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Thread: Today Nationwide glitch stops people from getting food

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Today Nationwide glitch stops people from getting food

    It's not known if it was a timely glitch or intentional but no one could get food today. SNAP otherwise known as food stamps, could not be accessed nationwide today and computer still not fixed. I'm not sure what I believe. I never used govt anything but a small check. I applied finally a few years ago, and with my mother gone, and no one worried about me, it matters. I never used services even as I saw others abuse.

    I ask you all to contact all your friends and agree to contact your congressman, senators, the speakers-Boehner most imptly, and president. It is reallyeasy to google- where can I add my name to xyz petition? Go to website, sign up, and they will keep you informed. I belong to maybe 5 progressive non profits who do good work. My box is not flooded. They do not sell my name, nor do they ever aask for more than 3 dollars.

    I can't lead rallys but I can add my name to impt petitions. Right now, I spend maybe a half hour a week, responding to requests to 1) open govt 2) pass a cr debt ceiling-the money has been spend and if we default on our debt, consequwnces are disastrous-we avoided it in 2011. Koch Bros/Tea Party are more determined and Billionaires run our govt. Independent Senator Bernie sanders said Koch Bros planned this for 6 mos. They funded most teas party congressmen who infiltrated Congress in 2010.

    I am living in terror, disabled by doctors and living marginally on Govt assistance, most I did not use for years until I had no choice. Please help the disabled, veterans, the sick and children. Also a US Govt default, which the repub party wants for ideological reasons and power issues (they truly think we will blame Obama, thus rendering Hilary's chances far worse should she run), will affect the world and wipe out any advances/recovery since 2008 destruction of middle class wealth by Wall street's unregulated banksters. The suffering is not being reported by American media-the WIC program, the head start slots not going to be there. I listened to veterans on C Span today terrified they won't pay their rent.

    Religious people I know who are not affected, won't suffer who saved their money (very good luck as well) think God is behind this. Perhaps these are the end of times, but Michelle Bachmann thinks her belief is reason to do nothing.

    Evil prospers when good men do nothing. Please send to all your address book if you agree we are on the edge of disaster, and know that one person can change the world. Malala from Pakistan is changing the world because she was willing to die to learn. Her book is a bestseller and the Nobel peace price nomination.

    Here on GS there could be a hero from any country who writes an incredible impassioned letter to WSJ or WPost and changes hearts. Please think of me, and know I have no family who cares, and I trusted doctors. That is why I am poor and depend on govt for meagher assistance. I stand o lose all I have.

    This one post might touch one person who has a huge data base of friends. Please watch one or two less TV programs and contact your govt officials. If you are outside the USA please write John Boehner and tell him what people are saying about his leadership in your country, and to please not lead the USA down road to hell. If the USA is broke, the world is drastically affected.

    I truly hope God is on the side of those who do need govt. Thank you for reading my call. I am very AFRAID, and my health is affected by all this stress. Bless everyone who decides to act, even if you think you personally are safe. For the vulnerable, I thank you. I ask in the forums I go to, not knowing who might be reading, and knows many more folks than me.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Certainly, Bernie Sanders will be loud and proud in this fight. I'm glad you gave him a shoutout here.

    I'm sorry to hear that SNAP/WIC was not working today.

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    I'm sorry too. It's especially upsetting that it happened on a Saturday. Many of the working poor hold down two jobs and can't get away easily to do the grocery shopping. Saturday may be their only opportunity to stock up for the family. I suppose lawmakers think that people can just send their personal assistants out to pick up a few things to tide them over....

    Here is a report on it. Apparently Xerox, the company that manages the system for 17 states, did some sort of maintenance and managed to shut the thing down at about 10 A.M. on Saturday. This problem was apparently related to the government shutdown. In other words, it was a separate act of ineptitude.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...cards/2972713/

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Most communities have organizations that are NOT run by the government that can help in these types of crisis. The one in our area is called Love, Inc. It is "religiously based" but you do not have to be a member of their faith or of any faith to be helped. Churches and other businesses/establishments in the community partner up and supply the staples that people NEED. It's not filet mignon, but it is a healthy well balanced "grocery list" of items that will help the person out until they can get paid/get their stamps. I've been a part of the organization off and on since high school.

