A recent article by the Sacramento Bee says one out of 10 Sacramento residents currently use food stamps and the numbers are quickly rising. From 2007 to 2012, the numbers increased from 40,000 to 80,000 users, and it is estimated there are 75 new additions per day. There are many reasons people use food stamps, but the article points out one of the main reasons for the recent uptick is the recession. Despite the increased need, Congress recently passed a law that would cut eight-billion dollars in food stamp funding over the next 10 years.
Jennifer Salcedo, a single mother of three and food stamp user, thinks the cuts by Congress will cause a huge effect on her and for Sacramento.
“It’s going to cause a huge problem, I have a job but I use food stamps to make ends meet and I know a lot of other people in my neighborhood who are like me,” said Salcedo.
Salcedo has looked for multiple jobs to help her sustain her family, but finally recognized it wasn’t going to be possible.
“It’s hard to keep up with three kids, and pay rent and bills all by myself,” said Salcedo . “But it was either let my kids grow up on their own without their mother around or get a little help from the government.”
Salcedo realized her kids needed her more than she needed to keep her “dignity.”
“The family I come from I always learned that you if want something you have to go out and get it,,” said Salcedo. “I had to do it though my kids already don’t have their father around, I started noticing they were hanging out with the wrong crowd and I had to dedicate more time to them.”
Salcedo believes a lot of crime issues start at home when you’re young.
“There is a lot of ladies that live around me that are like me, if cuts happened I would have to go back to having two to three jobs again and I don’t think that is a good thing for my kids,” said Salcedo. “I know if they have a caring mom that is around for them when they need her the most then they won’t have to turn around and find love somewhere else like wanting to move out early or joining a gang.”
Salcedo doesn’t expect to use food stamps forever but she thinks they are a great help for her and her community.
“Sometimes I hear people making rude remarks about food stamp users, but most people don’t know what I have been through and hopefully never find themselves in my situation.”