Everyone that is familiar with me, they know that I’m disabled, and that I’m currently pending my disability hearing in February. This means I cannot work, and there’s a long list of reasons why, but mostly it’s because of the amount of pain I’m in (constantly – there are no moments without pain, so it’s all just levels of pain). I’ve also recently had to have a massive tumor removed in which cancer was found, and more surgery was needed to make sure I was in the clear from the bit ‘C’. Because of this, I’m dependent on programs like Food Stamps or WIC or EBT or whatever your state may call it. Basically, in order for me to eat properly, I kind of need the free food, otherwise, I’m kind of not eating.
Because of my brush with cancer, I’m pickier about what I put in my body, and because of my weight, I don’t like to eat junk food. I avoid frozen meals, I prefer fresh vegetables, and I organic is golden in my world. I’m trying to stay healthy and I can’t move all that much, so I use food to do this.
In NY, I could use my EBT card on any food, as long as it was food, and that included spices. The same went for CA. Now I’m in NC, and apparently they have a list of ‘approved’ food that you can purchase. If it’s not on the list, you can’t buy it. Organic food is off the list, and basically it runs with the cheapest there is on everything. Generic, cheap, chemically enhanced, and probably not what you should be eating if you’re trying to avoid chemicals in your diet.
Why you ask? Why can’t you just use your card to buy food, because it’s food? Well, apparently, in NC, they’ve decided that being poor means you don’t deserve to shop like everyone else. Being poor, disabled, unable to work, or a single mother, means you are not equal to everyone else. You are less than, and therefore you do not deserve to eat how you choose.
For a state that pretends to love their ‘freedoms’, how is this not a freedom I’m allowed? Because I’m getting food stamps? It’s the same amount of money no matter what I buy, so what I buy shouldn’t matter to anyone, but it does apparently.
I think I remember seeing something on the news about a woman buying salmon or lobster with her EBT card, and some red states threw a fit. Apparently, this was the result. Now, my diet is not restricted by what my digestive or health issues are, but by state legislators that didn’t like the idea of poor people eating above their station.
If you’re wondering what the list of ‘approved’ foods I can eat are, which includes which brands I’m allowed to buy, here’s the PDF (please note that the only meat I can buy is baby food or canned meat, nothing fresh): http://www.nutritionnc.com/wic/pdf/NCApprovedFoodsListRevisedJuly2014.pdf