Doctor Who Grew Up On Food Stamps Responds To Woman Concerned That Her Tax Dollars Pay For The Program

"Do not let people like this make you feel bad for needing additional help and for using governmental services that could help you."

Tommy Martin @dr.tommymartin / TikTok

There are many circumstances in which a person would end up participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Food and Nutrition Service, which provides low-income families with funds to buy food every month. Unfortunately, there is still a heavy stigma around people who have been on food stamps, and in a TikTok video, a doctor named Tommy Martin cleverly replied to a woman who shared those same biases.


He responded to a woman's concern about how her tax dollars are paying for the program that provides food stamps.

In Martin's video, he explained that in his adolescent years, he and his family had been on food stamps, debunking many of the stigma and biases that often surround families that use SNAP.

Stitching another creator's video named Shannon, who claimed that she and other American's tax dollars were being wasted on the program, Martin explained just exactly how SNAP cards were used in his house growing up.

"I can tell you what we spent it on," Martin said, responding to Shannon's concern about what families use their SNAP cards to buy. "When I was a child, we did not make much money and we needed help, which we are so grateful for our government being able to give us food stamps."




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Martin recalled being a child and walking through the grocery store with his mother and counting up every single item that she would drop into their cart because he would work with her to make sure they weren't getting too many items that would leave them with no food stamps for the rest of that month.

"Not only that, but I remember walking around the store until the people who would always give us dirty looks about using food stamps left the grocery store so we wouldn't have to check out in front of them," he continued.


Martin went on to inform Shannon that as a child, his mom would use their SNAP cards to buy the necessities, including their proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, and snacks. 

He debunked the woman's claim that people with food stamps are mainly buying junk food.

In her video, Shannon went on to say that "10% of SNAP card money" is spent on foods that have high-fructose corn syrup in them, including soda, while she claimed that "70%" is spent on high-processed foods.

In response, Martin pointed out that she had zero factual data to back up this claim, and was instead using the falsified data to further stigmatize already impoverished and underprivileged groups, who face that type of bias on a daily basis.

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"You would be one of the people that made us walk around the grocery store for hours until no one in the grocery store would judge us for checking out with food stamps," he pointed out. Martin even offered advice for people who are on government assistance programs and receive things like food stamps.

"You are not alone [and] it's okay to need help," Martin stressed. "Do not let people like this make you feel bad for needing additional help and for using governmental services that could help you have the necessities that you need to live day to day."

Data has shown that people using SNAP cards spend their money on basic grocery items.

In another TikTok video, a content creator named Liam provided the correct data to debunk Shannon's claim that people using SNAP cards are only buying foods that are unhealthy for them. According to a study released by the United States Department of Agriculture, about 40% of every food purchase was spent on basic items like meat, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and bread.

Another 40% was spent on a variety of items such as cereal, prepared foods, other dairy products, rice, beans, and other cooking ingredients, while 20% was spent on sweetened drinks, desserts, salty snacks, candy, and sugar.




"Sorry, if people buying treats bothers you," Liam sarcastically quipped. 

Just because someone uses food stamps doesn't mean they should suddenly stop indulging in certain foods. People on food stamps should be able to have the same autonomy and dignity in their food choices as anyone else and shouldn't be subjected to food shaming as that only fails to address the underlying issues of food insecurity and how many low-income families struggle daily to afford the basic necessities to survive.


Instead of shaming and furthering these harmful stereotypes and stigmas, we should be finding constructive ways to support people and families in need, including efforts to provide access to affordable foods and stores, along with other economic opportunities.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.