    This shutdown only goes to prove that this nation is far too dependent on DC.

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    Actually, Toni, the part of the system that broke down was outsourced to a private corporation. Maybe we're far too dependent on corporations.

    I think it's admirable that you volunteer to Love, Inc. In a state with fewer than a million people, I'm sure that does the trick. There are cities with more people than your state, and there aren't enough churches or community organizations to take care of everyone's needs. Why tie one hand behind our backs to deal with problems of such magnitude?

    In any case, I'm sure I won't convince you to shift your deeply held beliefs, but these are a few of the reasons I don't agree with you.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The volunteer efforts in our area tend to feed people during the week, not on weekends, when this glitch hit. (For example, Meals on Wheels is weekday, and the food shelf operates during a normal 40 hour work week, which makes it unavailable to many of the working poor. The church-run soup kitchen ran once a week, and was stopped when the main force behind it became ill. It has not restarted.

    The trouble about eating is that it is something you have to do every day. Volunteers have their own lives, and you can't ask them to find & feed every starving person, nor to do feeding on a schedule that works for everybody.

    Many of the poor don't have cars, and the US is notoriously bad for public transportation, so in sprawling towns like ours, just getting to the food shelf (and getting the food home) f or (when we had one) a soup kitchen can be very, very difficult for those who don't live near them.

    This is exactly what is good about food stamps. People who are registered for them get them on a regular, plannable basis, and can acquire their food on their own schedules. And they don't get stuck with packs of foods that perhaps their family won't (or even can't) eat. In the day when the government supplied food rather than food stamps, people got lots of peanut butter, flour, and cheese. Foodshelves have the same limitations- but what if your child were lactose intolerant (cheese) or allergic to peanuts, or for that matter, gluten intolerant? Frankly, Toni, not everyone can use the same food.

    This is not to downplay the awesome effort made by churches and other volunteer organizations to feed the poor, and those who are unable to cook for themselves, like the homeless, but I think both the food stamps and the volunteer organizations are helpful. But even with both government and private efforts, in 2012, 49 million US households were "food insecure."

    http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-...tatistics.aspx

    Some of this is due to the fact that there are areas where even having 2 minimum wage jobs can't keep you (and your kids) in both food & shelter. You need 3. Consequently, single parent households are especially at risk for hunger. Some states are worse than others. In Mississippi, in 2012, 20.9% of people were "food insecure."

    Now some of this is dependent on who is counting up the hungry people, but even if you changed a lot of guidelines, that is a lot of people. And that's with foodstamps & churches, and non-church volunteers.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 10-14-2013 at 04:51 AM.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I am not against welfare - when it works. I see it abused on a daily basis here in Alaska. I am not saying that the volunteer based organizations can save the world - and I get that I live in a world where everything is smaller and we can "get by" easier (at least in the outsider's eyes). All I'm saying is, that IF we in a "rural backwater" area have these types of organizations (my church also runs a "soup kitchen" which, yes, is weekday only) I am sure there are several in the bigger communities. It's just that they get pushed to the side for the reasons stated above.

    We all have to do our part - even if you can't get involved if you know people in your area who are struggling make sure they know what's out there -especially in the times we are dealing with now with a government shut down. These programs aren't a fix all - but then the welfare system wasn't supposed to be a person's be all end all for their entire life either (and there are those that make a career out of it, which is why the system is broken for those that truly need it) - but they can be a bandaid until DC gets their act together.

    But we are too dependent on the government when we all just chase our tails and wait for THEM to fix all the problems.

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    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Apparently Xerox, the company that manages the system for 17 states, did some sort of maintenance and managed to shut the thing down at about 10 A.M. on Saturday. This problem was apparently related to the government shutdown. In other words, it was a separate act of ineptitude.
    Olympia, did you intend to say that the current problem was apparently NOT related to the government shutdown?

