It was a dark time for me. I was on Social Security Disability and unable to use much energy. I was relearning how to walk after being hospitalized for a month and having a autologous stem cell transplant. I could not work; my immune system was too fragile. SNAP helped make the difference and bridged the gap at least a bit to make it possible for me to buy better quality foodstuffs to enhance my wellness.
It is still a concern to me that so many people believe this program, like others, is used by people who are abusing the privilege. That is simply not so.
I received benefits from the SNAP program a year ago and it helped me tremendously. I was able to eat with healthy options because Whole Foods accepts the card. It also allowed me to have money to pay the rest of my bills. I wish I could have kept those benefits especially being a military veteran because I’m still catching up now and things are scarce and expensive in Bridgeport.
Life gets complicated, and then it gets tough. I am a Connecticut single mother who has a graduate degree and worked professionally for years. I became unemployed and found myself living exclusively on child support below the poverty level. There have been many times I have had to choose between paying the rent, paying the electric bill and feeding my family, but at the greatest cost. I have even had to utilize local food pantries when in dire need. Feeding my child always came first, but rent and utilities would fall behind.
With the help of SNAP, I can pay my rent, my utilities and I can afford to buy nutritious food for me and my son. Our diets include fruits and vegetables, homemade organic whole wheat bread, and healthy milk and meats, fish and poultry and an occasional desert or treat because children shouldn’t feel the suffering of their parents. SNAP is not a luxury for the lazy, but it is a necessity for the needy.