Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Food Stamps

I recently was hired by Americorp Vista, essentially Peace Corps, but domestic.  Americorp’s website describes it as  “the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.”  (Americorp Website)  I work at a non-profit here in North Carolina where I am in charge of large scale volunteer facilitation.


Technically my employer is the Corporation of National and Community Service A.K.A. the Government.  My paychecks are not infact paychecks, but a “subsistence allowance” where I am paid well below minimum wage and am not allowed to hold another job.  Technically I am on call 24/7/365.  This is a year commitment which I recently decided to undertake to take something that has always been a part of my life, volunteering, and bring it to the next level.  I’m not going to lie, a part of it was also because I need a job, but it was a minor reason.

Everyday I work to fight poverty here in Charlotte North Carolina and it has been immensely rewarding!  Not to mention a welcomed change from my previous corporate jobs.  If you are interested in checking it out click here

So today I had a unique experience, one which was very new for me.  I applied for food stamps.  Overall it was pretty quick and painless, which I was glad.  If only the DMV could learn from them, I have waited longer to give the DMV money than I did for Department of Social Services to GIVE me money.  I don’t know about you, but I try not to keep people waiting who are trying to give me money 🙂  What’s great about things now is that there are no “stamps”  you get this card that looks and acts like a debt card, but of course has restrictions on what you can and cannot buy.  Things like paper products, alcohol, tobacco, diet supplements etc.  Anyway, I am waiting to hear for the decision on my application, but I am hopeful because of the type of job I recently landed.

Its pretty much impossible to have not notice things going on today are not as good as they have been.  I found this great infographic about how more and more Americans are seeking aid in the form of food stamps and other resources.

Click here for larger, zoomable version

food stamps

  1. Meanwhile, it's made ME enjoy it even more. Keep up the good work.

  2. Congratulations. I was a VISTA for a couple years just after college, it was one of the best experiences in my life.

    The level of frugality and simplicity it imposes (assuming you're not one of the VISTAs living off your savings, trust fund, or parents) is great, and it's something that still informs me today. I make a decent living now, not at all like life as a VISTA, but I still get by on peanuts. Not quite the same level, but a lot less than most. And I always know that if the worst were to happen, I can still make it through.

    Not to mention the ability to empathize with those stuck at that sort of level.

    Hopefully you get the food stamps, and a decent amount of them. It can be hard, not all the case workers fully get the rules as they apply to national service volunteers. I got $94 a month in food stamp while I was a VISTA, another co-worker got about the same, and a third VISTA got like, $15.

    If you don't know how already, learn to cook, and Iearn to cook FROM SCRATCH. Your money won't go far if you're buying everything already made. Rice and beans in all forms are great. Vegetarianism will save you a ton. If you're not already, take this as an opportunity to get into shape. 😀

    And good luck. It'll be a great adventure. 🙂

  3. Glad you had a good food stamp experience. Mine was once of the worst experiences I've ever had. I was treated as if I were lying, and despite all the paperwork I had brought in, was told I had to prove a number of additional things with signed documents. I walked out in tears, too upset to pursue the matter further.

  4. Food Stamps are nice and handy if you want some fast meals.”*.

  5. Food Stamps are great and i wish that there were more of them.;,:

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