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USDA combats ‘mountain pride,’ self-reliance to boost food stamp rolls
Daily Caller ^ | July 3, 2012 | Caroline May

Posted on 07/04/2012 9:35:24 PM PDT by Altariel

One in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the government is pushing to enroll more — in many instances working to overcome Americans’ “pride,” self-reliance or failure to see a need.

“Our common goal is to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” the United States Department of Agriculture explains on its “Outreach Toolkits” page. “Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food. By working as a team, we can accomplish these goals.”

The USDA has adopted a range of strategies and programs designed to bring more people to SNAP, including taking on “pride.” A 2011 Hunger Champions Award document reveals that local assistance offices have been rewarded for “counteracting” pride and pushing more people to sign up for benefits.

The Ashe County Department of Social Services in Jefferson, N.C., for example, received a “Gold” award for confronting “mountain pride” and increasing food stamp participation by 10 percent.

“Hearing from the outreach worker that benefits could be used to purchase seeds and plants for their gardens turned out to be a very important strategy in counteracting what they described as ‘mountain pride’ and appealed to those who wished not to rely on others,” the document explains. “Eventually, many accepted assistance from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program, and others, in some cases doubling a household’s net income. In 1 year, SNAP participation increased over 10 percent.”

Overcoming “beliefs” is a stated method from the USDA to bring more people to the program.

A “Common SNAP Myths” sheet from the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Community Outreach Partner Toolkit” details the importance of reaching people who do not think they qualify or have beliefs that conflict with accepting food stamps.

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USDA combats ‘mountain pride,’ self-reliance to boost food stamp rolls Published: 1:18 PM 07/03/2012 By Caroline May Bio | Archive | Email Caroline May Follow Caroline May Get Caroline May Feed Caroline May is a reporter for The Daily Caller. inShare6 Email This Article Print This Article Ads by Google

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FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2011 file photo, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., talks to the media before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

One in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the government is pushing to enroll more — in many instances working to overcome Americans’ “pride,” self-reliance or failure to see a need.

“Our common goal is to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” the United States Department of Agriculture explains on its “Outreach Toolkits” page. “Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food. By working as a team, we can accomplish these goals.”

The USDA has adopted a range of strategies and programs designed to bring more people to SNAP, including taking on “pride.” A 2011 Hunger Champions Award document reveals that local assistance offices have been rewarded for “counteracting” pride and pushing more people to sign up for benefits.

The Ashe County Department of Social Services in Jefferson, N.C., for example, received a “Gold” award for confronting “mountain pride” and increasing food stamp participation by 10 percent.

“Hearing from the outreach worker that benefits could be used to purchase seeds and plants for their gardens turned out to be a very important strategy in counteracting what they described as ‘mountain pride’ and appealed to those who wished not to rely on others,” the document explains. “Eventually, many accepted assistance from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program, and others, in some cases doubling a household’s net income. In 1 year, SNAP participation increased over 10 percent.”

Overcoming “beliefs” is a stated method from the USDA to bring more people to the program.

A “Common SNAP Myths” sheet from the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Community Outreach Partner Toolkit” details the importance of reaching people who do not think they qualify or have beliefs that conflict with accepting food stamps. Ads by Google

“Millions of low-income people are not accessing the nutrition benefits for which they qualify,” the “myth” sheet explains. “To be effective, it is important that our national and local outreach efforts counter myths about SNAP among those who think they are not eligible or have beliefs that discourage them from enrolling.”

USDA claims that eligible people who do not participate are actually harming their communities by preventing additional funds from entering their respective economies.

“SNAP is an investment in our future. It offers nutrition benefits to participating clients, supports work, and provides economic benefits to communities,” USDA explains on one of its outreach pages. “However, too many low-income people who are eligible for the program do not participate and thus forgo nutrition assistance that could stretch their food dollars at the grocery store. Their communities lose out on the benefits provided by new SNAP dollars flowing into local economies.”

The agency adds that there are many hurdles — including reticence to accept government aid — that SNAP advocates must overcome in order to make eligible people accept the government’s help.

According to the USDA, 65 percent of those eligible claim SNAP benefits, a number the agency has been working to increase.

