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 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

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

soundoff (689 Responses)
  1. JJMD

    ALL of you are teabagers who live in small towns and in the vicinity of farms. Keep in mined that most poor people live in a city where food is very expensive. I will give you $20 a day where I live and if you satisfy your hunger with that, you must be ready on a hunger strike. Here is the average price of some grocery

    Meat $3.50 – $5.00 per pound
    Dozen eggs 2.49 – 3.50
    A loaf of bread 5.00
    Milk 4.20/gal

    Now you need to eat at least 3 times to be a normal human being. So with 5.15 as a federal minimum wages, you probably Spend yesterday's pay with your breakfast. Remember you have to work a full hour just to afford a loaf of bread. Ohh, , public or your own transportation cost will take away a least your 2hours of pay everyday

    September 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Chris

      Wow, what? Milk is 2 gal/5.00 even at a gas station. chuck steak is $2 a pound. Ten pound bag of rice is under five dollars even at the expensive stores. I'm in NorCal. I'm sure local minimum wage is higher to offset the small increases in food prices found in more urban locales.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Chris

      They have loaves of bread at the dollar store for craps sake. You're either lying, stupid, or living in Hawaii.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Angie

      I have to tell you, with the exception of a few who seem well-informed, you make me laugh. SNAP benefits are, for the most part, given to the elderly, the disabled and children. For every one adult on benefits, there are 5 children being fed. And yes, it is possible to work 2 or even 3 jobs and not have enough money to feed a family. Consider that the money goes to rent, utilities, transportation to work, etc. And the children need clothes and shoes occasionally. Also, in many large cities there are no grocery stores within 5 miles of many of these peoples' homes, much less bulk food stores. I live in a mid-sized city in Wisconsin and $400 will feed my family for maybe 3 weeks, not a month. And I DO cook fresh and use few if any processed foods. We eat our share of rice, beans and eggs. I don't know where you are shopping, but around here chicken legs are about $1.49/pound. Chicken breasts are roughly $7/pound. Grocery store choices are very limited around here. Get real. Sure, every program out there has a level of fraud involved, but for the most part, we're really talking about the working poor. Working being the operative word here.

      October 11, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  2. bahmin

    This story will be told over and over on many levels as time goes by..We've had a major drought in Texas and many farmers have lost their crops. Which means food prices will go up again! The people who have made the most harsh comments will be the very ones who will suffer the most severe food insecurity because they have been judgmental lacking empathy for the poor. The time is coming when the dollar bill will loose its value and your money will be worthless ! And you'll be fighting over a piece of bread like a dog in the street. For those of you who have feelings for others be proactive and give to your food banks or local churches who have food kitchens. My organization collects food weekly and has a distribution program which gives food boxes to needy families. I also at one time worked for the state agency that handle the food stamp program..most of our clients were Anglo and Russian immigrants.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • John Doe

      Empathy for the poor is one thing ... allowing the poor to complain because they do not know how to stretch a dollar is just stupid abuse of the taxpayers.

      America is the land of opportunity ... it is not a right to be fed. Let's eliminate the SNAP program as we know it and simply convert it into a government food basket program of staple ingredients. This way there can be no fraud, we can ensure that everyone is "given" enough to eat and we could probably realize 60% savings for our country.

      But then again they would probably complain that they do not have enough money to turn the stove on to actually cook.

      September 25, 2011 at 3:32 am |
  3. nomoreliberals

    Sorry – all money spent to support Libya war and lawyers of Davis.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  4. Adnan

    Holy Crap. This video reminds me of the videos and ads we see made by charities trying to donate money for food in Africa and other third world countries. You know the ones which go like 'just 20 cents a day will give this child food, clothing and schooling ...........'.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  5. Red

    Our governement is sending billions out of the country for foreign aid each year and is not providing enough food stamps for people in this country. There has been this problem for years, women run out of food stamps in the third week of the month and are told to go to Food Banks if they exist in their city. I wrote my state Representatives and they both said that they support the food programs but neither said that they will improve the program. People need to Protest.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  6. A W Messenger

    I had a chance to visit the rural parts of China. The people in rural China are IMPOVERISHED, but happy. They don't go hungry because they know how to grow their own rice. But the impoverished people in China don't look like the impoverished people in America. There seems to be a difference.

    McDonald's sells Big Mac's in China. It is considered to be an upscale restaurant to most. Usually only the more affluent can afford to visit McD's. Or perhaps the upscale Pizza Hut or Kentucky Fried Chicken (top of line cuisine .. to them .. very expensive ... they pronounce it ken-duh-jee).

    I am reminded again and again as to HOW MUCH we (me included) as American's take for granted what we have, as opposed to what we don't.

    It seems almost that we Americans are not happy with what we have because we want more.

    And yet those that appear to have more seem to be as miserable, if not more so, than the ones who have less.

    But the ones that have more can seek counseling to help appease the fact they aren't happy with what they have ...

    And the smiles on those impoverished Chinese children smiling back at me, seems to make me realize perhaps they have something more than even we (as Americans) could ever hope to gain: acceptance and peace of mind.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Adnan

      Coming from a foreign country myself, I understand what you are saying and in ways you are right. But here is the big fundamental difference.

      China doesn't have a constitution or a bill of rights for its citizens. Whatever they have, their reasoning is that it could be worse, which is absolutely true, but there is no standard of living or rights laid down on them.

      Now in the US, it is totally different. Right from when we're a child, we start knowing what our rights our. We can always tell our teacher or somebody else if we think our parents have mistreated us.

      We can rest assured that when we go out we will safely return home. We know that even if we don't have any money, we can still go to the emergency room. etc, etc, etc.

      When one grows up and lives in an environment which actually does for its citizens what we do, one starts expecting.

      So there lies the difference between somebody in China being happy just to eat vs somebody here not being able to eat a big mac.

