September 22nd, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Deborah Feyerick is a CNN correspondent. Watch part two of this series Friday on American Morning and read producer Sheila Steffen's $30 grocery challenge

If you want to know what hunger looks like, look through the eyes of Tianna Gaines. The 31 year old Philadelphia native lives with her husband and three young kids in a simple, sparsely furnished row house. The kitchen is worn but very clean. "Roaches like water," Gaines says matter-of-factly as she wipes the counter.

She keeps dry-goods sealed in plastic bins. Cereal is stored on top of the refrigerator, in cereal-size plastic containers. "The mice eat through boxes," she explains as she reaches for a loaf of white bread. "We're out of whole-grain," she says pointing to the bright orange two-for-one price sticker.

For Gaines feeding her family properly is not just a choice, it is arguably a strategic obsession. She knows precisely when items get marked-down for clearance. "The Manager's Specials go first if you're not there by 9:00 in the morning."

She cuts coupons religiously, buys in bulk and makes her own dinner from the food left on her children's plates, something she and her husband Marcus call "Kid surfing." Oatmeal, eggs and rice are staples she keeps when the other food runs out.

In a country where grocery store shelves are overflowing, Gaines is among some 50 million Americans struggling to put enough food on the table. "A lot of people say, "Oh, she works two jobs, she must have it good." No I don't!" she says shaking her head.

The scientific term for hunger is "food insecurity" and since the US Department of Agriculture began keeping track in the mid-1990s, it has now reached an all time high.

"When someone is food insecure, it's the anxiety of not being able to afford enough food. You may have enough food for the day, but you're worried about tomorrow or you're worried about next week," explains Mariana Chilton, an expert on public health and nutrition who created the project Witnesses to Hunger and recruited Gaines, one of 40 women, to photograph their struggles with hunger and poverty.

"There's an implicit anxiety and depression and worry," says Chilton.

Among the most striking photos, a handful of coins, most of them pennies. Jean Culver, a waif-like mom with spiky blond hair who says she gets $400 a month in food stamps, snapped the picture at the end of the month. "That was all I had. I mean and so many things that needed to be done with that change. It's just overbearing. It's hard to handle. "

Culver says she first feeds her two sons, then eats what's left-over, "I feel like even if we have food if I eat a snack, for instance, then I'm taking it away from my kids."

Even families receiving the maximum amount of food stamps still need about $206 more every month to buy the minimum amount of food as defined by the USDA.

Barbara Izquierdo, 23, is another Witness to Hunger "sister," as the women call themselves. Several years ago, she had a newborn and no money to eat. Out of desperation, she says she took a pizza menu & stared at the pictures, reading the descriptions until the hunger pangs went away.

"I never thought that hunger could be as serious as it is. I never thought that I would be affected." Izquierdo now works for Coalition Against Hunger helping others in need. She says taking pictures has given her a voice to show lawmakers and policymakers first-hand what hunger and poverty are all about.

"For a long time I felt food was a privilege...no one should feel that way," says Izquierdo who hopes one day to go to college and become a criminal psychologist. "If I can change it now, when my daughter gets older she might not have to go through this."

Visit Witnesses to Hunger

Watch American Morning weekdays 6am to 9am ET. For the latest from American Morning click here.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food Politics • Hunger • News • SNAP • TV-American Morning


soundoff (689 Responses)
  1. Erick

    This is an overwhelming story and hopefully more information will surface very soon.I myself cant figure it all out so Id rather just get informed...Also reading a great book which may help you and your family out in the future as well.It is called "Street Smarts" check it out and let me know what you think

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005GI9FAC

    September 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  2. bluemax77

    According to Reagan in a speech once – there’s no such thing in America and never could be. But then “how can a man who is well fed ever hope to understand a man who is hungry“ Alexander Solzenitzen...

    September 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  3. mary

    I suggest that the welfare system pumping most that money into the schools and feeding the kids breakfast, lunch and some thing to eat near the end of the day...
    That way we KNOW the kids are being fed...~!

    September 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • mary

      Typo...Sorry..
      I would like to see the money given for food stamps instead be turned into a different way of feeding children.. by putting most that money into feeding kids at school.. Feeding them breakfast, lunch and soem thing before they go home in the afternoon...
      That way we know the kids are actually eating with the money.. They could do better also.. They could buy in bulk.. and food surplus's could be donated .
      I want to see children fed.. It's a national shame that kids go hungry.. NO matter how it happens.. Bad parenting, people not educated in nutrition.. For whatever reason.. NO child should go hungry.. It's solvable..
      And too easy to fix... We all should care if a child is hungry.. Blame whoever you want.. But feed the child..

      September 22, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • sciihs 1958

      We ARE feeding children breakfasts and lunch at schools.

      Why don't these women stop having babies that they can not afford?
      Why do I read about mothers trying to feed kids – where are the fathers? where are the child support payments?
      Stop having babies!!!!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  4. Dan

    Pretty soon, zombies will start looking at fat people as giant hamhocks, stalking them to see what they can take from them. This is the American Dream we now find ourselves in. Thank you Republicans.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  5. Dan

    Watch "Pursuit of Happyness."

    People need to get out there and work. Stop spending so much time begging for handouts.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  6. John

    It's so easy when you're well-fed and comfortable in your chair, to sit at your computer and judge people less fortunate than you. It certainly gives you that aura of importance and worth to pick apart their difficult lives and b.itch about their shortcomings as they sweat and toil to stay alive, fed and sheltered. And it's such an enlightening contribution to society in general. Now why don't you go back to your worthless and insignificant lives.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Ren

      I agree John. What happened to compassion America? .... These people are American's we need to help them, not attack them. There are no jobs/piles of $ in America anymore and with another recession coming on things are going to get worse. I'm very disappointed ...

      September 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  7. christine

    must not be that hungry you fat fatty. Calories intake is greater than calories used = weight gain. Hard to have sympathy when you're fat. Also, your fridge is full, based on govt assistance, how degraded can you feel?!!! go look at starving kids in africa, india, haiti and all elsewhere, and then you'll see what real hungar is. You're not dying from starvation. Stop complaing. You're still eating, maybe not lavish meals, but you're eating. shut up whiner.

