According to a news report I surfed by the other day, there has been an increase in the number of people using the new program that once was food stamps. From 27M five years ago to 47 M now.
There are special agents that patrol poor areas advising just the general population there about this program. The head of it all said this is preventing mass starvation in this country.
Then an article and photograph in our local paper told of a program that has pantries in schools and back packs for the children to take home food for themselves and their parents for the evening meal and weekends.
Maine is probably the poorest Northern state but I don't see any really thin people anywhere. I see a lot of heavy people though.
47 million is not a huge percentage of our population but that does not include (I'm assuming) food pantries and soup kitchens.
Are things this bad in your area?
http://www.pressherald.com/new...school+food+pantriesThis message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
Keep in mind that in many cases heavy people are malnourished because of an over use of cheap, filling foods. Fat gives food flavor and provides satiety. and it is found in most cheaper foods.
Intellectulaly I realize that buying fresh veggies isn't REALLY more expensive than buying noodle helper, but its a matter of perception.
Things ARE bad here, in rural NY.
Also please rememeber that the vast majority of people on food stamps are children and people who ARE working for a living. the working poor or the elderly.
Life is GOOD!!
Participation in SNAP (the Food Stamp Program) has been sky rocketing for years. I retired from the agency that administers SNAP in Louisiana in 2010 after 37 years and the only time I remember it worse was in the early 80's when the bottom fell out of the oil industry down here. Even though Louisiana fared better than a lot of places in this most recent recession, we were still amazed at the numbers of brand new applicants that poured thru our doors daily. Where could they all be coming from we asked ourselves. (And yes they were all in this country l*egally. One thing you may be sure of is that we check l*egal status as a matter of course.)
And please don't think ill of SNAP recipients who also make use of other food assistance. If they have income, their allotments are reduced accordingly. They lose about one dollar in SNAP benefits for every three dollars in net countable income. When I last worked, it was common for an elderly couple to receive only $12.00 monthly.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
In a country with so much wealth and excess, I think that 47 million is a lot. So many people in my area lost very good paying manufacturing jobs when the companies took manufacturing overseas. What can a 50 year old auto worker do to get retrained? I can't imagine how hard it is to go from a solid middle class job to a minimum wage position without any benefits. Instead of arguing over nonsense, it would seem better to fix our roads, bridges, etc. and employ more people. I don't begrudge anyone getting assistance when there are so many in great need.
47 million is 15% of the US population. That's a large number of people who need food. With so much wealth in this country that is simply a depressing statistic. So many people need food and shelter--wouldn't it be appropriate for everyone to figure out ways to solve this problem and stop demonizing those in need?
In my local grocery a store brand box of hamberger helper is about $1 and 1 lb of ground beef is about $3. It is a cheap filling meal. Canned beans are less than $1 a can, cheap white bread is about $1 a loaf. A couple of pounds of green beans would be about $3 or more and I have to do a lot more work and add more ingredients for them to have an flavor.
The real need is for us to come up with a way to teach the working poor how to make the most of their limited food dollars and how to make quick inexpensive meals.
Unfortunately, many of our military families are eligible for food stamps (or whatever it's called now).
I think this is a real problem with the younger generation, not just the working poor. My DIL has no use for the kitchen and they eat fast food way too often, and throw a lot of food away.
When I have bread getting old I make a batch of french toast and we just heat it up in the morning. Old milk....pudding. Sometimes I use old bread or buns and make stuffing balls and freeze them. It's great to take a few out at a time for dinner.
Quess I'm of two distinctly different minds on this subject. On the one hand, I would never want anyone to go hungry BUT, at the same time, it really bothers me that the school programs have expanded to serving BOTH breakfast and lunch and then sending home food for dinner and the weekends via various grants (grants which came from donations/tax payer dollars) which are now being reduced....
Okay, I know I am going to get blasted here but, here is a novel idea ~ quit making babies if you can't afford to care for them, house them, shelter them, educate them and raise them! There, I said it and I'm sure that I will be hearing from many who disagree. This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
That didn't take long...
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Chinese proverb
This really isn't about fishing but it's important to teach people how to purchase food and prepare it and also, starting at a young age, teach life skills and ensure kids have saleable skills to make a living by the time they leave school. The world has changed and this isn't happening in many countries.
And I do agree there is a necessity for teaching birth control and also parenting skills but that's still a controversial subject with some unfortunately.
