Friday, July 05, 2013

A Letter Worth Reading

Since I am still in celebration mode and my company is still here, this will be a short post today. I do want to announce the winner of my Birthday Give-Away. I was going to have one of my cats draw a name out of the hat, but they slept in this morning. My husband was awake, however, so he drew the winning name, Yolanda Renee. I've notified her, so as soon as she lets me know where to send the stories, they will be on their way.

As I was catching up on reading the newspaper the other day, a recent article caught my attention. Diane Pagen, a social worker in New York City wrote an op-ed piece for the Dallas Morning News that I hope a lot of readers took to heart. The column was basically a letter from a mom who receives food stamps to Congressman Gohmert, who made recent comments about people who use food stamps to buy expensive foods.

 Here is the way the letter started:

Dear Sir, 
 You don’t know me, but I am the mom, shopping with food stamps, who is in front of you sometimes in the grocery line. Congressman Gohmert talked about me and my groceries last week. He told his fellow House members that they should vote to cut food stamps because I and other recipients buy king crab legs and fancy things that the average taxpayer behind me in line cannot afford. He also said it is ridiculous to say poor Texas children need food stamps, because if poor kids are obese, it must mean they eat too much.

The letter went on to explain why she bought the crab legs - so her children could have a nutritious meal - and mentioned that she went without dinner that night because she could not afford food for herself.

Of course, this was all hypothetical. Ms. Pagen made up the family and the letter to drive home a point, and she did it quite well. I was especially pleased that she pointed out the fact that Mr. Gohmert gets a gym membership - on the taxpayers dime - yet he thinks we should cut the food stamp program.

If Gohmert and others in government really are concerned about over-spending, perhaps they should look at their own perks, first.

New York social worker Diane Pagen may be contacted at


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