Growing up, I hated being on “food stamps.”I hated being walked into a welfare office and inspected, queried to make sure we were really our mother’s children. I hated standing in line at the grocery store, knowing we weren’t going to be paying with cash but rather with coupons that would brand us as “poor” to anybody who noticed.And yet I loved the fact that we had food!As a growing kid, I knew what it was like to come home to a bare kitchen. Those dreaded coupons and vouchers meant we got cheese and milk, fruit, eggs, cereal, beans, tortillas and, yes, sometimes even ice cream.Thanks to all that free food and the stability that came with it, I was able to pay attention in school — and I excelled.I was blessed with intelligence and people who loved me — and food.My parents taught me the value of hard work. And just as important, the social safety net taught me that my development was important. I was determined to join the ranks of professional adults and encouraged by the very fact I received assistance to continue striving.I made good use of that free food. I learned to bake bread and… Read full this story
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