Charity is great but there is a need for more. Poverty is a complicated subject.
Why should quick meal preparation be a problem for those who aren't working? In my estimation food stamps should cover only whole foods and essential food items. There is no need for prepared, mixes, canned, frozen or deli food, salad bar items to appear in a grocery cart being paid for with food stamps! Neither do they need to be choosing caviar, steak or lobster. But what's wrong with baking aisle & staple items, fresh fruits and vegetables, basic meat, dairy and eggs?
Can't you learn to cook and bake if you don't work to purchase the luxuries of life?
I am 100% for free sterilizations of anyone who wants one or frequent fliers to the OB depts on the welfare rolls. I'm suggesting these be done as a condition of continuing on the handout programs! You can call it by other names to get around the religious laws.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
There are now generations of people who have never seen anyone cook from scratch and all they know is cheap instant food and fast food. They have no concept of what a healthy homecooked meal is. In single parent households, which very often means a woman working for minimum wage if not on welfare, there is little energy or time to learn and they don't even know what they don't know. Often they work shift work so the children are on their own for meals. Unfortunately too often poverty breeds poverty unless society makes the necessary changes. If any of us ate the way some of the very poor eat in a few weeks we'd probably become just as apathetic due to lack of nutrients.
It's a very different world out there for many from what most of us know IRL.
Unfortunately to those of you who have suggested birth control as a means of combatting starvation, the same party which wants to slash food stamps also disapproves of birth control and Planned Parenthood.
Diapproval you may be referring to is of the taxpayer funded birth control after conception, not before! Big difference.
Where are there parties where people dissaprove of birth control? I have never heard of these.
About starvation. The other night we watched the "Grapes of Wrath" about families impacted by the great depression, the dust bowl and the combines that took over tenant farms.
There is one scene where the Joads, the main characters are in an enforced situation because the town they have ended up in is sending all such families to an area on the outskirts of town. Since there are so many people and since they are already on their last legs resource wise it is a tragic situation.
The Joads have enough food for dinner for themselves but the mother is struck by the children clustered around her who have not eaten not only that day but maybe the previous one too. She tells them all to get a flat stick and with them they can scrape out the bottom of the kettle. I found myself thinking, wouldn't it be better if she had just poured boiling water in that kettle and given them a meat flavored hot drink?
The movie intended the audience to be outraged at the treatment these people received really through no fault of their own, but I kept thinking what food resources could they have had on hand for 2 or 3 months. When they were restricted to no fresh produce.
From first hand experience I know of at least one family who lives probably in the worst kind of situation possible, 3 generations together, none of the young mothers ever married etc.
Yet the mother of this family was brought up herself in a middle class family with strong ethics, work values, (certainly home cooked meals) etc. the thing is HER mother is a do gooder who thought by allowing her daughter to associate with people in and out of jail etc. would elevate those people instead of degrading her own daughter.
She herself told me that is what she believed. Guess which way it worked out?
LoS, did you miss the hubbub last year over requiring C*atholic hospitals group insurance to cover birth control pills for its employees? It was all over the news. It led to one our party's (guess which one) to insist that NO employer should be required to have group insurance that covers ANYTHING that the employer disapproves of. I guess that means that Jeho Witnesses shouldn't have to cover blood transfusions. Rick Santorum, a former S*enator who wanted the nomination, was very vocal in his condem*nation of birth control. And Re*publican govs have been busy shutting down Planned Parenthood clinics in many states. Where have you been?
I don't know what it is like where you live but in Los Angeles we have over 58 thousand people who are homeless. There are probably more that haven't been counted. If they are lucky they live in a garage or backyard. We have over 800 people under 18 years of age who are unaccompanied by an adult. It's very difficult to cook under these circumstances.
I know of teachers who have gone in to students homes which consisted of a 1 bedroom apartment with eleven mattresses strewn on the ground. These individuals aren't counted as homeless here. I know the teachers don't like having to serve breakfast in classroom and teach at the same time. They have been told to spend the 15 minutes allotted for breakfast to teach about nutrition.
Lurah, what about birth control to prevent having MORE children a household cannot afford? Are you suggesting disposing of the children that are already here? Check out Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal. He was a Ch*urch of Ireland b*ishop who wrote a satire suggesting that the poor sell their children as food for the wealthy.
