October 22, 2009 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #590658
Does anyone know what programs a low income family can apply for? I know of FoodStamps and Medicaid. Are there any other programs i could look into?
I know that different states have different programs and limits but any ideas I could check out would be very helpful.
Thank you!October 22, 2009 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #667209sammygolMember
There is section 8, commonly known as HUD. And I believe that if you have children some may be eligible for WIC. Often there are local programs that help you defray the cost of your utilities, even land line telephone, but I have no idea where and how to apply for all of those. The best advise is to go to your local Social Services office and they should be able to assist you, even if reluctantly.October 22, 2009 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #667210
If you are pregnant or have children under 5 you can qualify for WIC (stands for Women Infants Children). Maximum income level varies by state.
I’ve heard of a federal program called LIHEAP, or low-income heating energy assitance program, to help pay utility bills.October 22, 2009 9:37 pm at 9:37 pm #667211truthsharerMember
If you live in NYC, the nyc.gov website has a screener that shows you all the programs you are eligible for.October 22, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #667212Just-a-guyMember
Everyone should make sure they are not missing out on the earned income tax credit.October 23, 2009 12:33 am at 12:33 am #667213
Wonderful of the United States to give so many programs that help people. In other countries like where I live there is not such a thing, or you work or you emmigrate to the United States to get the benefits. Benefits are great but they also make people fall into a rut and instead of wasting your time looking for programs why do not look for ways of making a better income, of course I am talking to a working person. Please do not take me wrong, but a working person is better than a person that is looking for programs, of course if you are not in kollel.October 23, 2009 4:21 am at 4:21 am #667214
Part of the Great Society is that it’s easy to get on programs. If the government is giving away money, why shouldn’t people take it?October 23, 2009 6:04 am at 6:04 am #667215
The problem is not why shouldn’t take it. The problem is why shouldn’t people work and try to improve the situation. Once a person gets used to govermnet programs it is going to be very difficult to advance in life, if you start making a little be over the limit you are going to loose all the money that the government gives you so psychological you are never going to succeed because you could loose your benefits and be in a worse shape for the rest of your life. I really believe it is a bad habit to depent on the government for the rest of your life. So go ahead and try to be succesful and you will succeed. It is better than looking for programs.October 23, 2009 2:42 pm at 2:42 pm #667216
Jothar- the difference is between being lazy for easy money or working so you can do better than that! Some of these programs dont give that much money, but if you tried getting an extra shift ect you would make more. Dont rely on them because the way the deficit is working, they might cut program funds soon and then you are really in trouble. Also, save the money for those that might need it more than you! (not those that are lazy but those that are sick/single parents ect that cant do it)October 23, 2009 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #667217
I’m going to assume Jothar was being sarcastic.
Its not free money. Its taking money from all the people around you. If you can go to work and avoid services, you should be. If there is no need to take charity from the American people, you should not.October 23, 2009 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #667218
The government actively discourages people from making money. I have a relative who had to turn down a job because taking the job would cost more in benefits lost. The government tosses tons of money at people who qualify, courtesy of our strong socialist streak. Why shouldn’t I get everything I’m entitled to? If someone offered to give you money, would you turn it down?October 23, 2009 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #667219
While some of these points may be true for some people, it doesnt apply for everyone. I happen to be in school every evening/night (2-4 hours depending on the day) and i work full time during the day. Right now i am not making so much per an hour, but once i get my degree in accounting and then afterwards my CPA, i will b”h be able to make a better salary. My husband is in kollel and we have no help from either of our parents (aside from paying for our cell phone bill on my family’s plan). Between rent and insurance there is almost nothing left for food. so foodstamps (and hopefully soon medicaid) and any otehr funding are lifesavers. I dont have time to work more hours because the rest of my free time is taken up with running a household (and my husband helps TONS) and homework.
Thank you everyone for the other ideas i can look into.October 23, 2009 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #667220truthsharerMember
In the olden days people would have done anything, including horrible menial labor, if that saved them from receiving public assistance. Why not tell your husband to work until you receive your CPA and a better job?October 23, 2009 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #667221
he actually does bein hazmanim and some bein hasdorim. also his night kollel is going to start paying him soon (but not that much). one problem is that the yeshiva he is learning in doesnt pay anything until you are there a year. the only reason he is in this yeshiva is so that i can finish my schooling and once thats done we will go elsewhere.
right now ill “take from the government” and ina few years i will help support these fundings.
