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Statistics mislead


November 27, 2013 Letters to the Editor

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In the Nov. 9 edition of the Butler Eagle, a front page article about cuts in food stamps stated a typical family of four received $668 in food stamps and would lose $36 with cuts to the program. This was a government statistic indicating the highest possible amount granted if there is absolutely no other income in the family.

However, what is possible is often far from what is probable.At our food cupboard, we require proof of income and have the hard facts of the struggles of people who need our help.

For example:

• A family of five trying to survive on a disability pension of $710 was receiving $199 in food stamps and has been cut to $130.

• Another family of a veteran who is working at a minimum wage job was receiving $82 in food stamps and has been cut to $40. His veterans benefits are still pending.

• A family of six receiving $367 has been cut to $200.

The examples could go on and on. We have found no one receiving the above mentioned full amount.

There are those among us who resent people who receive public assistance. The numbers listed in the front page article as being typical of all food stamp recipients only fuel their animosity.

I urge Eagle staff writers to research their articles in the real world, beyond statistics. And I would ask those who begrudge their neighbors the “free food” to walk a mile in their neighbors’ shoes.

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