind someone in the grocery store with their cart filled with freetos, cheese curls, soda, sugary cereals, pop tarts, cookies etc. and diapers. Obviously,there was a child at home and I have seen it all be paid for with food stamps. My heart ached for the poor kid who wasnt going to see even one green vegetable. The only piece of food that came from the earth in that entire cart were bananas.. Everyone likes a treat now and then.. and I dont know one kid that hasnt eaten some smore flavored pop tarts but come on.. and you are using government money to feed your kids food that will make them unhealthy, overweight, lose focus in school and basically raise the chances that your child too will become unhealthy or unable to educate themselves therefore perpetuating the welfare cycle?
I have also seen first hand accounts of people with joint incomes brag about how much money their husbands make "under the table" and then talk about how they use WIC as cigarette ashes are falling on their 8 month pregnant belly. If you dont care enough about your babies health to not smoke the entire time youre pregnant than why do you care if they get healthy food options? and if your spouse makes so much money (illegally I might add) then why are you using the WIC program? You can afford a loaf of bread and fruit..why are you draining the system when there are others that could truly use the help?
I understand that there are truly good people with great work ethics out there that use these programs correctly and it really helps them. To these people I say I am sorry you are struggling and I commend you for doing everything you can to provide for yourself and your family in hard times. I know its not great to focus on the bad.. but I havent heard much of any discussion about these types of topics in the blogging communities and I would really like peoples opinions! Whether you agree with me or not.
So I guess the question I am posing is.. are these programs working? Should the government regulate what food you can buy if you are on welfare? Especially if you are stating that you cant work because of health issues? ( depending on the health issue of course)