I also go to school for free- totally funded by government grants. the point of them doing this is so that people can get a better education and then job and it will be better for the countryOctober 23, 2009 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #667222
Jothar, that attitude is why so many people are against government programs. Its a shame people are just out to get as much as they can from the people around them. It’s a shame my money is going to support those who don’t need it, just want it.
Neatfreak, if you can’t support your husband in Kollel he should be working. There is no need to take charity from the American people for it.October 23, 2009 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #667223smartcookieMember
All those hardearned taxes that r coming from MY POCKET are going to YOUR foodstampsOctober 23, 2009 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #667224Mezonos MavenMember
Where can I send the Thank You card?October 23, 2009 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #667225
Well people really get stock in government help once you get your cpa you will see that you get more money from the government, of course, when a person starts working they do not get as much and you will be comfortable getting, medicaid , food stamps, and the works, so why work?October 25, 2009 1:53 am at 1:53 am #667226
SJS, I’m glad you have been relatively unaffected by this economic downturn, so you are able to gaze from your lofty financial perch and look disdainfully at the hoi polloi who need government assistance to pay the bills. However, as Artchill pointed out in another thread, many families who were formerly very comfortable are now struggling to make ends meet. There is a 10% unemployment rate. Statistically speaking, that means 20% of homes where both parents worked are now making do with 1 breadwinner. And of course, there are homes where both breadwinners were laid off.
As for the kollel people who take government support, 47% of American don’t pay taxes. Many inner-city residents are happily taking government money while living the good life. Why is the money going to those engaged in an intellectual pursuit so terrible? Furthermore, do you think, in an economy with such high unemployment (6 people per job opening), they could actually get a job?
Finally, nobody who is taking government money is taking money from your pocket directly.
Please have a heart and have rachmanut on those who aren’t in your financial matzav.October 26, 2009 1:48 am at 1:48 am #667227
Jothar- people here were not commenting about those who lost their jobs and need government support until they can find a new job. People should not be on it forever (unless C”V severely disabled or critically ill and cannot work). People were commenting on the attitude that people will just accept money that they dont deserve, but rather want. Many people have to struggle to pay bills in today’s economy. My family is cutting back on things that they can live without, so at the same time, I expect others to as well. And no one lost a job in my family, B”H, they just dont have as much floating around. Money that you take is coming from my pocket. I pay taxes. I remember when I was a child I worked in a camp and paid taxes on it. they took money from me for social security and medicare ect when I was just 16 or 17! Is this where my money went to? I felt that “at least someone sick or disabled was able to eat dinner” but it went to people who were just taking it. If you are willing to take any job, there are plenty of jobs available. People just feel “high and mighty” and wont take them as they might be menial labor or “below their status”. If you were unable to get food stamps and other such tax-paid benefits, you would take those jobs. You would need to keep an open mind and take anything, even if it was “just pennies an hour” because that would mean the difference of dinner or not.
If you cant support a husband in kollel- get out of kollel! It is for those who are willing to sacrifice to be able to support Torah. Taking the tax-payers money is not giving up from yourself to support Torah. Let your husband work for the year or two until you get your job and then let him go back to learn!October 26, 2009 3:07 am at 3:07 am #667228
havesomeseichel, If the person taking these government programs was involved in post-graduate science research, would you tell him to quit it and get a job?October 26, 2009 3:40 am at 3:40 am #667229
In most cases, the spouse would be working to support them. Many couples do not get married right away if they know that they will not be able to support themselves. They will work out some arrangement (ie: have a longer engagement so that one can finish school if both are in school at the same time). Some post graduate programs provide grants for living expenses- yes, they are not a lot but it helps. Those who are in post-graduate science research would not be taking food stamps but in most cases either have money saved, at least one grant, or would work night-shift somewhere. In the case mentioned above, the spouse was working towards her degree (and would be going on to her CPA) and her husband was not earning anything while in kollel.