    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    The volunteer efforts in our area tend to feed people during the week, not on weekends, when this glitch hit. (For example, Meals on Wheels is weekday, and the food shelf operates during a normal 40 hour work week, which makes it unavailable to many of the working poor. ...
    Off topic:
    At my former company, I used to belong to an employee group that volunteers on Saturdays for a "Meals on Wheels" program that provides food for weekend consumption.
    On Saturday morning, each recipient is brought food to eat both on Saturday and Sunday. IIRC, the Saturday delivery for each person includes two hot meals and two cold meals.
    Vegetarian meals are available. (And perhaps meals tailored for other dietary restrictions? I don't remember how many options were available.)
    Not suggesting that this weekend program can magically solve the nationwide hunger problem. But I hope that the Saturday deliveries in my area are not unique.

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    Whoops! Thanks, Golden. Yes, I meant that the problem was NOT related to the shutdown, at least in any direct way.

    Toni, food stamps are not welfare. The working poor as well as the jobless use food stamps. They are supplemental to what people earn because you can't exist on a minimum wage job and feed a family on it.

    As for NGO's (non-government organizations) getting "pushed to the side" in larger areas, to the contrary, they are working full-out and are stretched to way beyond their capacity. People are showing up at food banks who wouldn't have been caught dead taking a handout from anyone just a few years ago. Most of the houses of worship in my community have some sort of outreach program, and there are also other non-religious organizations. People are not just waiting for the government to solve the problem. But most churches and other groups can't do their regular jobs and also be the principal supplier of food to families. Government food agencies are set up for that express purpose.

    As for ineptitude and outright malfeasance, neither churches nor secular nonprofits are immune to those. Charities are also run by human beings and have a bureaucracy. We've all heard stories of things that have gone wrong and organizations that have swallowed up money meant for relief of the needy. The difference is that the people running those organizations are not answerable to us and cannot be voted out of their jobs.

    As I have said before, why would we attempt to face such overwhelming problems as we have in this country with one hand tied behind our backs? We need both hands--in fact, three or four hands would be even better.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    My mother in law used to use Meals on Wheels here in CT (she passed away in 2006). She got no food on Saturday and Sunday-which was OK, we were able to cook for her on Saturday and Sunday, but not everyone has relatives who can. In 2002/2003, which is when I'm talking about, I was living and working in NY, and she was living in eastern CT. It just wasn't feasible for us to do for her on anything except weekends and holidays.

    I'm glad to hear that somewhere there is a MoW program that remembers that people are hungry on weekends, too, golden!

    Another problem with our local MoW is that they only gave service to seniors. And they contracted with a food service that made meals for airlines, and my mother in law really hated the food. But in some ways, more important than the food was getting a visit, however brief, from a smiling, friendly person.

    A young friend of mine broke his leg in several places falling off a ladder. He was unable to walk or cook for some time. He was not married and had no one to cook for him. Fortunately there is another group in CT that makes and delivers meals for people like him named a Moveable Feast. The food was really good, too. But again, they only served weekdays. OTOH, at the time anyway, they didn't serve seniors, who were supposed to get their food from MoW.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 10-14-2013 at 09:24 AM.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Maybe Alaska just has a better handle on this, then, but I know our groups give enough necessity items to get a person through the week unless they plan on having a feast and somehow go through it all in one sitting. Are the programs you're talking about giving one serving a day per person? Are there no groups that will give boxed/pantry goods to supplement? Or is it that they are not well known and therefore most don't get help because they don't know who to ask?

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    There's a food shelf. People donate food. Customers come and pick up food. Box delivery to your home is only MoW or Moveable Feast. Soup kitchens in Groton no longer exist. There's a once a week fresh vegetables and meat delivery that people line up for, but it only stops in one place in Groton city (I don't know whether it stops in Poquonnock Bridge, a neighboring area in the town overall.

    As towns get bigger, there is often an assumption that somebody else is taking care of everything-not necessarily the government, just a belief that there is no necessity for them to get involved or volunteer.

