After reading the article by Laura McCandlish (“The Farm-to-Table Family: One mother uses food stamps at the farmers market,” May 11), I feel the need to respond.

Though the article is about farmers markets, the real story is about Samantha Ricker. She has a master’s degree in sustainable business (is that one of those majors like community organizing?) that saddled her with an $80,000 debt.

During the 11 or so years that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has helped her to get by, two kids and a boyfriend came on the scene. When she divorced her husband, the SNAP benefits went from about $500 a month to about $250 a month (that’s $6,000 a year to $3,000 a year). Somewhere along the way, she published a book.

This woman is no slouch, but she chooses to work in the nonprofit sector, admitting she couldn’t do it without public assistance. She chooses to be financially poor! She is but one of many who make such a choice.

Her nonprofit probably allows her to serve a need. But what is the benefit of serving a need if it makes you become one?

Sadly, I believe that receiving assistance is ingrained in her lifestyle and there will be little chance of her being weaned from it. I hope I am wrong.

Kurt Christiansen



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