There is a difference. I am not saying that people should not be in kollel. That is for a different post (but by the way I support people being in kollel). I am saying that they should not be taking government handouts and food stamps if there is another way around it.October 26, 2009 3:58 am at 3:58 am #667230
Jothar, I’m not HSS, but if a spouse is involved in post-grad science research, he’d likely be earning some sort of stipend (especially if he were an American citizen). Also, the post-grad work would probably be helping the student reach his degree, which should increase his earning power to a point where aid from gov’t programs would be unnecessary. If neither condition applies, I would agree that the student should indeed find another line of work/ study.October 26, 2009 4:10 am at 4:10 am #667231
anon- you arent my doppelganger? Oh well… I guess I need to be on the lookout for mine. They say everyone has one out there… 😉October 26, 2009 4:32 am at 4:32 am #667232
HSS, I’ll take that as a compliment. But I’ve disagreed with you more than once here.October 26, 2009 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #667233
that means we think… we dont stick the party line (whichever- right, left, litvish, chasidish ect) and consider things. or we are confused, but i prefer the former.October 26, 2009 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #667234
The really prestigious fellowships do have tons of stipend money available. The lesser ones do not, but their work is just as important.
There are about 10,000 families in Lakewood. There are, at most, maybe 10,000 other kollel families throughout America. In the meantime, much of the money used for these massive government entitlements go to slum areas. Ask any residential real estate manager about the renters with 3 or 4 SUV’s, fancy gadgets, etc, but are on every program. The kollel families are not the reason your taxes are so high. By getting from the government, they are able to make ends meet without getting a higher stipend from the Yeshiva. Let them be.October 26, 2009 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm #667235
Jothar, if someone needs services to get by, I absolutely support them using the services. I don’t believe that anyone should place themselves in a situation that requires them going on services. The difference with getting grants for your education has to do with America wanting to invest in its citizens – the purpose is to educate people, hope they will do better economically and socially which will in turn help the country.
There is no age when sitting and learning in Kollel is inappropriate. People should wait until they can afford it (or have someone who can sponsor them) rather than leeching off the American people. It is in no way “free” money.
I love how people always bring up other Americans who are using the system and say “We’re better than that.” I don’t care who is taking services that they don’t need (just want), that is wrong. Here we are discussing Kollel families. I think the others are wrong too.
The economy is affecting my family and friends like most people. I absolutely have a lot of sympathy for people who are struggling. I don’t have sympathy for people who choose to “struggle” for Kollel but are really just taking money from the government.October 26, 2009 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #667236
I am not talking about a couple that the husband is learning and by his learning supporting the whole Am Israel in spirituallity, when I refer to a person should not take government give outs, I am talking about a regular person that gets lazy to work and starts relying in government help to support his family and achive in life a good education for his children,to provide for his family and provide for the future generations of Am Israel. When a people fall into government programs they think they do not have any obligation toward their family and community and they do not strive for the benefit of themselves, their families or their communities. Some people just become lazy.October 26, 2009 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #667237
sjs: well its a good thing that i dont live in NY so i dont need to feel guity taking your tax money. (all programs i have applied for are state run)
i pay taxes too and as of right now i have paid more in taxes then i take. There is also the concept of a family having an alloted amount of money for the year. (figured on r”h) now you can say if your husband doesnt work , then you may not be getting your full hishtadlus. i might agree, aside from the fact that the reason we want to look in to such programs is becasue these crazy large expenses keep coming up. like our car just dies and that was no way figured into the budget. and where i live you NEED a car to get around. public transportation is horrible and taxis etc cost a whole lot more. now we have an extra expense each month to pay back people we borrowed from. i know that thats life and big things come your way all the time and when we made our budget we cheshboned that in,but such HUGE expenses we didnt forsee and that is a major set back.
and i am not happy and comfortable taking the second we can manage without any help we will. and also who is to say that my husband will get a job no matter how menial- (he actually likes that type of thing and does bein hazmanim) but there are plenty of people out there looking for those positions with much more experience.
and most dr students get a stipend??? that is years of school you are talking about. if i was the same position and my husband was in medical school and i had the same question would you answer the same way???
just wondering.October 26, 2009 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #667238
neatfreak, I live in NJ and work in NY. But the point is not really just taking *my* money its that you are taking money from all the people in your state. Sure, you pay taxes, but you are unnecessarily removing money from the state programs when you don’t *need* it. Remember, in today’s economy, more people than ever *need* services to get by. If your husband can find a job, he should be taking it.
You say you aren’t comfortable taking, then don’t. Its a choice you are making. YOU are not really sacrificing for Torah, you are forcing the people of your state to.