      A Chinese American that grew up here will pretty much be used to enjoying all the rights which other Americans enjoy and will be different than the Chinese you are talking about in China.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  7. liberty

    We use every trick we can to lower our food costs. The best thing we do is make meals using 1 serving of meat protein for 3 people. We will use 1 chicken breast in a big pot of noodles. We use 1/2 lb of hamburger for a huge pot of chili. We don't eat lunch-we eat a snack-sized portion of food – half a sandwich and fruit or veg. We don't eat out much. I coupon on everything but food (we shop the outside aisles most) and use the savings on food. We have 4 food chains within 2 miles so we can comparison shop and we don't buy name brands much. So we do ok. If I miss anything it's fruit – too expensive to buy too often.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  8. Marc

    My wife and I waited until we both had carriers to buy a house, then when we made good enough money we decided to have children, I always thought this is how you achieved the American dream.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • marc is wrong

      no, the american dream is to pop out babies with no job and then complain that you don't have enough money to feed everyone. obviously.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
      • heath

        thanks Plato

        September 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • E

      You were lucky that you could live the plan you wanted to, enjoy it. But do not get all self righteous about other people's lives who have not had the luck you have.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  9. BENJI

    You think you have it rough now? Just wait until the teabaggers and repubs take over. They are going to cut welfare and food stamps.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Adnan

      We're not going to let them take over are we?

      September 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
      • Joey

        Everyone in the US has the opportunity of going to school, even if they are broke they can get a student loan to go to college. Why should people get free shit because they made the wrong decisions?

        How will they be motivated to get a job if they are receiving more things free? The way this country is heading its gonna make sense for students to drop out and just live off the diminishing "rich" you wish to tax

        September 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • hm...

      no...what will actually happen is that the corporations will finally start hiring people. This is all a scam to get Obama out of office. I hate to say it...but as soon as the repub gets in, the economy will turn around. These corporations are THAT powerful! It's politics as usual

      September 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Steeter Fixton

    The "actual" reason for poverty increase is obama and poor economic decisions. enough said

    September 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • puresmokey

      "Enough said": the usual glib and pointless closing argument of a person who has no idea what the hell they are talking about.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  11. Jen

    Perhaps these people could afford these children when they decided to have them, but things changed! It does happen. A few years ago, my family made a six figure salary and I socked away over $100k in savings in addition to retirement accounts and zero debt. My husband got very sick and blew through that money within two years of not being able to work and medical expenses out the wazoo. I am working now and I make about $15 an hour. I don't take government benefits and it's enough to live on but things have changed dramatically for our family. I am not saying this to say "poor me" but just to point out that things change. You can work hard, you can save money, you can have kids when you think it's a good time, but people get sick, people divorce, drugs and alcohol ruin lives, s### happens sometimes. Stop assuming these people set out to have kids they couldn't afford.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Anonymous

      I hear you loud and clear. When a medical condition strikes somebody especially the head of the household it's devastating. Further more, the process of getting disability itself is a task and by the time you're approved, you've lost quite a bit.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Brad T.

      It is absolutely obscene that so many people have to go hungry in this country. We have food coming out of our ears and we just need a better way to get it to the people who need it.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tanya

      Thank you for pointing that out. Sometimes all the best planning and preparation still don't guarantee security.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • AmericanInCanada

      When I read stories like that I am always dumbfounded as to why Americans are so dead set against nationalized healthcare. What could you all possibly have against a safety net for everyone against this kind of tragedy which could hit any of us? Sure, we pay more in taxes here in Canada. But getting sick doesn't mean spending your life savings. The U.S. literally worships hedge fund managers who live like absolute gods. Yet, they won't hedge against sickness and injury. Bizarre.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
      • puresmokey

        Well said. I was born in Canada and, sure, I bitch and whine about taxes from time to time...but man, I sure am thankful that I've always had my health taken care of regardless of my financial situation.
        My father, also a native Canadian, was asked by an American friend what he thought about the raging debate in America over health care. My dad responded by telling him that he remembered RFK's visit to Toronto and Ottawa in the early sixties, when he came here to study the then-new health system and return to Washington to report on its effectiveness. It's fifty years later, my dad said, and you're still talking about it.
        I hope they figure something out. I've got lots of friends and some family south of the border.

        September 22, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  12. Robert

    I ill tell you one thing this country is #1 in ... Ingrates per Capita. Wow! Food insecurity. Once again proving how little most people on CNN or its board know about real hunger or poverty. Go to Africa or India or China and then come write about this "problem."

    September 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • connieb

      a hungry child in the US is still hungry

      September 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  13. Robert

    Food Insecurity? Aren't we an obese nation? I thought the poor were the obese ones too?

    September 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  14. vegan

    The reason poverty is increasing in America is because the poor have more kids than the middle and upper class. It's simple numbers. If you're poor and have 10 kids, those 10 kids will probably be poor too. If you're middle or upper class and have 2 (probably at the most, sometimes none) kids, then the poor-to-rich ratio magically increases.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Mobymom

      My husband and I raised 9 kids – yours, mine and ours, without government help. After his untimely death I still managed to provide for the last ones left at home. Since the economy went south, I have suffered what is so euphemistically called "food insecurity". So yeah, stuph happens and just because you could do things one way ten years ago doesn't mean things are still that way. Oh and we were middle class, with all those kids. Judgmental thinking is narrow minded and closes off any possible chance of understanding. But rampant generalities merely show true ignorance..

      September 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  15. Dtiger

    Here is what really upsets me. I get behind an obese woman with food stamps and she has nothing but processed food, sugary filled drinks, and microwave dinners stacked to the top. I look in my car and I have chicken breasts for around a dollar a pound, green beans that were on sale, collard greens some skim milk, whole wheat bread, a bag of apples and a jar of peanut butter. Her cart is around 80 bucks and my cart is around 30. It's sheer lack of creativity and ambition. If I have a pot, a burner and 10 bucks a week I won't go hungry.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Mike

      Amen brother.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • mexi-CAN

      i watched the video on hunger in America and i have to give props to the first woman who worked two jobs to feed and support her family, hang in there sistah things will get better....the second woman, ahhh i want to ask her, when is the last time you had a job? i work, my husband works and we stopped at 3 kids...thats as many as we wanted and could afford....if you cant feed them, dont breed them....

      September 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
      • Arya

        The first woman looks like she has enough to eat while the second woman is obviously malnourished. Tell me, how does one become fat when they can't afford to eat. I'm sure her hungry children do not leave enough leftovers for her to be that fat.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Dana

      And you are obviously educated about healthy foods and how to eat properly; not everyone has that luxury. I was raised in the south and we had white bread; fried foods and soda with every meal. It was not until I went to college (the first in my family, by the way) and then moved to the east coast that I learned an entirely new and healthy way of eating. If you don't know better, you can't do better. Try exercising a little kindness and less judgment, not everyone is as fortunate as you and I.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
      • Dtiger

        Every school has health and home ec / cooking classes. I took them and learned the basics of cooking. It wasn't hard, they didn't hide the information from people. The rich kids weren't the only kids allowed in those classes. Also, if you don't know that sugary drinks and tv dinners are bad for you, you just aren't trying to be educated.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
      • Dtiger

        PS I grew up in South Carolina, is that South enough for you?