I am a teacher who retired last year after teaching since 1970. I have always been in poor schools since I teach remedial reading which is largely confined to poor populations.
When I first started teaching, hunger was not a pressing problem with my students. However, the last ten years it was a critical problem. The majority of my students were the children of the working poor. I taught elementary age children who had two parents working low wage jobs (often 3 or 4 among the adults)but needed food help because rent in an urban East coast area easily consumes 1/2 the family income. I taught at a community school which provided breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend food to the families. This did not come from taxpayer dollars but from area businesses and churches.
I also taught high school and could tell many stories- the most memorable is my 10th grader who burst into tears because he did not receive his lunch # on the first day of school. I accompanied him to the lunch room so he would get his breakfast and lunch and he carefully saved much of his lunch and food scavenged from his classmates to take home to his grandmother. She was very elderly but his guardian and they survived on her social security and what he scavenged at school. She could not read and did not know how to get help. I and the school social worker helped them get Meals on Wheels and aid to dependent children. That is the reality of hunger in this great country- shame on us.
Yes, some people do take advantage of the system but are we willing to throw away so many children- a hungry child cannot learn and continues the cycle.
pkpk, I suspect that most of the members of these forums have never been in the homes of the truly poor. I spent many years making home visits and what stands out most in my memory is the dark. They live in the dark to conserve electricity (if they HAVE it connected) and to try to stay cool. That is the memory I allow. There are many that I have successfully blocked.
During the depression era, my parents relayed to me, food was scarce, but what they were able to grow, beg or steal did not go to waste. Much like the American Indian, every bit was used for food, fuel, clothing, shelter and even remedies for illness. For instance, EVERY part of a chicken was a delicacy. An orange at Christmas was far better than any toy or candy. Flour sacks were fashioned into panties. They were resourceful because they had to be to survive. I think we can all agree that much of this country is wasteful in spite of a goodly number living on the streets. Stores disguard perfectly good merchandise, often slashing it, and tossing it in dumpsters because it's cheaper than sending it to an outet. Restaurants and grocery stores toss a lot of edible foods out too. Many homeowners waste good Food as well. Of course there are exceptions to this observation where donations of day old food is sent to soup kitchens, shelters, grocery outlets and such, but we could do much more. Many urban areas are starting what use to be called 'victory gardens' and more and more local farmers and homeowners participate in food co-ops. Community food cupboards are constantly running out of food.
Regarding what was formerly called food stamps, they are a Godsend to many in need while abused by others. Stories of people using this benefit to purchase organic or specialty foods dot the news from time to time. Anyone catch the able bodied young 'Surfer Dude' on Fox recently? He is not alone folks. He is making money with his rock music under the table while using the food card for lobster, beer and other specialty gourmet foods to host parties. He surfs and parties on the tax payer's dollars.
Misuse of this benefit goes beyond the purchase of food too. I don't profess to have a sure fire plan to stop this abuse and even if I did, there will always be some who will game the system. Hopefully, the government will find a better way to get nourishing food to those really in need.
The comment regarding those who continue having babies when they can't keep a roof over their heads or food in their stomachs has always puzzled me as well. I do not judge tho, but can't help but wonder as these children suffer. We all have made poor choices in our lives, but we must not lose site of who will be impacted by those poor choices as well as learn from our poor choices so we are less likely to repeat them.
Froo, don't believe everything you see or hear. You cannot purchase alcoholic beverages with Food Stamps. And if he is on television, you can be sure that his eligibility worker is now aware of his income. In most states you only have to report a new source of income when you re-apply (usually annually, so you can go for a year before that income counts against your benefits. Also, the maximum monthly allotment for one person with zero net income is $200. So assuming the guy has NO countable income and he threw a party with his $200, that's it for the month. There are no do-overs.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
One of the issues that arises over and over is that peope who ARE working can NOT afford the basic necessities of life... period.
For 1 concrete example. My adult son works as a night stock man in a supermarket. He makes $8.75 per hour. The policy of the store is to keep employees to UNDER 36 hours a week so as to NOT pay any benefits, BUT to require them to be on call. Finding a 2nd part time very part time job is simply not possible here.
He works from 11 pm to 7 am.. (but not quite.. gotta stay under 36 hours.)
His pre deduction pay on a good week is $315.. His take home is $210..
Thw rent on the LEAST expensive apartment around town is $430 WITHOUT Utilities.