    Oh yea, i agree with other posts, if you can't afford to freakin feed yourself, then stop freakin having kids.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Book

      Does making statements like this make you feel better? I feel sorry for you.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • humannature7

      Christine – Your post says more about you as a person. What a shame.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Suzanne

      Christine, I would rather be fat than be as ugly a soul as you are. It is obvious by your statement, as well as your spelling, you are on the lower rung of the IQ ladder. There's a special place for "Americans" like you. I give you nothing but pity.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
      • christine

        Lot of assumptions in that post there. Allow me to address. 1.) I am most certainly comfortable with my IQ. It's actually pathetic that statement was even made, and just to satisfy your curiosity, my IQ is absolutely above average, but that's not really a main point here now is it. 2.) I am speaking from experience, plain and simple. I have lived in the 3rd world countries as I've listed (have you?) and know EXACTLY what it is like to really go without. People in america, especially those illustrated in this documentary really have no idea what it's like to have a government that really does nothing in terms of helping its citizens obtain food. If an individual cannot "live" on food stamps (which again, I know what that is like) then again, they need to change something they are doing. The government factors in marriage status as well as the amount of children one has when deciding how much money to allot in food stamps; yes this allocation may not be enough to buy the best items at the store, but it's certainly enough to sustain oneself with basic needs. That woman had a plethora of food in her fridge to feed a family of 4, a luxary that most of the world cannot relate to. Food stamps come monthly, so if that was her stock for the month, then she is doing quite well. Americans (I am american too by the way) are so incredibly spoiled today, even compared to 20 years ago, and expect everything to be handed to them. This sense of entitlement and fantasy dream of living like those on MTV cribs is not reality, yet it becomes "reality" to many in this country, thus creating a skewed perception of what to expect in life and how to get it (ie. work hard, etc). From my own personal experiences, it is people such as the ones on this documentary which exhibit what I am describing- they expect the best, want it all handed to them and not have to work for it. Now I admit, it may be assuming too much to say that these individuals aren't working hard, however they most certainly don't have it as hard as it could be. Thus, they need to appreciate what they have, be thankful, and move on, not dwelling on how they're "degraded" because they have to be cautious on how they spend their government money on food.
        FYI to other responses, I'm quite satisfied with my soul and probably do more mission and outreach work that you could ever imagine. Also, I'm a medical student (I'm sure that'll get some eyebrow raises and heated comments, but oh well), and know full well that unless there is some genetic anomaly, those who are overweight only have themselves to blame. Also, it's pure economics, if one cannot support themselves financially, then why increase your financial burden by increasing the size of one's family? Doesn't make sense. It's all about the choices we make, and most individuals who are in situations such as these in america, are a product of their choices (speaking from my own personal experience as well as the experience of the literal thousands I've worked with over my lifetime).

        Regards,

        The intellectually inept and socially unaware

        September 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Moe NY

      @christine: You are truly disgusting, the true picture (meaning) of the phrase Ugly American. Any American that has no compassion for their own should be ashamed of themselves. Only hope you never find yourself in the same position that these families are in...it could happen...would not be so smug if I were you.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  8. charles

    meanwhile Obama is at Martha's Vineyard

    September 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Cosmos42

      Right, instead of coming to DC, waving his magic wand, and somehow making the legislation required to increase our social safety net pass the Rebublican-dominated house. That is exactly how the government works.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • YaYa

      Yea...and they blame the Republicans!! Who's in office doing nothing!! People worried about other countries..GO LIVE THERE AND TAKE CARE OF THEM>>we need real AMERICAN's here helping our own...It is BAD here..Send your money to the American Government WE NEED IT>>>

      September 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  9. OfficeJunkie

    Wow, some people need some empathy lessons. I was on public assistance for a year and a half due to circumstances beyond my control. I have a wife and 5 kids I was supporting at the time. Never was on aid before, and my sole goal was to get off of the system. We did get by on what we were given. It was just enough, and really taught us an extreme lesson in budgeting and appreciating what you have. I have been off of the system for the last year, and have kept that lesson in my heart. Sometimes people need help. I just hope the day comes that all those people bashing never have to face it. It is a very humbling experience and will shake you to the core the first time you go to the welfare office and have to fill out the forms and go through the process. Could I have stayed on the system for another 8 years and gotten by? Of course, but I fought to get off. Most people I met during my visits to the office were not happy being on the system, but had no choice. Of course you will get some that will take advantage but they are the few, but of course everyone on the system MUST be trying to take advantage of it. I had been paying my taxes for 20 years before I had to use it, and it kept our family alive. If you have not been through it, then shut it, and go get some hay for that high horse you are on.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  10. viknat

    We can give 3 square meals a day to a bunch of convicts who kill, rape, and commit crimes, give convicts bread and water and give the kids the meals

    September 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Ron

      Have you seen what they're feeding convicts these days? Bread and water would be a step up from Nutriloaf.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  11. Derrique3

    I think the moral of the story here is: birth control. If you can't afford to survive already, stop having more children. No 'hating', just common sense.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Guest

      It is easy to say. How about those parents who had jobs and then had kids then lost their job. Are you criticizing them for having kids. That is rude and selfish don't you think so?

      September 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • emsq75

      Am I to assume that just because someone cannot afford to feed their children that they should not have had them? What if someone can afford to feed their children and then loses their job? Should they give up their children then? Then everyone would complain about the cost of foster care. Most people who are receiving assistance from the state do not want to be on it and would do anything to change their situation. Most of you who are complaining probably have never felt the fear of not knowing how you are going to feed your children. We have been there. We were middle class and then one day....it was all gone due to the economy. We received some aid which was a blessing, but now are off it and supporting ourselves. And anyone who suggests that the issue is birth control is just plain disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  12. john

    $400 in food stamps is allot. Of course you can't go buy all the expensive junk foods and high price items.
    bag beans = $1.00 (7 servings per bag)
    brown rice = $3.00 (10 servings per bag)
    whole grain loaf bread = $4.00
    eggs (36 count) = $5.00

    You see my point. Start adding Sodas, chips, cheese, ice cream, frozen pizza etc the price goes up. If she is cutting coupons and buying on specials. I'm a little confused on why $400 is not enough. I understand what it means to be poor and during my struggles with money i was clever with my food choices. It had to be cheap and healthy. For the most part..It was just a pot of black beans with onions, brown rice, eggs, potatoes, greens and water. Leave the frozen pizzas alone.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Spica

      you are so right –
      learn how to buy, how to stretch the dollar.

      school age kids are being fed breakfast and lunch at school already, there are food banks across america. and if these women are receiving food stamps they are also probably getting free/reduced rent, free medical care and a cash check each month.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • emsq75

      Have you had to buy food for 5 people before? We have 6 in our family and I spend over $600 a month and I don't buy all the junk food. I come home and my cupboards are still bare. And you can only eat so many beans...