        September 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
      • E

        since when does every school offer anything like that? I have never known anyone who was able to take classes in that stuff, it was not offered.

        September 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  16. Jones

    Get a job.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Liz

      In the words of Dr. Phil McGraw " YOUSIR ARE AN IDIOT!!!!!!"

      September 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • JoeD

      Read the article. She has 2 jobs.
      Not everyone is as fortunate as you.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Spica

      and what are those two jobs??
      how many hours at each job per week?

      You never get the full facts on sob stories like these.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  17. Marlene

    How can I help?

    September 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Dtiger

      Teach her to cook?

      September 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
      • pmf

        I would love to challenge you on your $10 a week theory. And i don't know where the hell you shop, but around here chicken is never less than 1.99/pound. And that is on a really good sale. Get some compassion!!!

        September 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
      • Dtiger

        I shop at H.E.B. in Texas, the boneless skinless chicken breasts are expensive, but the bone in split breasts are often on sale for a dollar a pound. Generally, whole chickens are also less than 2 dollars a pound. As far 10 dollars a week goes. I can get a dozen eggs for under two bucks, a bag of rice around around 3 and a bag of beans around 2.50 a jar a peanut butter for around a 1.50 and loaf of bread for around a dollar. It won't be fancy, but I won't starve.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
      • Dtiger

        I'm compassionate, I just think that these people could do better to make ends meet. It's takes some creativity, but it can be done. Instead of worrying about what you don't have, figure out what you do have and try and make it work better. Does it suck, yes, is it "not fair" yes, but those are the breaks. I wish no one was born into poverty, but it's not a reality. However, if you use being born into poverty as and excuse, you will never escape poverty. I am more than happy to help people who want to help themselves.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  18. Smitty77

    Gee – not much compassion here! Guess this is why we don't have government health insurance either!

    September 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Mike

      Compassion? For an obese woman complaining she has no food?,...GIVE ME A BREAK

      September 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
      • pmf

        You don't the the story behind her obesity and if all you can do is pick on a lady for the way she looks and assume that she's obese because of the food she eats, maybe you need to look internally at your own issues. Maybe she has an illness that she obviously wouldn't be able to afford to treat. Maybe no one was around to teach them how to cook. Instead of giving an obese woman a hard time about her weight and what she eats, get out there and teach her how to cook and shop efficiently. That would much nicer than what you are doing.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
      • connieb

        Scientifically speaking, when a body is starved of food, it automatically starts storing fats as a safety device–thus you can be starving and still be overweight. Must be nice to be so perfect. Jeez do a little research on a subject before spewing your self-righteous half-truths. I thought only that one other guy could walk on water, but I guess you can too.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Peter

      God helps those who helps themselves friend. Don't expect a handout and label it "compassion".

      September 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
      • Kelly

        Actually Peter...that quote is not in the Bible. Here are actual quotes from the should read it some time.
        Prov. 14:31 Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them. To help the poor is to honor God.

        Prov. 21:13 He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need <-- pretty important one

        September 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
      • Velveetaa@Kelly

        Fair's fair. Now you have to go to the section of CNN about religion and preach about food.

        September 23, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  19. single mom

    I'm a working single mom with two kids, one of which is a teenager boy who eats everything in sight and I only spend $200 a month on food. $400 is a lot of money, it's obvious that the food stamps are being wasted. There is no way she's couponing properly.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Golden Rule

      Hi, I am Proud for you. I suspect she could be a newspaper delivery person who may borrow numerous Sunday coupons. Stay Strong,hopefully, it will get better.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • K. Faulkner

      I agree, single mom. $400 is a ton of money. My husband and I spend about $200 a month on food and we are not malnourished. We would easily be able to feed two children and two adults on $400 a month. Improper budgeting does not = food insecurity.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
      • Kati

        There are three of us in our family. We spend around $500/month on food and that could EASILY come down if need be. We buy at least two gallons of organic milk a week ($6/gallon), lots of free-range meats, organic produce, etc. Dinners are all made from scratch. Even our Caesar salad–dressing and croutons included!–is made from scratch! Oh, and we buy about 30% of our food from Whole Foods, too.

        Yeah, $400/month for groceries is very doable.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Kelly

      I agree – we don't spend $400 per month on groceries and we get healthy food. I will exercise compassion but not by throwing more money at the situation. Perhaps there should be a slightly reduced foodstamp benefit and a nutrition class component – or – better yet – move entirely to the WIC system.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • zy

      $200 a month for 3 people? Well this is the internet and we can say whatever we want without proof....

      September 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  20. Tyler

    Lets vote in the republicans. Everyone for themselves right?

    September 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Peter

      if you mean take a little responsibility for yourself then yes

      September 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
      • Marc

        God forbid we start taking responsibility for our own actions, let the democrats spend our hard earned money on everyone who wants hand-outs-for-life!!!

        September 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  21. rdb

    Ms. Gaines – I can't help noticing that the kids look relatively thin. We don't see much of them in the video. But you are overweight. It is unfortunately hard to feel empathetic that you don't have enought to eat when you are overweight. Bottom line.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Wow

      You sir are as stupid as they come. I mean just flat out stupid, go stab yourself in the eye. And then have someone read to you what the causes of obesity are.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
      • Jackie

        I have been obese most of my life so I KNOW what the causes of obesity are: a combination of too much food and too little exercise. If she'd pass on a twinkee or two or six, she may find it possible to afford healthy meals for her children.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
      • rdb

        I offer you the sir, the opportunity to educate me on this.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • pdrapala

      One can be considered overweight and still be undernourished . . . for more information, please see . . .

      September 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Alli

      It's a known fact in the medical community that eating processed, low-grade food ( clearly what this lady is affording) produces overweight adults. What do you expect? Should she stay awake for 2 more hours a day exercising, after getting off of her SECOND job? Please THINK before you type. There are plenty of overweight, malnourished people, and certainly there are overweight people who do not have enough to eat. Read up on it. You'd be surprised what you could learn. ( Compassion would be a start. )

      September 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
      • rdb

        Alli, I apologize. It wasn't exactly an oversite as I am aware of high caloric malnutrition. NTL I expect better of a woman who is literate, speaks well, obviously intelligent and dresses well. And all I said was that it was hard to be empathetic.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • ABCD

      I noticed she was overweight too. If she has a medical problem, ok, but I find it pretty screwed up when you're that poor and you're overweight.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Kati

      Ms. Gaines is likely fat because she's always been fat. Multiple studies confirm that the human body will do everything in its power to hold onto any fat stores: once fat, you're pretty much guaranteed to remain fat. Those who've lost a considerable amount of weight AND KEPT IT OFF are the exception, not the norm.