“The most common reason eligible people do not participate is because they do not realize they may be eligible,” USDA explains. “Others choose not to apply because of myths or misunderstandings about SNAP benefits or because of stigma that continues to persist. Others make a cost-benefit decision that the time involved in applying for benefits is not worth the expected return. Some do not want to accept government assistance.”

The USDA also claims increasing food stamp participation is an economic stimulus.

“Outreach and education are powerful tools in overcoming barriers to SNAP participation. Even a small increase in SNAP participation can have a substantial impact,” USDA continues. “If the national participation rate rose 5 percentage points, 1.9 million more low-income people would have an additional $1.3 billion in benefits per year to use to purchase healthy food and $2.5 billion total in new economic activity would be generated nationwide.”

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, described USDA’s assertion that food stamps are beneficial to the economy as “ludicrous.”

Sessions, who has had his eye on food stamp reform for years, added that USDA’s focus on reducing cultural impediments to food stamp participation is particularly concerning.

“I think it’s a deep problem when SNAP officials think it is their duty to overcome ‘mountain pride’ or overcome the American sense of independence and individual responsibility,” Sessions told The Daily Caller in an interview. “They seem to think that is an anachronism and that modern Americans shouldn’t have pride and independence. I think it is highly troubling actually.” (SEE ALSO: USDA suggests food stamp parties, games to increase participation)

The Alabama senator’s most recent attempts at SNAP reform, in the 2012 farm bill — 80 percent of which was food stamp spending — were voted down by the Democratic majority in the Senate.

SNAP spending has doubled since 2008 and quadrupled since 2001. Participation has increased from 1-in-50 on food stamps in the 1970s to 1-in-7 today.

In a statement to The Daily Caller, USDA spokesman Alyn G. Kiel explained the agency’s SNAP outreach effort as an information distribution partnership with state and local agencies, advocates, employers, community and faith-based organizations, and others to help eligible people decide if they want to participate in SNAP.

“Congress allocates funds to USDA with the mandate to conduct public education about the benefits of SNAP and how to apply to help reduce hunger in America,” she explained in an email. “The agency began airing radio ads in 2004 and more recently developed a Community Toolkit to help organizations engage with elderly people who may be eligible but are not participating in SNAP. Public education is targeted to eligible individuals in the populations and geographic areas with the most need including the elderly and working poor.”

While Sessions does not begrudge food for those truly in need, he argues that the goal should be giving Americans the tools they need to get off food stamps, not adopting strategies to get more people on them. (FLASHBACK: Lottery winner using food stamps: ‘I thought maybe it was okay because I’m not working’)

To be sure, USDA claims that 50 percent of new participants leave the program within 9 months of enrolling — a statistic derived from a 1998 study — and that the assistance can help keep recipients healthy for work.

“Employees whose nutrition needs are met at home may be healthier and thus may take fewer sick days for themselves or their children. Employees may stay longer with companies that care about them by sharing information about SNAP benefits and its importance as a work support,” USDA explains. “SNAP helps families become financially stable and make the transition to self-sufficiency, getting them through the tough times.”

USDA contends that SNAP even offers incentives to get back to work, as SNAP benefits only decrease by 24 to 36 cents for every additional dollar a SNAP participant earns.

In the interim, however, USDA wants as many people as it can muster to join the program.

The Daily Caller reported last week that the USDA has been encouraging local SNAP offices to recruit with SNAP parties and games. CNN Money further reported that for the last four months the agency was running paid radio ads — costing taxpayers between $2.5 million to $3 million — in California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and the New York City metro area.

According to Sessions, there needs to be top-down reform of the program, commencing with actually categorizing SNAP as a welfare program.

“It should be coordinated with all the other welfare programs in an effort to move people from help to work, to help people move from temporary assistance to work and gainful employment,” Sessions said. “This is what the 1996 welfare reform focused on and it was very successful, but it does appear that we have slid back from that. The whole country needs to once again go through these programs and make them as beneficial to the recipients as possible.”