      September 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Guest

      John, that was my thought too. I did not know food stamps amounted to that much till I read a couple of articles here in cnn. I consistently shop for my family (given that it is only my husband, dog and me) under $50 a week. The key is to stock up your pantry slowly with non-perishables that are available in bulk (lentils, beans, brown rice, rice, wheat flour, oil etc). You don't have to do this all at once if you don't have a fully stocked pantry to begin with. Then the weekly grocery can include only perishables like fruits, veggies, meat, eggs etc. I think a very healthy, wholesome diet can be accomplished and you can save some money out of that 400 bucks as well. But the prerequisite is to be a reasonably okay cook and be willing to put in that time to make some meals from scratch.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • YouSaidIt

      Straight up! We could survive on so much less that we realize...you can eat much healthier for much cheaper on the diet you describe....but then again, you can't get your frozen fried chicken on a diet like that!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  13. George

    The welfare system needs another upgrade. Instead of handing out billions in food stamps, lets set up warehouses in neighborhoods where the poor live and hand out whole grains, oats, rice, beans, and meat and milk vouchers, because a lot of these people are trading the food stamps for money and buying drugs. Everyone knows that is true.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • mary

      I would opt for the welfare system pumping most that money into the schools and feeding the kids breakfast, lunch and some thing to eat near the end of the day...
      That way we KNOW the kids are being fed...~!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
      • Michael

        They already do that in Milwaukee, and the family still collects full EBT benefits! We are turning the poor into cattle, feeding them and taking over their birth control and warehousing their offspring. We need to let nature take its course. No amount of money poured through the government and into poor hands will make the low cultured appreciate the value of an education, so spending zillions on new schools and teachers will not have any beneficial results. Aside from the middle class people who lost jobs, low poor cannot be educated on how to feed themselves- they couldn't even understand that they had to graduate high school! They couldn't pass remedial math or english class! How the hell doe anyone think that they will magically be able to understand calories and nutrients and the benefits of proper nutrition? They have no understanding of biology or chemistry or mathematics or even basic reading comprehension, and that was by choice! Their parents didn't care, so neither do they, and neither will their ignorant spawn. I went to public high school. My father was an MOS Math teacher. The kids their are animals because of their parent. No, I didn't forget the "s".

        September 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • emsq75

      I agree about the trading food stamps for money. I have had a few people ask me to trade some of their food stamps for cash. I refused because it cheats the system. I do think the government should do drug testing for known drug users who apply for food stamps.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
      • George

        Florida has just done that. No more food stamps if you fail drug test.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  14. Richard Van Treousne

    Obama enjoys his 23rd vacation of the year while Americans starve....WHY?

    Americans STARVING! What a disgrace

    September 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Carrie

      Yeah, because people are starving, the PRESIDENT should stop his life and starve too...that's perfect logic. I saw a homeless woman today pushing all of her belongings in a shopping cart, I think I should give up everything that I have worked hard for and sacrifice my nice home, my clothes, my car, my family friends and everything else that I DESERVE, to prove I have empathy for others that are less fortunate. Get my point???

      September 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  15. Big Dick

    Maybe this person should find a couple of jobs at Mickie D's and Sonic. Free food afterwards. America has a lot to offer if you are willing to work, be humble and go after it. People want hand outs, 2 million dollars a year jobs and work 11am to 3pm. Anyone in America that's starving should be ashamed.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Smithsdawg

      And who is going to take care of her kids while she does that?

      September 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
      • Think before you speak

        Um, maybe she should have thought about that before she had kids. And feeding 3 people with $100 a week isnt too darn hard.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
      • Smithsdawg

        @Think before you speak

        The kids are here now. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But seriously, do you want to spend your precious tax dollars to provide child care so she can work? One half a dozen or another. I'm honestly okay with that. I just don't want her in jail from leaving them home alone to work the hours suggested and the kids in foster care. That costs a bunch more of my tax dollars than food stamps.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
      • Roo

        To thinkbeforeyouspeak:Do you know her life. May be she had an unplanned pregnancy. May be she is now divorced or may be she lost her good job after she had the kid. Think before you speak.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
      • Jeff

        There should be no such thing as an "unplanned" pregnancy in this day and age. That's just silly.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
      • Eric

        @ThinkBeforeYouSpeak: It's not hard to feed a family of 3 on $100 a week? I guess you have not been in a grocery store lately. Food prices are constantly going higher. With $50 a week the average adult (that's 1 person) could possibly scrape by with the barest of essentials, and that's a very conservative estimate.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
      • goodforyou

        There is no such thing as an "unplanned" pregnancy anymore?? Are you delusional??

        September 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
      • Carrie

        Accidental pregnancy is actually pretty hard to accomplish with the numerous contraceptive devices and methods available to both men and women. Do some research...it's pretty hard to get pregnant if you have a contraceptive device and your male partner uses a condom. And before you make this about money too...welfare pays for contraceptive devices,and condoms are usually handed out for free at your local clinic, so being poor is not an excuse.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Book

      Comments are just brutal. Do people have no heart at all? God forbid that any of you ever be down and out. Shame on you all. Does it make you feel better kicking people when they are down?

      September 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
      • Jeff

        I totally agree (although I do believe people shouldn't reproduce the way they do but that's a whole different topic), but the comments on this story as well as the story about border patrol abuses make me ashamed to be an American. What is wrong with people in this country? Where did all of this hate come from?

        September 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Reality Check

      You are a big dick...I'm sure you have your gun in one hand and a bible in the other...this "get a job" mentality is so elitist...maybe someday one of your kids will need help and maybe someone will write something like "they should get a job at McDonalds so they can eat for free"...you shoud be ashamed sir!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  16. brosephus

    Thanks OBAMA

    Keep golfing and make sure the endangered mosquitoes are protected by your offshore oil JOB drilling ban...