I explained above what the difference is for education vs Kollel.
Feel guilty or not – that is up to you. I am just voicing my opinion.October 26, 2009 7:03 pm at 7:03 pm #667239
I’m not talking about lifetime kollel, which I am against, as per my rabbeim. I’m talking about someone who sits in kollel for a few years and then gives back to the community by being involved in klei kodesh and tzorchei tzibbur. It’s an investment in a productive citizen who helps out America.
I’m also not talking about people who lie and cheat to get government money. Gezel akum is assur, and it causes a tremendous Chillul Hashem.
Even people who take money (legally ) from the government are struggling. Work out the math. To be eligible for any of these programs, you aren’t exactly living la vida loca.October 26, 2009 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #667240BemusedParticipant
Not looking to participate in the heavy dynamics here, just wanted to give a word of encouragement to neatfreak and all those similar:
Kol hakovod to you for choosing Kollel life; it’s not easy, and I thank you for the Zchusim that you give Klal Yisrael, from which I hopefully benefit.
I’m glad that some of my taxes go to help those who are learning in Kollel (and don’t feel guilty; I know quite well that my taxes would not go down an iota even if not even one Kollel existed), and although the ratio of Kollel to other benefit-takers is tiny, I hope that some of my taxes finds its way to you. Hopefully, I am zoche to this.
Kol hakovod, and keep giving your husband chizuk!October 26, 2009 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #667241
If Jack and Jill jumped off a bridge would you do the same? Just because there are many people cheating the system (“the renters with 3 or 4 SUV’s, fancy gadgets, etc, but are on every program” as mentioned above) does not make it any more kosher.
-I find it hard to believe that people on every program have 3 or 4 SUVs- they check into your tax records ect- to buy a car they check your credit rating and you have to have a decent job to have a high rating
-Anyone thought about the ramifications of the goyish world finding out that the frum communities are “leeching off the government”? Talk about a chillul Hashem!!!October 27, 2009 4:46 am at 4:46 am #667242starwolfMember
For those of you comparing the financial situation of graduate/medical students to that of kollel students:
1. Medical students do not receive stipends. (The only ones who do are in MD/PhD programs, and it is for the work on the PhD that they receive money–more on that below.) A great many medical students take out loans to cover the cost of tuition and living. The collateral for those loans is the MD’s earning ability later on–repayment of those loans is long-term–as the MD will not be able to repay them for quite some time. Average debt for medical students–about $150,000.
2. Graduate students in sciences–many do receive stipends. This, however, is not provided stam–it is generally a salary for teaching classes to undergraduates. Otherwise, they may receive a specific stipend for performing a specific topic of research. This, however, is something that the student’s adviser has gotten through grant applications–and they are very competitive. The grants are very goal-directed, and go for a very limited amount of time. Progress reports are demanded. For this, the student is expected to spend 60+ hours/ week in the lab on slow days–and over 90+ hours/week during the high-stress times. and there is no such thing as “ben hazmanim”. In other words, graduate work in the sciences is a more-than-full-time job. These students are exempt from tuition by their institutions.
3. Graduate work in the non-sciences is much less funded than what I have described above. There are a few teaching positions available, and a very few stipends. So most of the students doing graduate work in history, or literature, or such topics—have to solve the problem in other ways. Those who do not have money in the family usually hit upon the same original idea–they go to work. They study part-time, and work part-time to support their study. These students usually pay tuition, as well.October 27, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #667243pgMember
The problem is that so many people do not have betachon, and as a result they lie on their applications. This is not what Torah is about. Torah is about being truthful, working hard to be good, having faith that Hashem will provide, and about being a kiddush Hashem. People focus too much on what they want–and not what Hashem wants.October 27, 2009 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #667244BemusedParticipant
Although I believe that Kollel students should receive stipends in the same generous grant amount ranges as those graduate students in the serious science programs on grants, I know that Kollelim do not have the funding available for the (very roughly) 20,000 Kollel students around the country.
(The following is intended as chizuk for Kollel families like neatfreak, and not addressing anyone who feels Kollel families should not be on programs, be in Kollel, or any other variation on the topic. To each their own positions- everyone has a right to their own.)