      Fortunately for me, I've always been thin and I plan on staying this way.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  22. Ginamero

    It's not an issue that some women are over weight. Many women who have had babies, especially more than one...tend to hold extra fat in thigh area. What amazes me are when the uniformed say, "Poor people are fat because cheap food is not healthy...WTF? Calories in/calories out. Just because a burger costs 99 cents does not mean there are not calories. Eat one bun and do not super size. Oatmeal is cheap but all carbs so the pounds will pack on if you eat more than one serving and put down more calories than you expend. People are way uneducated about food and it's impact and it never fails to kill me when some liberal idiot says poor people are fat because they can't afford better food. All people are fat because they take in more calories than they burn off...period.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  23. Not a Dem or a Lib

    Get off it. This article takes poverty and turns it into depressive anxiety complex. I guess we should fix this by giving her more of our tax money!! I get that she is poor. I get that she is trying to take care of her children. But why do her and her husband have children they were not prepared to take care of? Great that she works two jobs. Nothing on what the husband does to support the family. IN other words – I don't really care. They created this situation. They can fix it. Or faster the children to someone that can afford to care for them!!

    September 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • what

      People who think like you don't need anyones' permission to speak freely, but people should educate themselves to identify garbage like this and filter it out.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Jack_Jacobs

      You sound, as your handle implies, like neither a lib nor a dem. You sound more like a heartless jerko, whatever your political stripe.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • J

      Yes, it's quite clear that you don't care about other people. Thanks for spelling it out.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Pete

      Blacks don't have husbands or wives. They have baby mama and baby daddy

      September 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
      • Married

        Pete, not all blacks have baby mamas or baby daddies. Whites as well have the same issues as blacks although people like you and others don't want to acknowledge the fact. Also, people on this blog should not pass judgment against people that are less fortunate because you never know when it could happen to you are a family member.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • RR

      I understand you disagreeing with a persons individual plight however; where is your humanity? These are tough times friend and complaining and bickering over who is owed what by whom doesn't fix the problem. I do not believe that people plan to be poor, these things happen. I pity you friend and I hope that you never have to experience poverty and I hope that you at least allow yourself to think of others before you speak.

      God bless.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • uncle tom

      why dont these people learn to fish you know the old saying catch a man a fish feed him for a night teach a man how to fish feed him for a life im really smart im really smart na na na na na napunks

      September 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • nettkitten

      "Are there no prisons? No workhouses? If the poor would rather die then they'd better do it and decrease the surplus population."

      Meanwhile Rep. Duffy (R) requires $200,000 per year just to feed his brood of children which means that his $400,000 per year income doesn't make him "rich" but his own wife can't be bothered to go out and get a job instead of staying home and pumping out more babies than they can otherwise afford, choosing instead to live off of his government salary a.k.a. the tax payer dole. HMMMMM....

      September 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  24. uncle tom

    Im sick and tired of you people saying its ok to keep having children when these morons cant even take care of and feed themselves.they dont know what the word marriage even means and have never evn dreamed of having a job.from day one they have been taught to get money from the government and im sick of it anyone on welfare should have to take mandatory drug test and be mandated to get a job just like in other states they take the food stamps go to the nearst drug store or bodega and give them $20 worth of food stamps for $10 of real money for drugs im sick of it they get free money and food and housing all free but i cant get a lower rate for my mortgage im sick of it

    September 22, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Kelly

      Perhaps if you bought an affordable home you wouldn't need to modify your mortgage....and I don't care why you need a lower rate...If you can't feel compassion for others, than I have none for you.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  25. Ben

    There is no reason for the 2 decent looking chicks in the video to go hungry. I am sure something could be worked out that will keep them well fed. If you are a slim chick in need of help, just email me at I live in a 4 bedroom house, i only used 1 room.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  26. Satirev

    The great irony is that these unfortunate individuals probably have cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar numbers in the excellent range. My numbers were never better than when I had a medical issue that meant severe pain after ingesting solid food. At one point I lived on nothing but Gatorade for 5 days straight. I have bad genetics for cholesterol and diabetes and my numbers were never better than when I was living on a calorie restricted diet.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  27. Golden Rule

    It is time to take a look at each other...can I Help you or You Help me? We Must take care of each other.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  28. Moron Americans

    Some of the radical, fringe element right wingers posting on here must have been at the tea party republican debate last week. You know, the people who cheered when posed with the question "if a man is seriously ill and has no health insurance, so we let him die"? The audience actually cheered. That's OK. Your days are numbered. And, I don't mean politically, I mean literally.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Dee

      Wrong, One thing has nothing to do with the other.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
      • Moron Americans

        Oh, Dee says I'm wrong so it must be so. The issues are very closely's called compassion. This country used to have it until the radical, fringe element hijacked the republican party in an attempt to destroy anybody not like them.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • John Doe

      Compassion = providing a balance meal consisting of a bowl of rice with broccoli, potatoes and chicken mixed in, with a glass of milk, bread and butter on the side.

      Intelligent Welfare = providing them staple ingredients and letting them choose and cook what they would like to eat for each meal.

      Liberal Activism = Giving a family of 4 people $578+ dollars a month to buy food, allow them to then complain it is not enough, all while being funded by the 25% of the Americans that pay 86% of the income tax

      Some people really need to research the proper use of words like "compassion, empathy, caring" etc

      September 25, 2011 at 3:50 am |
  29. Lizzle

    **70$/week on groceries :)

    September 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  30. Lizzle

    My boyfriend and I live together, we both work 40 hours a week (after fortunately finding jobs after months of unemployment) We spend around 70$ per month on groceries. I think the big problem here is the lack of education on proper spending. Tell your kids no to name brands, buy generic. Its not difficult to spend less than 100$/week on groceries and have a substantial amount of food, whenever I spend 100$, there is enough food for a week and 1/2, buy in bulk and leftovers are key!!!