    Please, people, ANYONE but obama the lazy in 2012...hillary? mitt? ron paul? ANYONE would do better cos they would TRY and would not just golf while we STARVE

    September 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Think before you speak

      Get a JOB if you are starving.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Jeff

      Starving but with access to the internet? I take it you are starving in a public library then?

      September 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  17. krazy

    wow, I wonder how many of these ignorant posters spewing hate are self-proclaimed good 'Christian' folk (amazingly hypocritical if that's the case), stay-at-home women on borrowed time before they end up single moms fighting for chld support (be very careful what stones you throw) or just plain downright nasty, mean-spirited bullies. I'm guessing all of the above. Good luck in the next/current recession. I'm sure YOUR job is safe.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Dltrey305

      my job is safe I am out of work lol

      September 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Michael

      So don't marry a jerk, and definitely don't have a kid with him, but if you do, get child support declared in the divorce decree. Take some responsibility for your life and the lives you created. My girlfriend found out that her former husband was cheating on her and realized that in addition to hurting her, he was neglecting his family, so she divorced him. She feeds her family of seven very, very well on the EBT program. She literally hasn't got enough room in her pantry for it all. So I sincerely doubt that the people who are poor are actually availing themselves of all the benefits and coupons out there. PS MY girlfriend just got a state job and will be off all benefits. She has six kids all A students, athletes, and involved in theatre and the church, and she works full time, and so do I. So I know it can be done.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
      • Jeff

        Unless you live on a farm in the 18th century, what on earth do you need SIX kids for?

        September 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
      • cm

        I've never seen so much sanctimonious bs as this. First of all, you can not buy junk food with food stamps..only some items can be paid with them. Also, so what if the parent smokes or has a beer..what's your vice- or are you so holy you can look down on those people- we're all here on earth together doing the best we can. The point is that NO child should ever go hungry, its just wrong.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
      • goodforyou

        Well, good for her, that she had the help to get back on her feet after marrying and divorcing the jerk. What is your point exactly? That she shouldn't have had the benefits? That she got too much? It sounds like she was able to maintain her family's well being with the assistance she got. Sometimes women need that and sometimes there are men who need it to. Our money is being wasted on ridiculous things, nonsense. While people go hungry. A little temporary help can make the world of a difference who might have no options in the immediate future. When you have to feed your kid NOW and you have NOTHING, sometimes you need some help RIGHT AWAY. The comments on this article are beyond crazy. People are horrible now. It's completely disheartening.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  18. Liz

    There are people out there that think everything is based on a person's ability to make "good" or "bad" decisions. I pray that these people never have a CIRCUMSTANCE where they are very sick and unable to work, plus perhaps have no family to fall back on, or have to pay 60-70% of their income for rent, and I'm not even touching the health insurance issue. The fact is, no one can judge a person's life unless they WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES. You can't judge from a story or even pictures...you won't truly know until it happens to you. Not everyone was brought up with parents preparing them for the real world-financially or emotionally. The government shouldn't give hand outs? In this economy, be careful if aid stops, because our streets will look like Africa. And if you think the social security or welfare check is enough to live on as it is now (and to be able to take time away from worrying about every penny to find a job if physically ABLE), then I challenge YOU to living a month on say $1,200.00 a month or less=when you take that challenge, and still feel the same way, I feel you then have the right to judge. Make sense? And, about harping on women who have weight issues or children-I'm sorry, but have you ever heard of diabetes or a thyroid issue? Can you rule these out based on a picture? And where are the FATHERS of the children??? not in the picture on your screen? Nuff said, takes two to tango, and you don't know each situation personally. We all worry about giving too much or giving to the wrong person, that's not for us to judge-giving is giving and should come from the heart-Karma, it will teach you.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  19. squints

    ph-uck the rich. then eat them.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  20. mary

    I'm thinking kids in cities need to be taught how to grow food . I grew up in the city.. My Dad was a child of the depression.. We were made fun of, but we had chickens, and a garden..
    I Moved to a rural area and found that even a small patch of land, people in rural areas grow food... Can grow a lot of food.. Cheaply , easily..Most yards in the city have room for a small plant or two.A fruit tree.. many i/4 acre lots can grow enough fresh produce to take care of any family, plus many family, friends and neighbors.. Kids and many adults who grew up in the city just simply were never shown the way to do it..
    Food can be shared.. People in rural areas share produce from their gardens all the time..~!
    Instaed of flowers plant vegetables along the fence..Instead of just a shade tree plant a fruit tree..
    In no time food will be plentiful..
    its the easiest problem to solve..

    September 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Smithsdawg

      I do agree with that. I grow a number of veggies in pots on the patio so even in the big city it's not out of the question. It wouldn't feed all the way, but it would be a supplement.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  21. Elaine murray

    I have to say that the anger and hatred going back and forth in these comments is very sad. Whether you are liberal or tea party, we are all Americans. We must understand this fundamental truth– we are only as strong as our weakest links. If we don't start bringing the high-paying blue collar manufacturing jobs back, the jobs that built the American middle class in the mid-twentieth century, our country will become Third world...where a rich elite holds all the power and the majority is poor and controlled. I think we are better than that! I say let's use our energy and intelligence to take back the country for all it's citizens and be more humble. Remember, there, but for the grace of God, might we all be.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  22. Dltrey305

    I dont work and I spend one hundred dollars a week on Lottery tickets

    September 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • light of life

      You live on a pipe dream. Take your salt shaker and dump it on the table... notice how many tiny salt crystals there are..now pick up just one tiny salt crystal from that pile and there is your chance of winning the lottery.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  23. us1776

    Welcome to the United FACADE of America !!

    That American Dream crap they feed you is just to get you on the treadmill. Then the greedy banker and other corporate conglomerates know exactly how to bleed every possible penny out of you.

    .

    September 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  24. Dltrey305

    these are the people crying hunger ,and you see them all in a drunken state and the kids go without .

