My friend Jacqui took this great quote from Brené Brown and made it beautiful and I’ve been reflecting on it a lot in the last 24 hours since the proposed changes to the SNAP programs were announced.
Imagine the Grandmother was raising 3 of her grandkids after being on her feet all day working for $7/hour in home healthcare and being exhausted and just wishing she could throw frozen pizza in the oven for the kids when she got home. Imagine visiting her home and seeing her grandkids act out after a day of being bussed into a school system where they’re overwhelmed and uncomfortable being surrounded by such privilege. Watch her try to walk the line between correcting their behavior and not ruining the few hours they have together with yelling and fighting over bad marks in school. See them hungry and unable to even begin to care about homework with the growling in their stomachs.
Move in and really look at this family counting down the days to the new SNAP every month and watch them finally feel normal the first few days when they can buy cake and ice cream to finally celebrate the birthday that happened to fall at the end of the previous month when they were already out of benefits. See the grandmother also letting the birthday boy pick out what they were going to eat for dinner because she felt so guilty for running out of SNAP before his birthday arrived the week before.
Now, get really close and THEN tell them that the frozen pizza the kid chose, finally feeling normal for a moment, is unhealthy and they should eat vegetables instead. Tell them that it is wasteful to spend their precious few dollars on cake and ice cream. Get right in their face and tell them that this month you are going to give them LESS money to buy food for themselves and instead give them this BOX of so-called “staples” because the government wants to save money.