    September 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Loki123

      You got it right there! Left-overs are the key. I make a big batch of food that will make three different meals and anything left over serves as lunches. I made a batch of chili for a few bucks (used half the amount of meat and saved it for another meal) and we had chili one day, chili dogs the next, and chili mac (plus corn) the next. Spot-on on the left-over advice! :)

      September 22, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
      • Genuine

        Lizzle & Loki (great names)-- so yo both manage to live on $70 of groceries per month? Really?

        September 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • pamanpaul

      It all depends on where you live. One bag of food for $20.00 in Mississippi may get you 2-3 days worth of meals if done right. However in other states like New York or California $20.00 may barely get you lunch meat. I don't get the feeling anyone of the families here are buying high priced poor quality food. Eggs, oatmeal, dry cereal, rice, I don't know what else they can/should be doing. Good that you and your mate can work it out like that. I take it you don't have kids, which makes it a little easier.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  31. Barbara Izquierdo

    I would like to say thank you to everyone that took the time out to watch our story. Yes it's hard but we are fighters. We are fighting to make changes through advocacy so this wont continue to happen.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Dee

      Instead of fighting, why don't you educate yourself on how to shop for and cook inexpensive foods that contain good nutrition, instead of wasting money on processed junk. There is something terribly wrong with a person who cannot feed a family of three on $400 a month. That is A LOT of money for one month's food. If she is not managing, it's because she needs to educate herself on proper nutrition. $400 is more than enough to eat well for a month.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
      • Deb

        I could not agree with you more! $400 is a lot of money for food!!! You might have to not be able to buy chips, pop tarts, or Little Debbies...... get over it!! I would love to have someone give me $400 a month for food! I work very hard to stay between $50-60 a week. We don't each much steak or shrimp, but chicken works for us! TIRED of taking care of everyone else!!! GROW UP AND TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!

        September 22, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
      • Alli

        I think what we may be running into is a difference in cost-of-living. If one lives in NY/Long Island, one is more likely to spend SIX hundred a month on groceries, for a family of three. In Austin, one might expect to cut that number in half. Go to Paris , Illinois, and you* may* hit that cute little two hundred dollar mark. It's all relative.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
      • DCAB

        I agree that $400 a month on food for 3 should do you well. I have myself, my husband and my daughter and we spend $175 every two weeks. I will admit that we do buy generic on quite a few things, but if done right, you can buy name brand. I really think it comes down to making sure you hit the sales, coupons and make sure you buy only what you really need.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
      • pamanpaul

        It depends on where you live! You'd think people like you that post on these forums would be a tad more worldly, but I guess that's asking too much. The cost of living varies from state to state. I live in New York , and it's VERY expensive to live here. However I went to Iowa in August to visit relatives and was shocked at the cost of food in that state compared to New York. Iowa was much cheaper. There's also disparity in wages state by state with southern states generally paying low wages, but lower prices on goods, while the northern and western states have higher wages, but also a higher cost of living. Add in that pesky thing called UNEMPLOYMENT, and it's difficult wherever you live. Sad thing is people like you are on welfare yourself or you have family members getting SSDI, Social Security, Medicaid, WIC, yet you still want to act like these folks in the video are freeloading, taking it right out of your pocket. That lady who works 2 jobs, guess what?, she's paying taxes just like you. The irony is that she's probably working harder than you and every other self righteous nut job that just can't see the forest for the trees!

        September 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Karl

      Barbara, take a look at

      September 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  32. Julie

    I wish they would have explained in the article or video what that mom meant about all the things she needed to do with the change she had left over. Did she mean buy things you can't with food stamps like soap, shampoo, toilet paper..or pay a bill? Its kind of hard to have clean dishes and clean pots and pans to even cook with when you don't have the money for dish soap. :( I agree though, it shouldn't be a privilege to be able to eat! Good grief...we know from research done in other countries when children don't get the food they need in their early years they end up with much lower IQ because their brains are deprive of the nutrients they need. And the parents who are trying to work shouldn't have to starve themselves in order to feed their children. Doesn't really matter how stocked the stores are with food..if you don't have the money you can't get it. Meanwhile restaurants throw out tons and tons of uneaten food everyday. Even in the schools if you eat with your see how much doesn't get eaten and dumped in the trash. We really need to work on not being so wasteful so those hungry can eat. I know some restaurants are working to do this. I hope others do also.

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

      Do you know why restaurants throw away leftover food? Fear of litigation. If somebody gets sick on leftover food they can sue. It happened.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • nettkitten

      Panerra Bread cafes give all of their leftovers to local homeless shelters and food banks at the end of each and every day. They are also trying out a new pay-what-you-can cafe in select cities. In exchange some people who can't pay come in and work for an hour or two or they pay more on another visit. The rest is covered by charitable donations and the restaurant owners who believe that food – good, healthy nutritious food – should be a right available to any and everyone. And they don't give a damn about the liabilities.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  33. Dee

    She can't buy enough food on $400 a month? Really?? $400 a month is a lot of money for one month's food, even with two children to feed. If she can't manage on $400 a month for food, she must be wasting an awful lot of that money on processed junk, which is expensive and devoid of good nutrition. It is far cheaper, and healthier, to buy rice, beans, oatmeal, fruit, veggies, eggs, pasta, tuna fish, whole grain bread etc. etc. - You can easily feed a family of three on $400 a month and eat very well/

    September 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Moron Americans

      Really? Have you been to the grocery store lately? One gallon of milk now costs over $5. With 2 children in the house that gallon will last about 3 days. so, that's $50 a month on just milk.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
      • Dee

        Your name suits you. Just how much milk are you drinking, anyway, and why are you paying $5 a gallon? Some people will make any excuse to justify overspending. Shop around and stop buying at the most expensive stores. And by the way, no one needs to drink cow's milk (unless you are a calf). Dairy products cause disease, inflammation and obesity. There are far healthier and less expensive sources of protein.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
      • Moron Americans

        No, Dee the name is directed at people like yourself. Children need milk not only for protein but calcium. I'm not going to get in an argument with you over nutrition, and I don't shop at expensive stores, just normal grocery stores in my neighborhood. Until you have fed a family of 4 on $400 a month you should shut your fvcking mouth and save your judgement for your mother and father.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
      • Smithsdawg


        It depends on where you live. $400 would by no means begin to feed two growing children well in one of the major urban or tourist areas. In mid Iowa, yeah...probably.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
      • Ginamero

        Try powdered milk. Lasts longer and is much cheaper. Those who say it doesn't taste as're not hungry enough.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
      • Flea

        eh, i feed a family of 3 on around 350$ a month and no one goes hungry .. that is also including the occasional splurge on a snack item or two ... it is all in shopping right ... yes in some areas it may be harder to shop around but it still can be done.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
      • Vic Math

