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More in Letters
Frustrated with the 'system'
To the Editor:
I am a single mother with another daughter due in May. I am having financial difficulties like so many others. My income consists of death benefits from my first daughter's father. He died two months before she was born. The father to the baby that is due in May is willing to help once his daughter is born (I am keeping my fingers crossed). I am in school to get a second career. My first career was 12 years in the insurance industry. I have lived in Oxford for about three years, I moved here to help take care of my father in his last year. Since 2009 I have asked for assistance with food less than 10 times. I have asked for assistance with heat and received HEAP for about $300 for the last year.
In 2009 I could no longer afford my health insurance so I applied to the state. I was denied (until I got pregnant) but my daughter qualified as long as I could pay $24 a month. During that time I was also provided $16 from the state for the food stamp program.
On Friday I went into the town office to get a free food voucher. I had a list of errands to do in Norway. Drop my daughter off at daycare, prescription from Walmart, get gas, go to the food bank and pick up my daughter. I had only enough gas to make one trip to Norway on Friday and get to school on both Tuesday and Wednesday; I do not receive any money until Wednesday.
I arrived at the food bank on Friday at 10:59 a.m. They close at 11. When I walked in the door was closed. I knocked on the door and I heard "What do you want?" I was so shocked about the response the only thing I said was "I did not think that you closed until 11." I was so upset I did not know what to do. I went to my car, got my cell phone and went back in and took a picture of the clock. At that time it showed 11:02 a.m.
I really appreciate the assistance that I have received in the past. I am also grateful for the assistance I am currently getting.
What hurts is the fact that I am trying so hard to be a good parent and provider but feel like I am not getting anywhere. I am trying to get an education. I am trying to provide a nice home for my children. I am trying to show my daughter how to be a good person and be smart.
It does not feel good having to ask for help. It does not feel good having my options taken from me because I have to accept help. I applied for WIC two weeks ago and I can not even drink red cap milk. The women at the office said to me "well two percent has the same nutrients, it just has less fat." I did not say it because I did not want to lose my help but I wanted to tell the women that I do not keep a figure of 104 lbs., not pregnant while eating low-fat food. I do not feel like I am taking advantage of the system. I only take what I need and if I ever have extra I always share.
At one point in time I received $100 from HEAP, they mail it directly to your oil company on file. The oil company applied the money to the wrong account (there is a story behind it). I could not understand that while I paid the balance of 100 gallons of oil minus the HEAP payment how come they could not deliver the 100 gallons. In the meantime I ran out of oil. They said that they could do nothing about it until the HEAP company sent them a letter to tell them where to put the money. As I said, in the meantime the oil company had all the money "in-house" and I ran out of oil.
I can not speak for all the opinions I hear about the "free stuff" you can get; what I can speak for is the bad attitudes, the rude people and the disrespect that people endure when they accept the "free stuff."
I have seen several stories in the past couple of weeks about the health of our area. If you ever need another opinion in regards to it, please feel free to e-mail me.
Thank you for listening.
Faith A. Gittings