However, I am thrilled that the possibility exists that my tax monies may journey their way to a Kollel family’s home, via government programs. I am fully aware that the amount of benefits paid to Kollel families are statistically insignificant as compared to the general population receiving grants, such that if not one Kollel student applied for programs, my taxes would not go down even a cent. However, I take heart from the old horse story involving a Yeshiva collector. Although I do not recall the name of the Yeshiva referenced, there is an old story of a collector trekking from town to town by foot, in a frayed coat, gathering monies to support a Yeshiva. Once, a generous donor supplied the collector with a horse and wagon to alleviate the difficult annual journey. In one town, a donor gave an amount that was significantly less than his usual donation. The Rosh Yeshiva later inquired of the donor why this was so, and the donor explained that he didn’t want to support the acquisition of such items like horses for collectors- he thought he had been donating to directly support Torah learning. Replied the Rosh Yeshiva: Ah, but it depends on your kavonos and merits. Some people merit that their monies go directly to the Yeshiva. Some people only merit that their money goes to a horse (in aid in collection activity).It depends on the donor… The donor gave the full amount.
I think of this in regard to my taxes. Although I need to pay taxes, and know that Kollel families are not the cause of existing or ever-increasing taxes, I do know that my taxes go to individuals in need of assistance. There are many individuals in need in my state. I hope that I merit for “my taxes” to benefit Bnei Kollel, and that my tax monies thereby attain nitzchiyus in that merit. Of course, it is good to know that general tax monies are helping *all* in need, but I feelings and kavana are as stated above.
Kollel families- chazak! May you continue to uphold the world with such single-minded application to Torah study.October 27, 2009 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #667245
Thank you, Bemused, for that wonderful post. Chazak ve’ematz.
Havesomeseichel, agreed 100% it’s a chillul Hashem. The gentiles will look at our divinity scholars and will see that they need government subsidies because the community doesn’t pay enough to support them, and they will tsk-tsk at our lack of respect.
What paper will do an expose on the kollel yungeleit who are taking government subsidies? The liberal papers won’t touch the subject, as anything attacking their sacrosanct liberal subsidies won’t be touched. The conservative papers, run by Christians tend to respect religion and religious study more than Jews do. (Churches are whisper-quiet on Sundays. Shuls are noisy on Shabbosos). The only scandal worth noting for papers is when people lie and cheat to get programs they don’t deserve, or evade taxes. That’s what sells papers. That doesn’t apply to kollel people. It applies to working people who hide their income.
With a stubbornly high unemployment rate that will take until 2017 to return to 2006 levels, nobody will be begrudging those who deserve it from taking it, especially if they’re engaged in intellectual pursuits instead of criminal activity.October 27, 2009 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #667246
jothar and bemused: thank you for your support.
starwolf: thank you for those supporting statistics
havesomeseichel: I am not “leeching off the government” any more then the next citizen. other people (ie non jews) do so as well. so why would my applying and recieving be a chillul hashem? there are plenty of people out there that get aid from the government and dont work and wouldnt think of working and just sit at home all day in front of the “black box” at least i am working and my husband is helping to support the world.October 28, 2009 4:05 am at 4:05 am #667248
Neatfreak- I was not saying that YOU were a leech. I was saying that is what the goyim might say. that is why it was in quotes ‘ramifications of the goyish world finding out that the frum communities are “leeching off the government”‘ Ie: they will think it is leeching.
I am not saying that it is wrong to take govt subsidies if you need it, just do so b’emes. Also, maybe getting a part-time job until your salary kicks in might be necessary. But once again, just dont cheat on it because another scandal is the last thing the american frum community needs. Just because others are doing it, doesnt mean that you should as well. If shloimy jumped off the empire state building would you do so as well? “there are plenty of people out there” who do it- but should an ehrliche yid do it? If you qualify- sign up! But dont be like the “plenty of people out there” who cheat to qualify.October 28, 2009 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #667249mybatMemberOctober 28, 2009 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #667250
Mybat, public education is NOT the same as food stamps etc.
Also, anytime we patronize a store that uses undocumented workers or hirers a cleaning lady that isn’t on the books or uses daycare that isn’t on the books etc we are perpetuating a problem.
