More than half a million of the poorest Americans will lose a critical tool to help keep food on the table this year. That's because a three-month limit on SNAP (food stamps) for jobless adults aged 18-49 who aren't disabled or raising minor children is returning in 23 states for the first time since the Great Recession.
I'm 57 years old and I've worked for McDonald's for seven years, getting paid a few pennies above the federal minimum wage. For a long time, I felt like I had no choice but to accept $7.65 an hour and the daily struggles that come along with that poverty wage. But in the last year, all that has changed.
I once spent $5 on lottery tickets out of desperation, despite knowing as a math teacher that the probability of winning was essentially zero. But I teach, hoping that it will get better for me, for my students, and for my own kid who falls into that strange not-rich, not-poor-enough no man's land. There is no middle class that we fit into.
Poor parents aren't bad parents, and we aren't always miserable either. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I want to remain poor for the rest of my life. Like the vast majority of people, I want the best life for my children. But I'm a little tired of seeing only the bad side of being poor.