Amusings (Randyjw; March 12, 2019)
I have so many issues – –
I’ve been receiving food stamps, fortunately, and unfortunately, for some time now – – both when I was “working poor,” with a roof over my head, and now, when I’m homeless. The allotment works out to approximately six US dollars (USD), per day. It’s difficult, but do-able, to manage the budget for the longer-term, if one has the means to store, via cabinets and a refrigerator, and prepare, via oven/stovetop/fire, the items purchased. Perishability, portability, distance to food sources/resources, mobility, seasonal availability, and dietary considerations involving lifestyle or medical concerns also play huge roles in determining which selections a homeless person might choose.
Food which is sold hot, such as in a restaurant or a fast-food outlet, is not allowed to be purchased via food stamps. Due to this, and reasons stated above, options become somewhat restrictive and limiting. Frozen food is permitted. Hot, prepared food items which have been cooled to sell as refrigerated are also permitted, though usually quite cost-prohibitive. In some instances whereby the means to heat frozen items at its selling location permits, then such items are also allowed. In this way, I’m able to invariably treat myself to the occasional pizza, etc. I’ve done so, it’s good, and the leftovers, because you have to buy it whole, and aren’t allowed to purchase by the slice, seemingly are able to keep for the next day or so without too much spoilage (but, don’t do as I say, because there is a chance of the development of toxin formation).
So, recently I didn’t make it to a charitable gathering (whether faith-group or individually-aided, as many people and families seek to provide food and other comforts to the homeless [thank you!], also), so I decided to get frozen pizza; dinner al fresco a la curbside, and not proud to be, but, be, I am.
So forgive my laughter, although I’m glad to still find humor in such situations, and for such a time as this, but, when I opened the box, and I had seen that it had been cut into exceedingly numerous, thin, triangular slices (too thin to remove without breaking in half), it sent me into peals of laughter. This way, there was plenty “more” to spare. Each time I opened the box, and started to try to count exactly how many actual slices had been cut, I’d start laughing again, and would lose track of the total. It made my day. It kept me going for about one-half hour (and the grand total was sixteen).
Now, some people might be mad at me for laughing – – call me “cruel;” “heartless.” I don’t see it as thus, though. Whatever creature comforts I may have lived with were obtained through the continual hard work of devoted parents. Independently, although I’ve also worked long and hard in various capacities, whether with world renown companies or in relative obscurity, the wages were simply on the low end and it was always a struggle. I’ve personally been pretty poor, have gotten by with no vehicle for many, many years, now, and have been homeless in what will, not long from now, amount to two consecutive years.
I have often, lately, been too tired as I move about from location to location and toting my fifty-plus pounds of belongings with me, such that by the time I should be once more heading out to attend any scheduled church dinners, I’ve been depleted of energy and don’t attend. It’s a vicious cycle, for you need the nutritional value of the food provided, in order to be able to call on the energy in reserve, it provides. It is for these moments, or when there are few or no church dinners (like on weekends, etc.), when food stamps are a practical necessity. And, most people who receive a disability check or have other non-wage incomes receive only a token amount; some people do not even receive food stamps. Others, still, “game” the system for all they can get, I hate to say. There will probably be many mad to read what I’ve written – – whether be it for the pizza, the excess, the US largesse, the lack of food in other countries, and other reasons.
I don’t knock the fact that I’m blessed to live in a free, prosperous and relatively considerate society which takes these factors into concern and provides such means for our population’s needy to possibly secure such assistance, ehen they’ve fallen by the wayside. The costs of doing so is distributed amongst the people, as a whole, each state determining its own specific rules regarding the same, with the overall federal government budget assisting states in helping to fund many of its societal programs, as well.
I’m also glad that the United States, through its individual people, are helping to supply a great deal of humanitarian assistance to the rest of the world, via food, medicine, medical equipment and supplies, development of agrarian, industrial, business and economic opportunities, and the sharing of professional expertise through many avenues. I don’t take any of these things for granted. I don’t think others should do so, either. It’s up to you to be the judge – – but, I hope you’d at least do so after trying on homelessness for two years; I’d be happy for you that you could still find it within to laugh.