Budgeting food stamps is a difficult task to manage even in the best of circumstances. One way that some families have learned to budget their food stamp benefits each month is to use bulk shopping options
This week, a Missouri lawmaker has made it clear that he doesn't think the limitation on food stamps for drug offenders is fair. In Missouri, if you're a drug felon, you are banned from getting food stamps. With the lawmaker's proposal, drug felons would once more be eligible to receive food stamps. Missouri is one of nine states that has a lifetime ban on food stamps for drug felons. One in six Missouri residents is on food stamps and Republicans have argued that there are needier families who need the assistance. However, the lawmaker argues that there are real people starving simply because of their record, and it isn't right.
Representative Bob Nance said that the bill does come with some conditions. In order to receive food stamps, drug felons have to do one of four things, complete rehab, be clean for four years, pay for a drug test or fulfill a court-ordered mandate. Nance believes this would cut down on the claims that drug felons use food stamps fraudulently to buy other things than food.
However, many drug felon cases in Missouri proves just how unfair this limitation can be. The law basically prevents anyone, reformed or not, from getting money for food. Recently, Jessica Collins became the mother of twins. The pair cost twice as much to feed, and as a single mother, Collins can't feed the two of them on her own. However, she wouldn't be able to receive 400 dollars a month on food stamps if she had a drug felony charge. She believes that drug felons have the same rights and that they deserve it as much as she does.
Proponents of the new bill state that even if you're imprisoned for a number of felonies like murder and child molestation, you can still get on food stamps once reformed. The law isn't consistent and seems to persecute just one type of people.
While the bill is still in the Family and Children Committee, Nance believes that he can get it passed by adding it on to another bill in the Senate. The turnaround legislation would provide much needed assistance and allow for those who are homeless and living with a former drug past to receive at least one good meal a day.