    Volunteerism was much more prevalent in the tiny town I used to live in in VT (Underhill Center). That's because we knew there were no big operations that were going to help anyone. It also meant that people could very, very easily slip through the cracks if no one knew help was needed.

    What we do have in Groton is PeaPod, a grocery delivery service run by a local big grocery called Stop & Shop. But that you pay for the groceries with your food stamps...and if the government shuts down, and food stamp cards don't work, guess what, no PeaPod.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 10-14-2013 at 10:02 AM.

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    To your point about the decline of volunteerism in many places, Doris:
    1. In the old days, many of the volunteers were women who didn't have a regular job outside the home. Volunteering for many organizations was the equivalent of a job in terms of complexity and also time commitment, differing only in that it was unpaid. This was a great system, but now many women don't just want to work, they have to work, because a family needs two incomes to get by. So there goes one stream of volunteers.

    2. Also in the good old days, most people lived closer to their jobs. The people who lived in suburbs or exurbs worked near their homes and spent most of their time in their own communities. These days, many exurbs have become bedroom communities of nearby cities, because cities are not as affordable to live in. So a lot more people have a long daily commute, and they don't have the time or the community ties that would enable them to volunteer on their home turf. I once read that one local service that has really suffered is local fire departments, many of which are staffed by volunteers rather than paid firefighters. I'm sure other local organizations also deal with a lack of willing hands.

    All this means that someone must pick up the slack. A government agency in the area not only provides consistent service, but it is also a source of local jobs. Both of these factors are beneficial.

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    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    My mother in law used to use Meals on Wheels here in CT (she passed away in 2006). She got no food on Saturday and Sunday-which was OK, we were able to cook for her on Saturday and Sunday, but not everyone has relatives who can. In 2002/2003, which is when I'm talking about, I was living and working in NY, and she was living in eastern CT. It just wasn't feasible for us to do for her on anything except weekends and holidays.

    I'm glad to hear that somewhere there is a MoW program that remembers that people are hungry on weekends, too, golden!

    Another problem with our local MoW is that they only gave service to seniors. And they contracted with a food service that made meals for airlines, and my mother in law really hated the food. But in some ways, more important than the food was getting a visit, however brief, from a smiling, friendly person.

    A young friend of mine broke his leg in several places falling off a ladder. He was unable to walk or cook for some time. He was not married and had no one to cook for him. Fortunately there is another group in CT that makes and delivers meals for people like him named a Moveable Feast. The food was really good, too. But again, they only served weekdays. OTOH, at the time anyway, they didn't serve seniors, who were supposed to get their food from MoW.
    Doris, bless you and your husband for taking care of your late mother-in-law.
    I'm sure that she appreciated your home cooking -- and better yet, the pleasure of visits from her loving family.

    Sorry for going further off topic, but your point about seeing a friendly face is a very good one.
    The first time that I delivered meals, I was surprised and baffled that we were given explicit instructions NOT to get enmeshed in conversation with any recipient -- and NOT to enter anyone's home, unless the person really seemed to need help getting their food to the kitchen. To a newbie like me, those rules seemed heartless ... UNTIL I soon realized (and agreed) that it is not fair to others awaiting their deliveries to linger at any one stop. The longer someone has to wait for food, the more likely that s/he might fear that it is never going to show up. And the fear of no food for the weekend could be extremely stressful.
    But the brief human contact does seem important to some recipients. With not a moment to waste, de facto goals became to bring our biggest smiles and put as much oomph and energy as possible into a three- or four-sentence conversation at the doorway.
    If a delivery volunteer felt a special rapport with a particular recipient, a little trick for future Saturdays was to save that person's home for last -- so that spending extra time chatting there would not delay the arrival of meals for others on the list.

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    Much as I love cats, humans are more like dogs than cats; we're pack animals. Without human contact, we wither away. A friend of mine used to volunteer by visiting a local public hospital every week to hold the babies who had been abandoned there. Without such early contact, children become mentally and emotionally stunted.

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