A TikTok video of a woman questioning the usefulness of the SNAP/food stamps program has revealed several probably widely-held misconceptions about the program. The video drew the ire of many, including a doctor who spent the larger part of his life depending on the scheme.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps program) is a federal intervention that funds the food needs of low-income households. The scheme aims to assist these families with access to healthy and nutritious meals every month.
While a section of the populace applauds the scheme for providing food security and nutritional needs to low-income Americans, others believe that the program is a waste of tax-payers funds.
A social media user, Shannon, who is one of the antagonists of the program, had released a now-deleted video calling for the discontinuation of the program. She gave her reasons too, which seem to be backed up by some unverified statistics.
In the video, Shannon raised questions about what the majority of SNAP funds are spent on. A medical doctor, who went by the name Tommy Martin, who was obviously bothered by the woman’s erroneous impressions about the scheme, has debunked some of her claims while accusing her of “falsifying data.”
“I can tell you what we spent it on,” Martins hit back in his own TikTok video that includes some stitches of Shannon’s video. “When I was a child, we did not make much money, and we needed help, which we are so grateful for our government being able to give us food stamps,” he continued.
He narrated having to help his mum calculate the cost of each item they bought at the grocery store just to make sure there was enough food stamp money to last till the end of the month.
“Food stamps bought all our necessities, our proteins, our carbohydrates, our vegetables, literally everything, and yeah, we did get snacks as well.” This statement was a direct response to Shannon’s claim that “10% of SNAP card money” was spent on junk food with high-fructose corn syrup like soda.
Martins also described the hostility he and his mother had to face while purchasing food with their stamps. “I remember walking around the store until the people who would always give us dirty looks about using food stamp cards left the grocery store so we wouldn’t have to check out in front of them.”
In her video, Shannon had also alleged that “70%” of the SNAP card money is spent on high-processed food, a claim that was fiercely disputed by the doctor. “You would be one of the people that made us walk around the grocery store for hours until no one in the grocery store would judge us for checking out with food stamps,” he responded.
At the end of his video, Martins had some words of encouragement for people who depended on the program. “Do not let people like this make you feel bad for…using government services that could help you have the necessities that you need to live day to day,” he said. “You are not alone, its okay to need help,” he concluded.