        The story that humans need protein and calcium needs to be properly checked out!
        Did you know bones grow stronger with exercise?
        Did you also know that the largest land animals like elephants do not eat any protein, yet they produce plenty!
        The biological/zoological research (if you can really call it that) of a hundred years ago came up with many theories. Like the super-contribution by spinach.
        Humans do not know cow's milk at all.
        In fact, drinking a glassful of cow's milk is a very recent phenomenon.
        Humans had very different food habits before the advent of modern farming.
        People today would be doing themselves a favor by revisiting the food habits of our forefathers about 200 years ago. 80% of what landed on the plates then was grains and vegetables. Children never drank glassfuls of milk, or had the sugar-rich packaged EXPENSIVE cereals for breakfast.
        They did a lot of physical work, or walked great distances.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
      • Jason@Moron Americans

        You can mix regular milk with dried milk, 50 50, and cut that milk bill in half and I guarantee you your kids will never know the difference.

        September 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Jeff

      I agree, I am 19 I live with my Mom and my little brother. So its the three of us. House payment. We live in Johnstown, PA and we are lucky if we spend $80 to $100 maybe a few times a year $150, That's weekly. Times are hard. People need to "man up" and not eat the top brand stuff. and have the fastes internet, computer,car TV.. I really think that this country is in for a wake-up call sooner then people think.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • are you kidding

      Dee, you're a moron. first of all, no, cow's milk does not cause all those problems. ask any nutritionist or medical professional. secondly, i'm a 21 year old male and i buy my own food. i shop at safeway and always look for the deals and specials and buy generic as much as humanly possible. i spend probably $250-280 a month on food for myself. i'm not even growing anymore. can you imagine how much it's going to cost with 2 growing sons in the house, plus yourself to feed, plus other bills? get with reality.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
      • Jackie

        You have a lot to learn about bargain grocery shopping! Safeway is one of the more expensive grocery stores. They sometimes have some great sales, but are way overpriced on everything else. Buy ONLY what is on sale and then head on over to a discount grocery store like Food Maxx, Winco, Super Saver, or Walmart. Unless you are eating lobster every night, $280 is WAY TOO MUCH to be spending to feed one person. I only spend about $400 per month to feed my family of 5. This includes everything from milk, cereals, fruits and veggies, snacks, meats (probably way more steak than is healthy since I LOVE beef), and even includes pet food and household items such as dish soap, shampoo, cleaning products, etc. I do not use coupons, but I do shop at a discount supermarket where I have to bag my own groceries. It's worth it for the savings!

        There is just no excuse why a person can't comfortably feed a family of 3 on $400 in food stamps unless they are doing what I typically see food stamp users doing: buying only the most expensive brand names and the most expensive cuts of meats and vegetable selections. It's real easy to waste it when you didn't have to earn it!

        September 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
      • Jackie

        Forgot to mention that I live in the S.F. Bay area which has a very high cost-of-living.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
      • Dee

        No, you're a 21 year old child who has never learned how to shop on a budget. If cannot manage on less than around $300 a month to feed yourself, you clearly need to take some classes in nutrition and economics. Good luck with that. Oh, and calling someone a "moron" because you disagree with them is ignorant. Learn to have some respect for others.

        September 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
      • Dee

        @AreYouKidding: No, you're a 21 year old child who has never learned how to shop on a budget. If cannot manage on less than around $300 a month to feed yourself, you clearly need to take some classes in nutrition and economics. Good luck with that. Oh, and calling someone a "moron" because you disagree with them is ignorant. Learn to have some respect for others.

        September 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Genuine

      What grocery do you shop at? I live in South Florida and there is no way you can eat healthy on $400 or less per month. Unless you're buying all canned crap and not fresh produce!

      September 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Adela

      I spend a whole lot more than 400 a month and I don't buy process food nor do we eat meat every night. I live near San Francisco so not to certain where yo get your food.The general rule is 150 per month and add 100 per person but that's budget eating coming from financial experts. A juicing diet alone is about 85 a week made from home made juices. Do you think that family could afford these nutrients.

      Anyways can't stand reading blogs from those ruthless idiots(not Dee) talking crap about the poor.
      Of course birth control is a factor! but I'm certain many of you out there drove SUV's, spent a fortune on your kids, wine and dined, and defaulted on your loans.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Alli

      think what we may be running into is a difference in cost-of-living. If one lives in NY/Long Island, one is more likely to spend SIX hundred a month on groceries, for a family of three. In Austin, one might expect to cut that number in half. Go to Paris , Illinois, and you* may* hit that cute little two hundred dollar mark. It's all relative.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Alli

      think what we may be running into is a difference in cost-of-living. If one lives in NY/Long Island, one is more likely to spend SIX hundred a month on groceries, for a family of three. In Austin, one might expect to cut that number in half. Go to Paris , Illinois, and you* may* hit that cute little two hundred dollar mark. It's all relative.
      Agreed about the dairy. BTW. It actually is not necessary. ( Medical professional, here. Dairy was pushed mid-20th century to help out the dairy industry. )

      September 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  34. LobsterBoy

    I received my $400 food stamps and was able to order six XL lobsters from lobster dot net. I still had $22 left over for butter & lemons. :)

    September 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Moron Americans

      Well that wasn't too smart. That might feed a family of four for 2 days, but what are you and your children going to eat for the rest of the month?

      September 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  35. Chuck

    Nothing like comments from right wing tea party types without a shred of empathy for this woman's plight. You people need to be checked out for signs of sociopathic behavior. Maybe there's something you can take for it.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • vegan

      The reason poverty is increasing in America is because the poor have more kids than the well-to-do. It's simple numbers. If you're poor and have 10 kids, those 10 kids will probably be poor too. If you're middle class and have 2 kids, wala, there's now more poor people than middle-class.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
      • Chuck

        Maybe if planned parethood wasn't being phased out by the right, then she would have access to free contraception. Regardless, don't judge people for the situation they are in. You may end up there yourself someday. One massive depression, job loss and 25% unemployment and you'll end up in her situation. It doesn't take much.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
      • Moron Americans

        What an over-simplification by a simpleton of a complex economic and social problem.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
      • Moron Americans

        Previous comment directed at vegan.

