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What's Going On With Food Stamps?

I woke up disappointed that I wouldn't be able to do my usual grocery shopping because of the rain. Little did I know that a far greater hurdle stood between me and groceries. On my way out to buy bananas for breakfast, I called the EBT hotline to make sure that my card had been loaded with November's food stamp (or as it's now called, Cal-Fresh) benefit. The automated voice informed me that my balance is less than a dollar.

I had no idea what was going on. I thought maybe the electronic transfer system was down. My social worker didn't answer the phone (as usual), so I left a message. I called the the county social services hotline and found out that my case had been discontinued effective the last day of October. No idea why. I haven't received any discontinuance notices. I did some searching around online and ended up down a bunch of dead ends; seems there was some type of mass food stamp discontinuance scare back in 2013. But there was also something about a possible government shutdown that would disrupt benefits this year.

So I finally tried a reliable source: California's state website. It seems there is a rule for "able-bodied adults" that had been waived until recently. Such clients must be working or in training or education programs to receive food stamps if Cal-Fresh is the only benefit they receive. I don't know if that includes me or not. It seems likely since I've recently stopped receiving cash aid; on the other hand, I'm still receiving Medi-Cal. But I'm supposed to receive a notice before benefits are stopped.

So now I have to visit some food pantries :*( I hate relying on food that other people have chosen because it's not vegan, not optimized for hypoglycemia, and, worst of all, ALWAYS of lower quality than what I'm used to eating. Oddly, "lower quality" usually means more ingredients. Eating mainstream food/SAD diet is like being in another universe. Corn syrup in everything, everything way too salty. Tomato sauce shouldn't taste like sugar, dammit. What I like best is when they give out plain, uncooked food like bags of beans, rice, potatoes, and (whole grain) pasta. I can work with those easily. Not so easy to remove all the damned sodium from the canned goods and boxes of over-processed food-like substances. And OMG, peanut butter with salt AND sugar AND oil added to it? That one is a food bank staple. Sickening and unnecessary adulteration of an otherwise great food. Peanuts are enough.

At least I'll be able to get fresh vegetables. Sprayed with all-living-things-icide, but vegetables nonetheless. It feels strange to eat meals without vegetables.

Low food time is culinary creativity time. I don't have much more than some chickpea flour, soy flour, spices, and a jar of pecan butter in my kitchen. I made a loaf of soy/chickpea flour bread. I feared it would be a gooey disaster, but it's quite good, especially with peanut butter. Looks nice, too. Why can't we upload pictures directly from our computers on this site?


I can upload photos directly from my computer. Maybe it depends upon some Livejournal setting or what type of layout your page is in or something like that? Also I think you can compose in LJ in two different modes (html and some other sort of editor) so maybe only one of them has the option?