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: corruption; culturerot; culturewar; dependency; enslavement; foodstamps; incomeredistribution; masterstrough; moochers; mooching; mountainpride; petfood; pets; propagatinglethargy; slavery; snap; sponging; theft; usda; welfare; welfarestate
We need more "mountain pride"; not less of it.
1 posted on 07/04/2012 9:35:37 PM PDT by Altariel
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To: Altariel

Un Be Lievable. Combat pride, beliefs, and self-reliance to get more people dependent on government.


2 posted on 07/04/2012 9:40:30 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Altariel

Funny really in that the Forest Service, which is part of the USDA, encourages people NOT to feed wildlife in that it fosters dependence and hinders their ability at self-reliance.


3 posted on 07/04/2012 9:40:30 PM PDT by yadent
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To: Nachum

Ping


4 posted on 07/04/2012 9:46:27 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: Altariel

If I ever take food stamps, it will be to buy freeze dried food that I can eat after this country is economically ruined by freeloaders like me.


5 posted on 07/04/2012 9:47:22 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: DBrow

I want to weep. I really want to weep.


6 posted on 07/04/2012 10:03:20 PM PDT by Ronin (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life - Rep. L. Gohmert, Tex)
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To: Ronin

There is a threshold after which we can’t vote this, um, stuff out.


7 posted on 07/04/2012 10:15:26 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Altariel

The first step towards taking the freedom of a wild animal so you can domesticate it and trap it and its progeny forever is to make it dependent on you for food.


8 posted on 07/04/2012 10:21:04 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: Altariel

****in many instances working to overcome Americans’ “pride,” self-reliance or failure to see a need. ****

They tried this with my widowed mom many years ago. She found the administrator was signing up as many as possible for his own job security.


9 posted on 07/04/2012 10:37:44 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (I LIKE ART! Click my name. See my web page.)
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To: Altariel
the government is pushing to enroll more — in many instances working to overcome Americans’ “pride,” self-reliance or failure to see a need.

I can think of a loud, offensive, obnoxious special interest group that sure needs to overcome and combat "pride".

10 posted on 07/04/2012 10:43:21 PM PDT by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: DBrow; expat1000; Yehuda
Un Be Lievable. Combat pride, beliefs, and self-reliance to get more people dependent on government.<<<

A “Common SNAP Myths” sheet from the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Community Outreach Partner Toolkit” details the importance of reaching people who do not think they qualify or have beliefs that conflict with accepting food stamps.

This reminds me of a recent essay by Daniel Greenfield.

>>>The old kings used to play chess games with human chess pieces, a metaphor for how they saw their power over their subjects. The new kings or czars play with hundreds of millions of chess pieces. They assess how many pieces they have in a census, determine what kind of pieces they are and pass laws telling them where to move, what to buy and how to live. And they are no more tolerant of pawns who fail to move when ordered to; than the old kings playing human chess in their gardens.

In the last century, the Great Solvers went to work on a national and global game of human chess. They called this game by various names, The New Deal, the New Frontier, Hope and Change, or, most commonly, Social Justice. The real name of the game is "There Ain't No More Middle Ground". Either you are a New Dealer, a New Frontierer, a Hope and Changer, a Tolerator, a Liberal, a Donor, an Activist and an Organizer-- or you are on the wrong side.

You might think that you are standing in the great moderate middle, the open-minded frontier of the old American, but the frontier and ground are both gone. There is only Problemtown and Solutionville and the bulldozers are coming to knock down Problemtown next week and deport its residents to Solutionville. <<<

There Ain't No More Middle-Ground

11 posted on 07/04/2012 10:51:40 PM PDT by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: Altariel

USDA=Pimps for Obamao


12 posted on 07/04/2012 10:54:07 PM PDT by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: Vince Ferrer

If I ever take food stamps, it will be to buy freeze dried food that I can eat after this country is economically ruined by freeloaders like me.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
I should ‘whisper’ this so as not to give ‘them’ any bright ideas but I can see these idiots sending food stamps in lieu of SS payments - you know send X $’s as food stamps and deduct them from your SS - then the buttheads will be able to say that 99% of the OLD FARTZ drawing SS (free money) are also TAKING food stamps from the Government...