His monthly income is at most $840 and an apartment and utilities is nearly $600.
How in the world is someone supposed to make it on that? He has NO car, NO cable, No pets.
Last week he had to go to the ER for an abcessed tooth. He sure can't afford a dentist.. I paid for his medications, penicillin, and 8 pain killer tablets..
He's technically elligible for food stamps but wont take them since hes very anti gubmint.
what are people supposed to do????????????
Life is GOOD!!
[QUOTE]Originally posted by sms29s66:
Lurah, what about birth control to prevent having MORE children a household cannot afford? THAT'S WHAT I SAID!
Are you suggesting disposing of the children that are already here? QUOTE] NOT AT ALL
I do agree there are valid situations for welfare and all the other programs offered to the disadvantaged. What I am adamantly opposed to are the loafs who manage to skirt the rules to abuse these programs, never attempt to find work or get themselves educated at the most minimum of levels.
There is a need for assisting those who obviously have medical or physical or hard luck periods in their lives.
Lurah, that is not what you said. Your post said there is a big difference between tax paid birth control after conception, not before. That would seem to imply that you don't think poor women should have easy access to birth control. Of course, in an earlier post you also suggested mandatory sterilization of those who need help. Is that what you meant? So much for the concept of Temporary Aid for Needy Families (the current incarnation of Aid to Dependent Children).
Froo - Much of the crap that was on that Fox program has been debunked. If you haven't noticed a certain pol-I-tical party and segment of that group has made it their mission to take every single benefit away from the lower income groups that they possibly can. It seems they do not think the Rupert Murdoch's of the world get enough tax breaks so they need to find more money in the fed and state budgets to get them more. Since it is heresy to cut military spending the only thing left is cutting aid to the poor.
I was absolutely astounded to learn that an ever so caring local government wants the local soup kitchen to start charging for meals!!!! I am so outraged by some crazy azz book that claims aid hurts those who receives it, probably by the same group who thinks all Hispanic imigrants, whether legal or illegal are less intelligent, lazy and criminals.
This is all at a time of more than stagnant wages but declining wages. Where it is becoming harder and harder for the shrinking middle class to make ends meet, much less the poor and working poor. They seem to be an easy target because they do not have expensive lobbyists working their angle in DC and the state capitals. When the nattering nabobs (thank you Spiro Agnew) are yammering on about the poor and the few crumbs they receive.
As long as BP gets tax subsidies I have no problem with the 1% - 2% fraud and waste in the program.
How do the rest of ya'll feel? Should we continue to penalize the poor while BP and others are getting our tax dollars?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
O.K. Kathy this is a good example. Why is his take home pay only about 1/3 of his pre-tax salary? Where is that money going? Are posters here saying that it is going into the pockets of the non-prominent poliita cal party at this time?
Why are there so many food insecure that pkpk23 writes about now compared to when she started teaching in the '70's?
As far as the limited work hours. . . back in the '60's I worked for an airline that practiced the same policy. You were required to work only 30 hours a week and then forced to work forty. And we will be seeing much more of this in the future as employers will not abide by new regulations.
LoS, the value of the dollar has a lot to do with it. Minimum wage in the 60's was worth $10.00/hr in today's dollars. And what your airline did was in effect the opposite of what the poster said. Her son's employer is keeping him on call BUT they are not letting him work over 30 hours weekly because if they did, he would be eligible for benefits. It isn't unusual for such employers to give you much less than 30 hours, but they will never give you more if they can help it. My sister worked for Albertsons for years. She had a good scam going for awhile working at both stores in town and getting in more than 30 hrs. Then one of them was informed that she was eligible for benefits and that brought the whole thing to a halt.
ANOTHER TRAIN WRECK POST!?! Just can't NOT read!?!
Lurah, eligibility for cash benefits is limited to 60 months in a lifetime for able-bodied adults and no longer than 24 consecutive months.
In fact, welfare rolls have plummeted since the welfare reform legislation in the Clinton era. And those 60 and 24 month periods are stringently monitored to be sure that the recipient is in approved training or employment. The vast majority of ongoing welfare households are those headed by grandparents raising their grandchildren. And those grandparents rarely receive any benefits for themselves as they usually are on Social Security OR are working themselves.Perhaps these facts will ease your concerns.