    September 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Think before you speak

      Exactly!!!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  25. George

    I object to CNN referring to that kitchen as dilapidated when in fact it was just plain filthy and unkempt. If she prepares food in it, then it works, and cleaning it is all it needs. She should not be allowed to collect food stamps, welfare, and then party all week.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Yoyo

      or procreate for that matter....

      September 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  26. Aaron

    I know what it's like to dig though the seat cushions looking for change. It's always exciting when you find a quarter instead of nickles or pennies. A quarter feels like a jackpot!

    But then you to start wondering how things could be so... lopsided... some people have millions of dollars and I'm digging around on my hands and knees looking for a quarter! I've never used government assistance because I' have too much pride to ask, but I can see why people would, especially if they have children (which, I don't). Things are a little better for me personally these days, but trust me, I know what dirt poor is – and it stinks.

    That's what I don't think the rich understand. It's really hard to care about bailing out rich people on Wall Street when you're at home digging around trying to find a quarter. The sky-high price of gasoline is enriching oil executives by the billions and you're digging around looking for a quarter. Investors want you to care that the Dow dropped 400 points, but you're a little preoccupied – trying to find a quarter. More insulting is when the rich complain that taxes are too high on the $300,000 dollars they couldn't hide as an expense last year. If only I had that burden. Tell ya what, I'll pay the higher tax on the $300,000 a year and they can go hunt quarters for awhile. How would that be?

    September 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • tj9999

      maybe you should try hard work anyone in this country can work hard and succeed the problem everyone wants to complain about the people that have money because they are to lazy to make something of themselves.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
      • Aaron

        I do work. Like I said, things are a little better for me these days. I run a small metal fabrication company. I'm not rich by any means, but I can fill the tank up without too much worry. Not like the days when I would put $5 bucks in the tank and wonder how I would make that last the week.

        But you're also implying that when I was dirt poor that I didn't work then, but I did. I've always had a job. I've never been more than 6 months without a job. Sometimes part time was all I could get, tough. That meant I was making $12K a year.

        My point is, the rich often treat the poor like they are lazy bums who just don't work hard enough or they would have $300,000 a year too. And that's not the case. Most of the rich people didn't pull themselves out of a ghetto. They came form privileged families where food and clothes and good examples and college was a given. I've sat in rooms full of teenagers buying drugs with small children on their hips and wondered, "how in the heck can anyone expect these kids to have a fighting chance?" When your mom and dad happen to be teenage pot smokers who dropped out of high school, what fighting chance do you have? When that foundation isn't even there, when you start from less than zero... it's not enough that you have nothing, you have less than nothing, you have parents who are kids themselves who are setting all the wrong examples, you are actually starting in the negative. You have so many strikes against you that it isn't funny. And when you don't turn out like a Rhodes Scholar and conquer the world, the rich in the world want to call you lazy, all the while owing their entire success to the sweat of their own brow without acknowledging the tremendous head start they got in life. Just like you, they dismiss them as lazy.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • Smithsdawg

        You're making the assumption he or she doesn't. I know what that feels like too. Anyone can have a bad spell. That's reality versus the trumped up fable of the American Dream. Now, I do have a job that pays extremely well. But when I went to college and my husband died in an accident unexpectedly, I totally got what was mentioned about where finding a quarter being a big thrill. Life got better. I hope that never happens to you or somebody you care about. Genuinely.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
      • Alissa

        To Aaron,
        I have so many times wanted to say what you just said. That is amazing insight.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Marie

      Well, I see what you're saying but, I have little sympathy for those who choose to breed while being poor and living on gov't assistance...Would rather see that money go towards the public education system or something that's more deserving...

      September 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
      • Marie

        I pay for my food and cr@ck using my worn out h0les

        September 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  27. Marie

    Tiana has obviously not missed a meal and neither have her children. They are quite young...If she can't afford them then why is she breeding? Seems she should of invested in some birth control...I hear you can get that for free if your income is low enough... And $400 a month in food stamps? What a luxury....Glad my tax money is being put to good use there...Least that lady could do is be thankful...

    September 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Marie

      my mom should have ab0rted me. I am worthless

      September 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • watchful

      It'll happen to you someday. Someone will die, or you'll lose your job, or there will be a fire or an illness or a tragedy. No one is immune. Some day you'll need to depend on someone for something. I hope for your sake they don't mock or scorn you.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
      • Marie

        I will always have my h00ka h0les to get m by .. give me a cr@ck dealer or rich man to work ..

        September 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  28. robster644

    There is NO room for the weak in this country.

    Less we want to end up in ruin like everyone else.

    Don't forget what made this nation strong...

    Hard work, ingenuity, development....

    Something the pigs and insects that live off welfare should learn

    If you have nothing to offer or give to this nation, then DON'T TAKE ANYTHING FROM IT

    September 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Dante

      Hahaha, the wealthy elite are sucking up all the capital and they have you blaming America's situation on the poor. Just amazing!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • robster644

      I speak from my true tea baggin trailer trash meth lab when I posted this.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • robster644

      I beat my h00ker wife and my little gurl is my fun time.. I am sick

      September 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  29. tj9999

    maybe if you cant feed your kids you should stop having them

    September 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  30. jennyy

    GET A JOB!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Dltrey305

      sha na na na lol

      September 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  31. beth

    another thing, the comments here that keep suggesting that "if your poor, quit having children" what about people like my husband and I we have three children and one of us get laid off? you're ignorant dumba$$

    September 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Do what me and my wife did, keep trying and stop whinin'.

      Works for us. Nobody feels sorry for us, but we are cool with that. Lack of patheticness you know.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Dltrey305

      I don't think they were refering to you , there is so many people that have kids to collect from the system. you would be surprised

      September 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
      • Emily

        Yeah, and there's many more that don't have kids just to collect from the system. Yes, there are people in this world for which the stereotypes have been based, but there are MANY more who are truly in need and they suffer because they are judged during a time of extreme vulnerability.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Aucausin

      You still shouldn't have had three children, shut your legs. There are seven billion of us already and what if your three kids have three kids and their three kids have three kids? The word isn't going to be a good place for your children and grandchildren if people continue to value quantity over quality.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • jcd

      Maybe the prevailing sentiment is that couples should plan better before they have children, for the possibility there might be only one income, or even sometimes a total loss of income. By saving before having children, and maybe considering not having children if there is no economic security at all. Of course, that would put the the whole social security ponzi scheme in worse shape, as the only ones having children would be illegal immigrants. Oh wait, that's already happening ;)

      September 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
      • Think before you speak

        Amen! Two incomes is a luxury. I have several friends who offer pre-marriage counseling and the first thing they tell engaged couples is to build thier budget around all neccessities being paid from ONE income!

