Friday, February 23, 2018

Child Support, Food Stamps and Other Oppression

Painting by April Harrison
Painting by April Harrison

Brief FSP (Food Stamp Program) History

May 16, 1939, the Experimental Food Stamp Program (FSP) began in Rochester, N.Y.  Impoverished families, because of unemployment and Food Surplus shortages, needed relief.

By March 1943, the need was so great that half of the counties in the U.S. had an FSP, though Congress never authorized it. Suspected fraud and abuse of the program, by both administrators as well as recipients, led to its termination in the spring of 1943. -despite the obvious need for it.

Poverty doesn't magically disappear because an aid program discontinues. Families continued to struggle for the next eighteen years (from 1943 to 1960) while lawmakers -who had plenty by the way and didn't have to question where their next meal would come from -spent that time doing studies, reports, and legislative proposals.


A series of events occurred (perhaps too many starvations) that led to FSP reinstatement in 1961. Kennedy asked for legislation authorizing a permanent FSP on January 31, 1963. A year later (January 31, 1964) Johnson renewed the request, thus The Foodstamp Act of 1964 was born. Supposedly, this was part of Johnson's "War on Poverty".

What Did The Food Stamp Act Entail?

  • It permitted low-income families to receive "a greater share of the nation's food abundance"  - I guess my question is: why would you need a law to make sure people don't starve? Sometimes all that's needed is to do the right thing. If the nation had all this abundance, why allow eighteen years of hunger?
The legislation is more in-depth than that. We'll mention some of the intricacies as we progress through the conversation.

Child support discussions are controversial. Passions run deep on all sides of the debate for different reasons. What began as an intended temporary measure to help impoverished families get back on their feet, evolved into an obvious 'free ride' at the carnival, according to some. 

I don't think city governments had any idea of the many households that were barely surviving from one paycheck to the next. This was aside from the families affected by mass layoffs. Everyone who applied for food stamps was approved according to guidelines.

Because various city coffers were being Lawmakers concluded that recipients were milking the system at the taxpayers' expense.

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