And, BTW, since a*bortion is not funded by taxpayer dollars, this is not an option for woman on welfare.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
So, now that many on here have advocated a return to the good ole days of the 1950's and before, let's also advocate an increase in the income tax to a top rate of 75% for the uber rich.
Why not also reduce our military spending and starve Halliburton while we are at it. The amount of money wasted in a month on many of those programs would probably provide enough extra dollars in the budget to allow the poor to have training and child care so they can take care of themselves. Cut some more excess from the waste and give aways to those who don't need it and we could adequately fund our schools. But it seems most would prefer to carry on about the few apocryphal stories of abuse in a system that is a mere pittance of the federal budget.
Well I did not work for minimum wage and the policy was the same. Kathy's son being "on call" implies to me that he would have to work more hours.
In 1964 (the time I am speaking of) the employer could force the employee to work up to 40 hours a week which was the standard work week. But only 30 to avoid benefits. Working the extra time on an irregular basis did not impact the benefits not given.
Oh, another interesting aspect of this period in my life. Child care had not yet become a big business. I had to get an apt based on my access to one of the only such situations. It was a red feather agency which I guess meant somehow gov't or welfare sponsored. I was the only person there who paid the full shot (which was $15 a week) I was the only person there who walked up to the door from a bus stop. I had no car but all the other parents did, the amount paid was factored on the amount of debt the person had. No debt, no discount.
My take home pay was 72.72 a week.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
LoS, if the child care was subsidized, it had to have been by either the state or the city you lived in. Federal assistance with child care did not begin until late in my career--I think in the mid 90's. Eligibility is based strictly on gross income. No consideration is given to debt. As far as I know, that is the same everywhere now. I was in charge of the first quality control review that Louisiana had to do for the feds, and when we were researching the other states' forms/methods, I didn't run across any that had allowable deductions (like the Food Stamp Program does).
BTW, your weekly take home pay in 64 would have seemed like a fine salary to me. My first job in 1967 paid $290 monthly and that was considered GREAT for a clerical job. My husband made $400 monthly as a welfare social worker. We saved most of his earnings and lived on mine the first year we were married so that he could go graduate school the following year.
On a lighter note, a nice dress to wear to work cost $19 in those days and my wedding dress cost $40.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
Or it could have been private? I remember at Christmas time how offended I was at the "gifts" the facility gave my DD. A cheap doll and a mesh Xmas stocking filled with a few pieces of candy.
I did not want any presents from such a place. The only reason I was there was there, was no place else. My sister had given child care but was about to adopt a second child and could no longer do it.
I think that is the Xmas I made my DD a doll bed setup, quilt, sheets, pillows, etc. I had to borrow a sewing machine. Plus of course a wonderful doll, not much compared to what her kids have always gotten, but still nice.
This reminds me of something I have always wanted to do which is to buy a really nice doll and go to a projects place or someplace like that . . . not an agency and just give the doll to a child I see. There is a man here who does that with (I think) 100 dollar bills. Gets on a bus and hands them out!
"Offended" because they gave your child a small present? "Such a place"? Was it some kind of h*ellhole?
Yes, I was offended. I did not like the "charity" aspect You should know Sm after so many years of working in the system that many people who do so denigrate and and look down on their "clients"
When I say such a place I mean not that it was unsafe, unclean etc. but that it was a charitable (partially) facility and you knew it. This was many years ago and maybe things are different now. I remember one person in particular. she may have been a social worker and she was lecturing me on how my daughter could not have a "comfort" thing there (for my DD it was the remnants of a baby blanket) and how my DD should behave. My DD was always a very easy child, no tantrums etc.
I remember seeing this same woman on the main street downtown in my city and she was with her small child who was totally out of control throwing a huge tantrum and she was clearly beyond her ability to cope with him.
LoS, how would your child have felt if she had been the only one not to receive the Christmas present? You surely could not have expected the facility to check with you before deciding to give gifts to all the children. It appears to me that you were/are embarrassed about your situation at the time, but to be offended over a small gift from the child care people seems excessive. And as for the size of the gift, does the story of the widow's mite ring any bells?
Being offended sounds so harsh. Just because the gift didnt live up to your expectations doesn't mean DD shouldn't have received it. She would have felt awful if she had been left out of the gift giving.
BTW, LoS, if "charity" is so offensive to YOU, why on earth would you inflict it on some poor child by forcing a nice doll on her?