        September 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Marie

      Beth you obviously don't understand that your situation is actually quite rare. This woman obviously knew her situation was grave when she had her legs open...So seems you're the dumb one here...

      September 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • davek

      That's what savings are for. If you can't afford to save, you shoudl not have had 3 kids. If you plan things out properly, the chances of ending in this situation are extreamly low.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  32. steve

    I WITNESS ENOUGH FOOD BEING THROWN AWAY AT ONE SCHOOL TO FEED 20 FAMILIES A DAY X 'S THAT

    September 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Dante

      That's why my friends go dumpster diving.

      Thankfully I make just enough where I don't need to do that :/

      September 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • WaitWhat?

      Why are you yelling?

      September 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  33. Jill

    It's hard to take this story seriously. FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS in food stamps – that is a fantastic amount of money for someone to spend on food! There is hunger in Africa and Asia and Haiti. I am scratching my head over what I'm reading here.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Dante

      She is feeding A WHOLE FAMILY YOU IDIOT not one person!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • mpouxesas

      Scratching your head hard enough? Yes, there is hunger in america. The rich make sure that it does not show up in the morning news, or the evening programs. Instead they keep you busy watching dancing with the stars and other culturally life altering shows.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Chris

      yea... I spend about 150 a month in groceries. Granted I'm a single guy, but I do eat a lot of food and I buy brand name stuff. 400 a month spead over generic brands is enough to feed a small army.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Dante

      I don't know where you guys live but I spend $200 on groceries a month and I buy only the cheapest stuff available and do all my own cooking. I'm single. Feeding a family of 3-4 on $400 would not be easy.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • jennyy

      no wonder our country is in such a mess, too many free loaders. the system should not be able to be milked like this.
      $400 for food for doing nothing, these bumbs should be required to work for the city for this kind of cash!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
      • the bully's bully

        What you fail to understand is that if the government did not assist its citizens who are less fortunate, these less fortunate people will over throw the government and it would be total chaos and destruction. The government gives them just enough to keep them still but not enough to move, gives them just enough to live but not enough to be independent. But its ok because soon your wish will come true and then you will learn the hard way when people like this come and kill you and rob you for all your possessions and food just to survive and the government will abandon tax paying scum like you who actually believed all this time that you were special and superior to hectic living.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Lee

      The chick is too overweight to be hungry...

      September 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • auruin

      its astonishing how many people on here are so bitter an angry towards people who live impoverished... you have CEO's running companies into the ground and being paid millions of dollars anyways...and who are paying a lower percentage in taxes then the poor... and you guys are getting on here and going on the attack? there are either some pretty ignorant or disgusting people here in america. i'm not a Christian, but still... let he that is without sin cast the first stone.... this is where all you hypocritical opportunists are supposed to drop your stones (verbal abuse) and walk away.... asinine! just sheer insanity!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  34. Justin

    Why is Tianna overweight if she is starving? Also,that kitchen is just a product of lazyness.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Vuong

      If you mean nothing but "convenience foods" frozen pre-cooked, chicken, oatmeal – ready to eat samples.. most likely it is a by product of uneducated in the area of home economics. How many people can cook from scratch? Meal planning and budgeting. For example how many meals can you cook from a fresh whole chicken? Who still knows how to ? PLUS she works two jobs so when does she have the time??

      September 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  35. Dante

    There is a whole lot of people on this board suffering from the "Just World" fallacy.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  36. Grego

    Apparently there is a BIG difference between being "hunger" and starvation.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  37. George

    This is the most bogus story on here today. How much did the first starving woman pay to have her hair braided? What about all the useless junk seen lying around the house? That stuff cost money that could be better spent on wholesome food, and frankly she is far from starving, a week of food abstinence would be a good thing for her.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Dltrey305

      yes look at her ,she could get on the biggest loser with her weight

      September 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  38. Abby Lovely

    I am probobly the only 16 year old on here. and even I have enough common sense to know that society isnot responsible for indivisuals. But how would you like to be that person food less and not knowing when you are going to get fod. I myself could never imagine such horrors.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Martha FawCurr

      Its called responsibility. Its irresponsible at best to waste your money on dumb stuff and then expect to get free hand outs from the rest of the economically downtrodden society.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Dante

      At least you have sympathy, most people here don't.

      There are lots of situations in life where people can end up poor, especially when your parents were already poor. Don't believe the hype, lower-class Americans CANNOT pull themselves to a higher class with hard work. That is a myth.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Your turn is coming abbie dear. ENJOY!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  39. mary

    The very last thing that should happen in this country is that children go hungry..
    Food is the most easy and the most plentiful thing we can grow in this country.. In any yard, people can grow vegetables.. Fruit trees grow and produce.
    There should be an effort to give out plants to everyone.. And those with bigger yards grow more food..
    People could share their produce..
    We do that in rural areas all the time.. Dont' just plant a tree. Plant a fruit tree.. Dont' plant flowers plant vegetables...
    We can all help ourself a whole lot more than we do.
    Farmers grow surplus.. Can grow more.. So food shortage should never happen in this country.
    I'ts fixable..so easily fixable..

    September 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • bee13

      You are so right in your vision. We give eggs to our immediate neighbors and in the Fall we provide apples to most families on our street.

      Your scenario only works for those who understand the concept of self-sufficiency, and then practice it. Growing food in backyards and on empty lots and then giving it to those who choose to spend their money foolishly and on foolish things does not fix the root problem: Teaching and convincing people to live a self-sufficient lifestyle.

      Simply donating food will not change this fact. The only way to bring about this kind of change on a wholesale, lifelong scale is by educating and inspiring people in basics of how to assess everyday situations problems and then making correct decisions and taking action. We should grow and give food to needy neighbors while they aspire to become more than they are. Once they reach a level of self-sufficiency, then they can do the same for others in need.