13 posted on 07/04/2012 11:02:47 PM PDT by xrmusn (6/98 "Hopefully this administration is a "bad dream" - think the Newhart show.")
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

She found the administrator was signing up as many as possible for his own job security
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Like the infamous Ponzi scheme, when the admin gets EVERYONE signed up then he is out of a job, but then again he will be able to sign another family up. His own.

It is a vicious cycle and I really don’t see a real simple solution.


14 posted on 07/04/2012 11:07:38 PM PDT by xrmusn (6/98 "Hopefully this administration is a "bad dream" - think the Newhart show.")
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To: Altariel
The USDA also claims increasing food stamp participation is an economic stimulus.

Just wow. Stupidity on parade.
15 posted on 07/04/2012 11:29:10 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: Altariel

Has anyone tried to buy ammunition with one of those EBT cards?


16 posted on 07/04/2012 11:41:43 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Altariel
The Ashe County Department of Social Services in Jefferson, N.C., for example, received a “Gold” award for confronting “mountain pride” and increasing food stamp participation by 10 percent.

Aside from an obvious opportunity for fraud, I wonder if folks there might spend their allotment on sugar...to keep the mash working...

17 posted on 07/05/2012 12:47:05 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Altariel

Bread and circuses.


18 posted on 07/05/2012 1:42:50 AM PDT by kik5150
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To: Altariel

I’m one of those mountain pride people, who won’t be giving in, even for seed packets. I see the wasted potential every day of what these programs do to the people they say they want to “help.”

I wish there were conservative non-profits for poor rural kids that focused on Constitutional as well as basic life skills. Too many poor kids fall through the cracks because they have no knowledge of how to act outside their own little meth infested world. They are taught how to get benefits when they turn 18, but not how to get and keep a job, how to plan a future and save money for that future.

The destruction of the black community is coming to whites at an alarming speed.


19 posted on 07/05/2012 2:04:46 AM PDT by Betty Jane
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To: Mortrey

What many people forget is that “The Anointed One” counts his success by how many people he can get first out of work and then get on food stamps.


20 posted on 07/05/2012 2:22:52 AM PDT by saintgermaine
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To: Altariel

Shameful.


21 posted on 07/05/2012 2:28:21 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: Altariel
Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food.

A small family farm with chickens, milk cow, a few hogs and good kitchen garden will supply not only nutritious but better tasting food. Why would they want food stamps?

22 posted on 07/05/2012 3:21:48 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: Altariel

“Congress allocates funds to USDA with the mandate to conduct public education about the benefits of SNAP and how to apply to help reduce hunger in America,”

Then Congress needs to stop doing that. This is getting ridiculous. Combat “mountain pride” indeed.

The whole country is effin nutz.


23 posted on 07/05/2012 3:40:29 AM PDT by Adder (Da bro has GOT to go!)
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To: Altariel

If anyone can destroy the self-respect on Americans in the Heartland, Obama is the man for that job. Only socialists or America’s enemies (I know, repetitious) would see self-reliance as a problem to be solved.


24 posted on 07/05/2012 3:50:27 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Altariel

If their purpose is really to help people going through rough times to get healthy, nutritious food, they ought to limit what can be bought with food stamps. Maybe some people use them wisely, but many spend them on junk and convenience foods.


25 posted on 07/05/2012 4:25:27 AM PDT by a.c.t.32
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To: Altariel

When I was in basic training in Fort Benning GA, we had the “nut to butt” routine of jampacking Joe Snuffy into the DFAC (dining facility) lines in preparation to eat.

We had to remain at attention the whole time while moving through and the brim of your cover was poking the next troop in the back of his head we were so close.

This was further enforced by several drill sergeants stalking up and down the line looking for breaches of discipline.

Once inside, you got whatever they decided to give you to eat, you did not look at it, you looked straight ahead while sidestepping through the chow line. Then you had to eat as fast as you could and get out.

I pray that we as a nation are not relegated to this in order to eat but it may come if we continue to rely on the feral government to provide. Citizens will not do well with the above descibed method.


26 posted on 07/05/2012 4:41:08 AM PDT by Molon Labbie (Prep. Now. Live Healthy, take your Shooting Iron daily.)
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