San Diego County Supervisors decide to starve the old, the disabled and the homeless
New restaurant food stamp program likely will leave these unfortunate people without food two weeks every month
by Richard Rider, Chairman
San Diego Tax Fighters
11 January, 2011
For Immediate Release
San Diego – Today the San Diego County Supervisors voted to starve the most vulnerable people in the county. It’s a classic case of the passage of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Lawmakers feel that passing more laws is what they get paid for. Apparently thinking things through is not part of their job description.
Here’s their “plan.” With the best of intentions, our county supervisors have decided that some people receiving food stamps have trouble fixing a hot meal. So without increasing the food stamp allotment, they blithely voted to let such disadvantaged folks buy meals in restaurants with the food stamp card.
Let me be blunt. By and large, people on food stamps (now renamed CalFresh – sounds like some room freshener) have a problem getting the food stamp money to last until the end of the month. Most are not good money managers. It’s likely that the folks getting the restaurant option are as fiscally unskilled as the average food stamp recipient – if not more so.
Buying a meal – even at McDonald’s or other fast food restaurant – costs 3-5 times more than buying similar food at a grocery store. If the average food stamp recipient already runs out of food money before the end of the month, guess what’s going to happen when they start eating in restaurants? That’s right – depending on the frequency of dining out, such recipients likely will be out of funds 10 days to 2 weeks into the month.
Proponents argue that they just want to offer such folks hot meals. But my question is this: Which is better – cold meals, or NO meals?
In part, this program is based on a false premise – that these unfortunate recipients don’t have access to hot meals. Sometimes true, but often not.
There are soup kitchens, churches and other charities offering hot meals. For seniors, there’s the Meals on Wheels program. Many of the disabled have assistance available from government, or from family and friends.
Supervisor Ron Roberts is quoted as saying that this could be “a live-saving program.” Really? Show me the stats on the county food stamp recipients who starved to death in the last ten years – or who died for the lack of hot meals. I suspect the number is zero.
Hunger can be a real problem. The county supervisors just inadvertently increased its likely frequency in the future.
The irony is that the professional advocates for these unfortunates are celebrating this “victory.” Some victory.