        September 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
      • carol

        I think vegan is right. You shouldn't have children until you are able to provide for yourself, and them. It's all about being responsbile

        September 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
      • IH

        Let me get this if you are poor your children and their children will also be poor? Same for the middle class? Last I checked that was not quite the case. In today's precarious economic environment job security is almost non existant, so lets not be too confident since disaster can strike unexpectantly and push a previously well off family into trouble. Hurricanes and flooding washing away houses, family sickness, job loss, you name it....there's a fair degree of things we cannot predict and no one has a crystal ball. For people who complain about poor planning...who's to say the father did not die an honorable death defending our freedom and security overseas so that those of us at home can continue to enjoy the quality of life we do today? Lets not assume that all those who need a little help are single mothers with several children and deadbeat boyfriends. It reflects poorly on us as a nation to be unsympathetic and judgemental...

        September 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Loki123

      Chuck, then why don't you send her a check so she can buy more food?

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

        Actually Loki123, I do give money to the Philadelphia food bank every year. How do you contribute? All you self righteous intolerant people who think that you don't owe society anything for your success are pitiful . Nobody gets successful on their own. They get help from others and society as a whole. Everyone needs to understand that we all have some moral requirement to give back to society and help those who are less fortunate. The reality is that ANYONE can be in this woman's shoes someday. Lose your job.. have a severe illness that depletes your savings and puts you in massive debt.. disability , etc. It could happen to you someday.. Have some empathy.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  36. Jeffrey Root

    This is why I don't have kids yet. My wife and I have been married for 5 years and we have yet to be financially stable. I cannot bring a child into this world without knowing if I can provide for them. Even when I know I can, I still know I will need an emergency fund for hard times and food storage.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  37. Loki123

    I work at WalMart and most of our customers are on food stamps. I watch them spend anywhere from $400 to $600 a month on food...steaks, frozen meals, micro meals, etc. And then they turn around and buy non-food items for another hundred to two hundred dollars. I'm not on foodstamps and I feed myself, my mom, and my step-dad on about $150 to $200 a month , and we eat good. I buy food items that I can get two or three meals out of, fruits and veggies, beans and rice, non-processed foods, etc. You can do alot with sandwich meats, discounted bread, pasta, and frozen bags of vegetables. You just have to change your way of shopping, use coupons, use price-matching, and catch things on sale. I just spent $113 on food and that will feed us for 15 days, with some left over to roll over into my next payday.

    Plus, everyone wants to do their shopping at WalMart instead of hitting dollar stores and discount groceries, which accept EBT also.

    Sometimes, it's not a matter of not having the money, it's a matter of spending what money you have wisely.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Jeff

      I agree! Its all on not eating the Brand name and also not eating 20 times a day and not wasting food..

      September 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • ANGL

      Are you saying that poor are not entitled to eat the same foods that self sufficient do? I would never look down on a less fortunate person for wanting to eat something more than spam. They are people just like you and me and should be treated with dignity.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  38. Nora

    Deborah Feyerick, CNN correspondent doesn't know a damn thing about hunger!!! For starters, that Tianna woman looks pretty fat to me, it is obvious food is her problem, not lack of it. And I'm sorry but that Barbara woman should be ashamed of having her "kitchen" in such horrible conditions, has she ever tried to clean it once???????? There's is a big difference between being poor and being filthy!!!! And it is pretty absurd to whine about having only 400 dlls a month to eat when there are millions of people around the world surviving with 30 dlls a month!!! When my husband and I were students, we spent 40 dlls a week in groceries and cleaning supplies and we were fine!!!!!

    September 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Smithsdawg

      I've seen places like that. Fortunately never lived in them. It probably doesn't look too much different than when she moved in. You can't clean them. A can of paint goes a long way, but if it's between feeding your kids and spiffing the place up, you feed your kids.

      Then there is the obesity / poverty issue. The woman has two jobs. While you probably have time to go out jogging, she's probably sitting on her tail at a computer terminal. And eating poor, cheap, packaged food to boot. You may have heard her mention that when nothing else is available, she keeps oatmeal on hand. It's cheap. I suggest you google poverty and obesity.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
      • Nora

        Well, I've never seen really poor fat people, sorry. And dont' justify the other woman filthiness, I've seen families abroad cooking without stoves for gods sake, just a little coal and some crackled pans, and they still manage to have everything clean!!

        September 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
      • Smithsdawg


        So you haven't seen it, it doesn't exist. I suggest you do some charity or mission work. It's an eye opener.

        September 23, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  39. That Guy

    Does anyone else find it disturbing that this situation is going on all over America, yet the government burns hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pounds of food every year to keep prices "stable?"

    September 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Trying to stay optimistic

      What about the 6,000+ lives and 1+ trillion dollars we've wasted in Irag and Afghanistan?

      September 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
      • Farve

        That would actually be 4 trillion, and you can thank Bush and Dick for that.

        September 23, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  40. Forreal89

    People if you do not have a good job or education limit the amount of kids you have

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

      You're an idiot.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • AGrey

      You are forgetting about the millions of people who have a good education and had a good job and got laid off. When I was very young my father made over $60,000 a year, which was equivalent to about $100,000 today. More than enough to support a wife and kids. When he became unemployed I recall weeks where all we had to eat was cornflakes with no milk.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • John Holmes

      Penny ballons don't work!

      September 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Slap_Yourself

      If you're fat, you're not starving...
      If you're broke get a job
      If you can't afford to take care of your kids, don't have any.
      I have zero sympathy for this woman...

      September 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
      • Alli

        One can absolutely be obese and starving. We have a medically -documented epidemic of this phenomenon in this country, currently. You really ought to read up on it. Children and Adults are eating crap food, because that's what they can afford, but it creates an epidemic of obesity. The nutritional content in the food is nil, so , YES, despite the fact that they have packed on pounds, they are starving for the actual things their body needs. All "starvation" does not look like the African waifs on TV infomercials.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
      • pamanpaul

        Very easy to say if your a 35 year old single male still living at home where mom and dad pay all the bills. Why don't you slap yourself instead.

        September 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Dennis

      Actually, that's fine advice for the rich as well as the poor, and everyone in between . . .the earth in no way can sustain unlimited population growth, and it's already far too high, but that's another topic . . .

      September 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  41. krod1989

    At any given time on this planet we have enough food circulating to supply 4 and a half pounds of food, per person, per day; and yet MILLIONS in our own country are starving. such a basic essential and yet, if you can't afford it, you can't have it. Our generation has the ability to overcome this everlasting problem, everything we need to solve world hunger is available and i hope sincerely we can do this. folks we owe it to each other. no one knows when they will get laid off and this can become a reality, very very quickly.
    have a great evening everyone

    September 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Realist

      This is a symptom of the disparity in wealth in this country. How much is enough people? We won't raise taxes on the rich because they "earned it". Ok I get that but taxes are never 100% and they should help this country that gives them such wealth and the freedom to spend it.

