Monday, June 13, 2016

Why I'm Not Ashamed to be on Government Assistance


I'm going to come right out and say it.

My family is on WIC, a government assistance program that stands for Women, Infant, and Children.  We have been on it since Katie was a baby.  It provides milk, infant formula, fruits and veggies, bread, cheese, and more to pregnant and nursing women, and children under the age of 5.

If we needed to be on food stamps or any other welfare program, I would be okay with that too.



There's a stereotype surrounding people who use government assistance that portrays them as lazy, unemployed good-for-nothings who live off the government.  I'm going to be honest with you, most stereotypes are born of truth, and this one is no different.  I know people like that, and I don't have much respect for them.

But on the flip side there are people who are trying their hardest to make ends meet and just need a little help.  That's where my family fits in.

Why I'm Not Ashamed to be on Government AssistanceHubby works 40 hours a week and farms with his dad and brother, essentially working 2 full-time jobs.  I work as a freelance reporter, substitute at the public library, have an Etsy shop, blog, and pick up extra work wherever I can.  I work about 50 hours a week doing all of that plus I somehow manage to keep the kids alive and keep up with all of our doctors' appointments while dealing with my own health problems. (Please don't ask me how clean my house is right now...

We're trying, but we still need a little help.

My sister is a single mom of 4 kids.  She had a husband who provided for the family, but then some things happened that were out of her control, and she's now struggling to keep a roof over her family's heads and food on the table while working the only job she was able to get, a part-time minimum wage job.   

She's trying, but she needs help.

When someone first suggested that we apply for WIC to help cover the costs of Katie's formula when she was a baby, I was resistant to the idea, mainly because of the aforementioned stereotype.  But then my mom told me something that her grandmother had told her years before.

"Stop feeling guilty about it. You pay taxes. That's what they're there for."

She was right.  I've been working and paying taxes since I was 14 years old.  I've put money into the welfare system, and it was there to help me if I needed it.

Katie had a hard time breastfeeding, and I was never able to get enough of a milk supply to fully feed her so we had to supplement with formula.  We were struggling to afford it, and I knew we couldn't keep going that way much longer.

So I applied for and was approved for WIC.  We've been on it ever since.  And I'm okay with that because I'm doing the best I can, and sometimes I need a little help.

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Why I'm not ashamed to be on government assistance, and you shouldn't be either.
 
http://ctt.ec/83HIf
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How do you feel about government assistance programs and the people who use them?