      Free food is only a bridge to help those in need get themselves to a better place. After that, they need to carry themselves...

      September 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • kmcg

      Food shortage is NOT the problem, it's food access and cost.

      There are known food deserts all over america, especially in urban areas.

      And do to all the people complaining about her weight, she's probably eating off the 99 cent meal so she can give her kids fruits and vegetables.

      Food insecurity is NOT only about calories, it's about malnutrition, not getting the right nutrients.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
      • Zhaylin

        Exactly. She could have a thyroid disorder for all anyone knows.
        It has been my observation that some of the poorest people are the most overweight however. It's cheaper to eat rice, beans and potatoes than fresh fruit, lean meats and veggies.
        I've been in their shoes.
        I grew up middle-income. Never worried about food. Then I got married to a hard worker who just couldn't make enough. Then one disaster after another struck. We had 4 kids, one right after the other. I often skipped meals so my family could eat.
        Now I'm married to a Doctor. I still suffer from "food insecurity" though from too many years of going without. My hubby has me on a tight budget so I'm always worried about putting enough food away for a rainy day.

        People shouldn't judge- especially if they've not been there.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • mary

      Yes.. I am thinking of the children.. The schools should always be able to feed children..
      There is enough surplus.. no child should go hungry because their parents don't provide food..
      there is nothing cheaper or easier to grow than vegetables and potatoes.. Fruit..
      AS far as adults go..I think educating them to the fact they can grow food in their yards. empty lots....Window sills even.. and share .. The work, share the produce.. would go a long way to helping solve nutritional hunger..
      I realize it is about being lazy for many..I understand that..
      But food easy..And maybe a course in school on how to plant and care for a garden in city schools might go a long way to helping kids understand how easy it is to aquire your own food..

      September 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  40. Wyn

    (She) makes her own dinner from the food left on her children's plates, something she and her husband Marcus call "Kid surfing."

    My children never take more than what they can finish. If there's isn't enough food, why would her children have enough leftovers for her to make meals? Am I missing something here?

    September 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • John

      Seriously? Some people will bytch about anything. You can't comprehend someone putting their children first? She first feeds her children then eats whatever's left. The article doesn't say that it's much either.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
      • Wyn

        No, I'm not bitching. My apology. She should be applauded for not putting her kids' leftovers in the garbage.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • jcd

      Your children are the exception. Most younger kids are picky, sometimes will finish all, sometimes not. I admire her strategy of surfing her kids' plates, rather than giving them food problems for a lifetime by policing their intake.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  41. Starvin Marvin

    Nope, don't feel sorry for her. She could not eat for quite awhile and survive. Take that woman to africa and drop her off and see how other people live who are really hungry.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Martha FawCurr

      Couldn't have said it better myself.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Dante

      Ah, America, the only first world country where we want our poor to be just like 3rd world country poors. I'm so proud of all of you.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  42. America

    What a joke!!!

    September 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  43. sharon

    We need to sterilize George.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • LarryDavidSandwich

      Its appalling that someone would DARE have a different opinion than you, right you self-righteous cvnt?

      September 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • sharon

        Go tongue punch your boyfriends fart box.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
      • Starvin Marvin

        Does using the word c|_|nt make you more of a man? you self righteous twit.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  44. robster644

    CUT FOOD STAMPS TO $100 A MONTH

    FORCE HEALTH ON THE OBESE IF THEY OBLIGE TO LIVE LIKE VERMIN

    September 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • LarryDavidSandwich

      Word.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • John

      Wish we could put you in their position just to watch you cry that life's not fair and it's everyone else's fault. But instead you will live out your life alone and unwanted because you can't comprehend anything besides your own impulses.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • the bully's bully

      Listen MOFO, if you got your shit together then good for you, but dont you ever beat down and talk shit about someone who is all ready down in the dumps.... You obviously get a kick out of degrading those who are less fortunate and in need of assistance. If you were a human being you would want to help people like this, but your not even a human being, your a ugly soul in need of a real wake up call because you dont even know what tomorrow will bring you despite the obvious fact that you feel super entitled and arrogant..................

      September 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Emily

      Do you realize how ignorant you sound? Cut food stamps to $100 to "force health"? Do you even know how much healthy food costs when compared to processed unhealthy food? Please, for the love of God, people do your damn research and at least try to utilize some common sense and compassion. I pray you never have to worry about putting food on the table.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • kmcg

      Hunger in America is different than hunger in a 3rd world country.

      In America you can get the calories, but you can't afford the nutrients. That's still malnutrition.

      She's probably eating of the 99 cent meal to give her children fruits and vegetables.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  45. davek

    "Barbara Izquierdo, 23, is another Witness to Hunger "sister," as the women call themselves. Several years ago, she had a newborn and no money to eat."

    -Why are you "breeding" at such a young age? Single mother I'm assuming too. What the is wrong with people....

    September 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • robster644

      There is NO room for the weak in this country.

      Less we want to end up in ruin like everyone else.

      Don't forget what made this nation strong...

      Hard work, ingenuity, development....

      Something the pigs and insects that live off welfare should learn

      If you have nothing to offer or give to this nation, then DON'T TAKE ANYTHING FROM IT

      September 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  46. Martha FawCurr

    How can you be starving when you are this fat?

    September 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Dante

      The most unhealthy foods are usually the cheapest.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
      • Martha FawCurr

        How do you figure? You dont need to eat like a health nut. I can spend $15 for a pizza, the same for a meal, drink, and dessert at a fast food restaurant, roughly the same for a normal meal at a sit down restaurant, or I can buy a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly, milk, eggs, and a few other things with that $15 and eat for a week.

        Quit making excuses for the people who simply don't want to step up to the plate and put in some real effort to survive.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • Dante

        White bread and peanut butter aren't exactly healthy for an every-meal type thing you know. But yes, nutritional education is pretty poor – we should educate them. If only we had community centers to help poor people plan things. OH WAIT, ACORN got shut down thanks to crazy right-wing conspiracies! So much for that!

        September 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  47. LarryDavidSandwich

    Motherfvckers have GOT to start using condoms.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Martha FawCurr

      Amen to that!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Markus

      Is that the same thing you told your parents the day you moved into their basement?