I would like to also clear up some misconceptions about grocery stores & restaurants....
Foods that are out of date or damaged in some way are "slashed" for several reasons. One, many people have retrived these items from dumpsters and tried to return them for cash, two, many people have taken these items to flea markets & resold them, three, many people will "claim" to get sick form them & threaten to sue or actually file a lawsuit.
This is why much of the merchandise can no longer be donated to soup kitchens or pantries or any other place that will serve it to humans. So places do sell it as hog food but there are also laws governing what can be fed to hogs & how (some states require cooking of all food items first).
Health laws have changed and many times prevent all of the foods from being donated.
As for flour sack panties....yep, I had those in the 40's & early 50's! But we called them either bloomers or "drawers"....ladies drawers! This message has been edited. Last edited by: ga.karen,
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Mama spoon you misunderstand what I was saying. I did not have any expectations of a gift. H eavens, I would not, did not, was surprised that a day care center would think it appropriate to give the children gifts! My child was there because it was the only facility open to care for her near where we lived.
IMHO none of the children should have received gifts! these were not children that would not have received Xmas gifts, such as those a local charity here gives to children whose parents write in at Xmas time saying they need gifts for their children.
I guess you are right Sm I probably should not think of giving a poor child a wonderful doll. She too may resent it. Like I bet those people receiving the $100 bills resent it.
I guess having an opinion is no longer valid on these forums, gotta lock step with poli tacally correct!This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
LoS, once again you introduce a topic and are surprised when it gets comments. I pity the day care center owners who didn't realize that what they intended as a nice gesture was actually wading into a mine field. And could you PLEASE pick a scenario and stick with it? Was it "charity" or not? Were these kids (except your own) receiving subsidized care or not? And if they were, are/were you in a position to know what Christmas would be like in their homes? And hasn't anyone EVER given you a little token? And if so, did you fling it back in their face because you didn't need it? Good grief.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
I just don't understand why you can't understand what I am saying! I saw the gift giving thing as akin to teachers giving each child in their classes Xmas gifts, which I don't think they do! But maybe they do now! but they did not when I was a child, or DD was a child or her Children either.
I think I am saying that this facility was the only one available. It was a not choice of deciding between one that was subsidized and one that was not! It was THE one!
As you should know day care was not readily available then. but that did not mean that those people who needed or wanted day care also wanted their children treated as objects of charity! (they needed child care but could not afford nannies)
My memory of these parents is that they were all working and seemed middle class.
You may not agree with me for yourself but can you please allow me the right to have my own feelings?
As far as the people at the day care "wading into a mine field" that is a little dramatic. Of course I said nothing to them and of course I let my child have the gifts they had given.
Good grief yourself! Of course someone has given me a little token and of course I have appreciated it. You keep missing the point . . . which I thought was that they thought they were given the children their whole Xmas!This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
Where in your original post did you say that the day care providers thought their gifts were the only ones the children would receive? And even if they did, I think that makes them even nicer. And DID they think that or did you make an assumption?
From what I read on p*olitical forums there is a much greater abuse of funds at the top levels of wealth than there ever is at the poverty level. I hope you are as upset about that. And lest you think I am criticizing your country the same situation exists in my country.
Emily, I too am amazed at your conclusions in this situation. Perhaps this day care facility had a small party for the children and wanted to give some small gifts as part of that. Not because they would have no gifts at home but because it was a nice Christmas activity. I doubt that's unusual in any day care that can afford to do so. Perhaps a business or philanthropic person gave a donation for them to buy such gifts. I don't think this had anything to do with whether these children came from wealth or poverty. I know that many groups my children were involved in did something similar. Children often get much pleasure out of such gifts even tho they may be inexpensive *junk* to parents. I am sometimes guilty of providing junk for my GC when I take them to the dollar store and give them money to shop. The stuff they buy has little monetary or actual value (to an adult) but they think it's great fun. Children sometimes look at things quite differently. IMO it's also a good little lesson in choices in shopping and how much one gets for a set amount of money.
Thanks for your input, joyluck. I knew something was nagging at my memory--room mothers when I was a child in elementary school. They volunteered to entertain us at holiday time, brought sweets to class, and some of them brought us small gifts. They couldn't have been expensive because there were so many of us, but we loved it. I remember one mother who obviously had more financial resources than any other room mother who once brought us each a little cake with our name in icing.
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