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

      How come they don't mention what the father does for a living? If the mom works even one job @ minimum wage (7.25) that is over 1200 dollars a month and you don't pay taxes on that, plus food stamps and who knows what other benefits. I don't get it

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

      You might be right of world hunger but I am not work my butt off to support other ppl. You say you might get laid off public aid is there and u can try and work at McD's I would if I ever got fired. I dont care if I work 3 jobs and I will still do it. To easy so many ppl say they have no jobs yet I drive down the street and KFC is hiring. Come on ppl they might only pay low but they pay somethijng. If you want out of being poor save some money.. I came from a poor family my mom worked 2 jobs and has 6 kids.. She is 50 and still workin... Hello if she can so can you..

      September 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  42. Sandy_Springer

    Three Children?? I never had children, as I thought, WOW, how could I possibly afford them. Having Children is a responsibility. If you live in a row house, you obviously can't afford much, so why three children?? For governement handouts? I am sorry, I don't feel sorry for this person, I do however, hope that her children become educated and grow up to make smart decisions on living a responsible life and not having children you cannot afford to bring up in a warm and cozy home rather on depending on those around you to supply you the means to do so.

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

      You just made yourself sound incredibly cruel. Hence the whole, women and children in our country starving. Good for you for having it so well while little kids go hungry. You should be super proud.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Jerry Springer

      Totally classless and ignorant argument. Yes, let's go back in time and not have children in the first place. If this mother is putting a roof over her kids' heads and watching over them, then she IS a responsible person. Now she is trying to feed them first before eating their leftovers. I don't see the irresponsibility. I just see woman who has zero compassion for humanity. I doubt you ever felt hunger pains much less anything else.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Smithsdawg

      Neither did I. But unlike you, I don't feel that another human should be treated as a subspecies because they do not follow my code of morality. I ask myself: which is worse? Poverty or self-righteous? It's a lot easier to stop being self-righteous than poor, so I'll give them that benefit and the time to dig themselves out of the hole.

      To each his own though...

      September 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • cmwp

      I love people who, in the course of posting comments passing judgement on others' circumstances, admit to things that open them up to plenty of judgement from other people. It's one thing to be temporarily unable to earn enough money to support three kids...but to know that even in normal economic times you are incapable of making that much money, and to know it with so much certainty that you actually make it part of your life plan, and cite it as the reason you yourself did not have that many kids, is just plain sad.

      Sandy, you must not be that much better off, financially, than the people in this story, so why the hate for them?

      September 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  43. Karl

    There is a solution to poverty all we have to do is make washington implement it. ...and take the time to read through it.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  44. Charlie

    As Oprah said after Obama got elected: "America got it right!". Um. Yeah. Sure.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  45. allah

    yes, cut to shot of obese black child stuffing himself w/ McD's....

    September 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • IH

      Did you have to add the descriptive "black" child? Why not white, or hispanic, or indian, or even asian for that matter? America's population is diverse so there is no need to single out specific racial groups. All little tolerance please? Thanks!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  46. Lila

    I can't believe the lack of compassion for women who are scared about having enough food to feed their kids. Their kids are here, what's the point of saying such sick things like she should have thought of that when she opened her legs? These kids are Americans. I do agree people of all economical backgrounds should learn to cook like third world people. It's healthier and cheaper for everyone.

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

      did you see that one kitchen? Im surprised child protection hasnt knocked on her door yet.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Christopher Gose


      September 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  47. Twilight Zone

    America is a strange place. Here we have the most people living below the poverty line in 20 years and who is out there all day everyday protesting in front of the White House? Not these people barely scraping by in this article but upper-middle class, mostly retired and/or independently wealthy white people. While the poor and unemployed riot in Europe, people that by all means live like royalty compared to the rest of the world spend all day everyday preaching that the sky is falling.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Dan

      but yet we should pour billions and billions of dollars in food-aid to countries like Ruwanda, Ethiopia, and any other African country you can think of....
      while America starves.

      Let me tell you something, America is NOT the greatest nation on Earth. NO COUNTRY is "the greatest nation on Earth".
      This is fallacious, and always has been. Republicans will have you believe that America is only great because they have been able to get rich. Put it this way, poor people are Democrats, until they hit the lottery – then they become registered Republicans. Screw this country, and screw the rest of the world. I'm giving up on humans.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  48. HaHa

    Every person in this story still eats twice as much as half of the worlds population. I have an idea, stop having kids you cannot afford. It is easy all you have to do is keep your legs closed.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • txrbt

      Maybe your life will take a turn for the unthinkable.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • That Guy

      I agree. I think about that a lot, but I realized that humans are too selfish and sexually voracious to think about the consequences of what they do. All they have on their minds is that momentary feeling of pleasure and what comes of it the next day is somehow irrelevant to them.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • rachel

      that is so rude, how can you even say that? have you ever thought about this: maybe they had good jobs and decided to have kids but then they lost their jobs AFTER they had there kids. but i bet you didnt think of that and it just goes to show how simple minded americans are these days.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Disgusted

      It's a pity that your mother didn't keep her legs covered.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  49. Ron

    Remember 10 years ago when we had seen 8 consecutive years where poverty decreased, we had a balanced budget and we were paying down the National debt? Republicans squandered our prosperity on tax cuts for iol companies and billionaires. How's that working out for ya?

    September 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Ren

      Sooooooooooooooooo True!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Somehow I think people thought they were going to be in the "CLUB" too if they voted Republican. Ha not so....

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

      Great comment Ron!
      Interesting how quickly people forget that when Clinton left office there was a record surplus and within one year the Bush administration had spent our nation into a record deficit. Eight years of the Bush administration brought us to the brink of economic disaster and folks wonder why Obama can't turn our country around in three years? It is wrong that children are going hungry in America while Republicans squander our wealth on special interests and tax cuts for the wealthy.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  50. 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 C
    Close Space On The " C" Then Copy Paste To Browser

    September 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Barbara Izquierdo

      Thank you i will make sure to check it out...

      September 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
      • cmwp

        Barbara, thank you for sharing your story with us. Best of luck to you in the future. You're is not a privilege. It's a basic human right.

        September 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
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