      September 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • LarryDavidSandwich

        Real clever, Marcus you fvcking dbag. thankfully, my taxes pay for her and your food stamps.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
      • Markus

        And her taxes pay for your unemployment and disability.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • davek

        LOL! Markus you are LAME...

        September 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
      • agropeach

        Actually Markus is right. We all pay into the same system and receive govt benefits at some point. And who's to say that you have some authority to think your life is superior than others who are having trouble with getting necessities?

        September 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  48. George

    We need to sterilize the women who collect food stamps and welfare money, otherwise they will just keep having children that they can't feed and the rest of us have to pay. Her saturday night wine party turns into a human conception party and next year more whining.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Dante

      You are a monster. You want the government to tell people who has the right to have kids? What next, mandatory abortion for women who miss a rent payment? Sicko.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • LarryDavidSandwich

        Then YOU pay for their welfare, Dante....or were you expecting someone else to foot the bill while you hand out life lessons from your cloud of judgement?

        September 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • Dante

        I am 100% OK with welfare. It is within societies best interest to keep people from starving on the streets and I will gladly pay my contribution. I'm glad that you have no choice but to pay your contribution too :)

        September 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • jcd

      Wouldn't it be cheaper for the government to just sterilize all the men these women consort with? Like, any woman who wants food stamps should have to bring with her at least one man who consents to sterilization before she will be able to get them. You see George, sterilizing just ONE man will eliminate the need for many, many more women needing food stamps, as the men tend to get around much more.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
      • George

        That is an excellent point about the men. Can we do both because I can assure you those women aren't monogamous.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
      • Harris

        Maybe it would be best to sterilize everyone under a certain dollar amount of income. Maybe we should just start sending people to the camps under forced labor, if they don't meet our criteria as desireable. Maybe euthanasia is in order? Wait, didn't they try that somewhere else in the 1940s. Seems that didn't turn out so well!

        September 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Tia

      I think we should sterilize people like George and LarryDavidSandwich. The world is already full of hateful, ignorant people and we don't need them breeding.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • the bully's bully

      I see you got it all figured out there MR. But what exactly is the point you were trying to make, because all I get from it is hate and prejudice undertones instead of intelligent rationalization and tender hearted sincerity for a fellow human being who shares the same air as you, who breathes the same air as you, who was born the same way as you, and who's imminent end of life will occur just as yours. Funny thing is this, what do you think all the billionaires of this world say about people like you......LOL........

      September 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  49. George

    Ok, the first woman they interviewed looked to me like she eats more than enough. The one with the filthy kitchen, which was referred to as dilapidated, she had money for those earrings, didn't she? But she has no time to clean up that filth in the kitchen. The only one that appeared truly in need was the skinny white woman.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Dante

      Maybe they were a gift? Second hand? She spent a dollar to feel better about herself? Earrings are hardly a luxury so shut it.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
      • George

        Does the fact that she looked at a loaf of bread and a pair of earrings, with starving children at home and chose the earrings mean the rest of us have to pay for the bread for her? Why doesn't she clean that filthy kitchen? The Health Department should condemn her house. There is absolutely no excuse for living like that. Do you think that she rented the place with the kitchen looking like that? NO.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
      • Martha FawCurr

        Nor are they a necessity, so I suggest you take a good look at the things in your life that are a necessity and the things that arent. When the going gets tough, you trade in the things that are meaningless for the things that are meaningful, in this sense, the necessities.

        She'll look real good in those earrings as a corpse, dead from starvation...

        September 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • George

        Most likely she shoplifted those earrings.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • Dante

        You idiots, you have no idea how much they are worth. don't make up stupid false choice scenarios. Maybe she picked them up for free from a dumpster or they were a gift from a deceased relative that she wants to hold onto. Obviously she will dress up better when on camera, wouldn't you? Are you going to criticize her for wearing clothes? Why doesn't she just go naked if she is so hungry. A woman should be allowed a pair of earrings.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
      • pee in my pants

        that is kinda sad

        September 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • LarryDavidSandwich

      That's rayciss!

      September 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • lola

      I agree, the large black woman looked far from hungry. Did you notice she held up a pre packaged, sugar loaded pack of instant oatmeal as a "backup" for tough times. One large bag of oats would be much more nutritious and economical...who DOESN'T know that...seriously!!! Poor impulse control, mismanagement of funds and a freeloading mentality is what is wrong with most (not all) of these so called hungry Americans. Lets move on to REAL news please.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Tasha

      George,
      The woman who had the earrings had a past of being hungry and in poverty. If you read the story above, she is now working to educate others on hunger and it appears that she has been able to pull her self out of poor conditions.

      Poverty does not mean thin. Got to your grocery store and compare the price of healthier foods to those that are empty caloreis. You will find that the more unhealthy foods are the most affordable.

      Be peaceful.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
      • George

        What is your excuse for her filthy kitchen? Do you think she rented the place with it looking like that? Those earrings came from a dumpster huh? You are so naive.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Beatrix

      A lot of times when you don't get enough to eat, your body goes into starvation mode and stores a lot of the food you eat into fat. That and unhealthy foods are much cheaper- eating healthy takes a backseat to just eating enough.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
      • lola

        aww come on.....how many starving people in Africa do you see who are morbidly obese!!! Get real.

        September 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • sean barron

      Hard for me to have a lot of sympathy for these people, especially this particular family.

      America is a place of opportunity. A place where its citizens are born with the promise of the American dream – the dream of having the freedom and liberty to pull up your bootstraps and work hard to have what you want. This person (like many panhandlers I often see) is not taking advantage of those opportunities nor her very own promised American dream.

      Philly isn't a cheap place to live. No one is forcing this family to live there. No one is forcing them to live in a row house. They ought to take advantage of their freedoms, pack up their things and move to a cheaper place. Move to Alaska. They'll GIVE you money just to live there! Move to North Dakota or South Dakota. You'll be able to afford all the food you'll ever need there.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  50. NGN

    Two words will get a lot of people off the government dole: "You're Hired". There are fewer and fewer jobs. Las Vegas has an unemployment of 16%. Many companies are explicitly saying in their job postings that they will not consider unemployed candidates at all. WTF? If you are an employer who refuses to hire the unemployed, you don't get to be heard on the subject of food stamps.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
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