I just dont understand the attitude of “oh others take more so its ok” – we are supposed to be BETTER. We are supposed to be MORE ethical. We are supposed to care.October 28, 2009 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #667251
Yes the whole system is flawed. but as long as i (and other jewish people i should hopw) are honest on the forms and they still qualify then how is that not ethical? If people are lying then i totally understand many of the points brought down that people should not join such programs for chilul hashem etc… but as long as we are truthful and trying then where is the problem?
and while i would love to take another part time job to ensure that i have enough, i cannot as i work full day and am in school every night. but thanks for the tip.October 28, 2009 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #667252
Thank you SJS.
When can the frum population realize that public education is public and free and is not the same as unemployment or WIC? The govt has no responsibility to provide for the frum community and pay for our schools, buses, kollels ect. (Vouchers would help, but that is another story). We need to help ourselves and find ways for us to be self-sufficient – and that does not mean taking from the rich. we should all try to make due with what Hakodosh Baruch Hu gives us. We were alloted money at the Rosh Hashana. If we take what isnt ours, than we will have the money taken from somewhere else (broken washing machine, need a new car, doctors bills C”V). If that is where you were to get your money from, than do it ethically and morally! How could someone sleep at night knowing they are stealing!?October 28, 2009 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #667253
HSS, unemployment insurance really isn’t in the same category as WIC, Medicaid, food stamps, or other gov’t aid programs. To qualify for unemployment insurance, one must work for a certain minimum amount of time & lose one’s job (without being fired for cause). Unemployment insurance is funded by contributions from the employer & the employee. It is meant to replace part of one’s lost income while he looks for work. Unlike the other gov’t programs mentioned there is no means test. Anyone, regardless of assets or household income, can qualify for unemployment insurance as long as he is looking for a job & meets certain other criteria.
Would you say that someone who has assets or whose spouse is working shouldn’t cash his social security check, since other people may need it more?October 28, 2009 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #667254Mezonos MavenMember
1. Anyone who meets the technical requirements to qualify for these programs, SHOULD take full advantage of it.
2. In fact, New York is literally begging people to apply for Food Stamps. They are advertising asking anyone who qualifies for it, to apply for it. They realized many people who qualified never applied.October 28, 2009 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #667255
This is truly one of those situations where “hamachmir yachmir leatzmo”. Why should someone suffer due to your chumra of not taking money?October 29, 2009 1:28 am at 1:28 am #667256Josh31Participant
I posted this in another thread, but it belongs here also:
WIC and food stamps are to make sure this country is always ready to go to war if needed. Those of military age must be healthy. WIC actually saves the government money.
Those pushing military readiness are not socialists. Hence, if you are eligible and not using this food aid will put you or your children at risk of malnutrition you are probably obligated to accept from Torah law and to be a good citizen.October 29, 2009 3:44 am at 3:44 am #667257
Josh31, you are correct in that WIC saves the gov’t money, but neither WIC nor food stamps are intended to promote military readiness (as A600KiloBear pointed out). If food stamps were intended for that purpose, they would be reserved for able-bodied men of draft-eligible age. But actually anyone, of any age, is eligible for food stamps. And WIC is exclusively for pregnant/ nursing/ post-partum women & children under 5; these people are not generally considered good building blocks for the military.
WIC does save money because it is targeted to people who are low-income & nutritionally at risk (although the “nutritionally at-risk” criterion is so broadly defined that almost anyone can meet it). People in this group are less likely than others to buy cheaper & less nutritious foods for their children or dilute their babies’ formula if they are low on cash. By investing in the nutrition of these at-risks babies & children, the gov’t ensures that they are more likely to be healthy, & less likely to need additional gov’t services, as they grow.
I think most frum people using WIC would sooner starve themselves than their children, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong for someone to use it if she qualifies.
Personally I think it’s fine to use these services temporarily if one needs them, but it’s important to have a plan to reach a point where one won’t need them anymore. I don’t think it’s a good idea to rely on low-income programs for the long-term, whether one is studying in grad school or in kollel, because it creates a culture of dependency.
I do pay a lot of taxes now, but given that my taxes fund many gov’t activities I disagree with, I don’t mind the small fraction that goes to these low-income programs. (And even though many of these programs are administered by each state, a significant portion of the funds come from bloc grants from the federal gov’t).October 29, 2009 4:04 am at 4:04 am #667258
I made a mistake in my previous post. The sentence “People in this group are less likely than others to buy cheaper & less nutritious foods for their children or dilute their babies’ formula if they are low on cash.” should have read, “People in this group are more likely…”
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