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Mom & Dad Who Don't Qualify For Food Stamps Go Hungry While Apologizing To Their Son For Not Being Able To Feed Him Enough

Photo: Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock
Upset parents holding their young son

While financial struggles have always defined many families in the United States, food insecurity, particularly for children, has become a rising issue for families post-pandemic.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that revealed that in 2022, over 44 million people experienced food insecurity and 13 million were children. 

One mom recently turned to Reddit to share her harrowing experience. “My husband and I don't qualify for food stamps. Our bills are too expensive,” she wrote. “My husband and I skip meals. My stomach hurts. Living is impossible.” 

This mom admitted she went hungry to try to feed her son because they weren't able to get food stamps.

Mostly reliant on food bank donations to feed her family, this mom admitted that they often go hungry.

“Food banks are only open on certain days and that’s if they even give you anything edible,” she revealed. “Most of the time it’s just moldy food — but we take what we can get.” 

Her experience with food banks is not an isolated one. A TikTok stitch from @graffiti.philosopher featuring @lizfromiowa talks revealed some of these flaws including inefficient application processes and inedible food. 

   

   

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While they might be making the most of their resources, oftentimes a lack of funding or volunteers can contribute to a harmful environment, lack of food, and decrease in food standards at local food banks

Comments suggested resources outside of food stamps to help this family put food on the table. 

While she was struggling to get food from local food banks and social programs, comments flooded her Reddit post to provide support. “You should never have to tell your child that you have no food when they’re hungry,” one user wrote after sending a link to a national food security resource. 

Thankfully, food insecurity is actively being addressed by third-party resources and programs across the nation. Oftentimes, being pointed in the right direction is the hardest part of finding a resource that can put food on the table. 

Whether that be local charitable organizations, churches, or even after-school food programs, if you’re struggling with food insecurity, there are resources available online. If that’s not feasible for you, reach out to your child’s guidance counselor at school for more local resources that might not be captured online. 

Flawed social program regulations widen the gap in food assistance eligibility for needy families. 

SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, is a food assistance program in the United States with strict eligibility requirements that are based on household income. While it varies from state to state, the average net monthly income that qualifies for SNAP benefits is around $2,500 for a family of four. 

The problem with this assistance is that there are families making slightly more than the cut-off income that are falling between the cracks when it comes to food security. The reality is almost a quarter of food-insecure households are not income-eligible for any food assistance programs with 55% not being able to receive SNAP benefits

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Low-income school districts struggle with the burden of feeding hungry children. 

Many school districts are having to take on debt to help feed hungry children. One Pennsylvania district said their debt has grown to nearly $70,000. Thanks to private donors and funding, they’re able to continue to pay for these children, but that's not the norm. 

   

   

The harsh truth is that for many lower-income areas and school districts, funding and grants alone aren’t enough to sustain this kind of debt and hungry children are not being fed. Rising food costs and a rollback of pandemic funding for schools have made it more difficult than ever to sustain helpful programs for students in need. 

The negative cycle of food insecurity does not stop at just hunger and oftentimes children deal with long-term physical, mental, and emotional consequences. Students who grow up in food-insecure households tend to do worse in school and are more likely to repeat grades or not graduate at all. 

Especially with the stigma lower-income families face when asking for help, regulations must expand to allow more families access to federal funding. No child should ever go hungry.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture and human interest stories.