So, where we last left my food stamps case my confused caseworker had called the wrong person to check up on my salary and decided that I was ineligible. I convinced him to talk to my AmeriCorps supervisor, and apparently the fact that she used "director" in her job title did the trick. I called him again the following day (so this is somewhere around Nov. 20) and he said I had been approved, but reminded me that the HRA (Human Resources Administration) had a full 30 days to formally respond to my application. Accordingly, my award letter didn't come until the 30th day, with my benefit card and PIN arriving days after that.
But it did come, and given the stories I hear every week about ineptitude and downright obstructionist behavior in that office, I don't take the relative ease of my application process for granted.
Now to get used to pulling out that light blue card when I shop for groceries. At the market on Sunday, showing up at the produce stand with the market's EBT dollars prompted the vendor to tell me how angry it made him that "other people" ("not you, of course - you look like you work your ass off") were using his tax dollars to buy food while wearing expensive North Face jackets and genuine Yankees jerseys.
Oh, where to begin with that one...
But, on a more positive note, since my previous food stamps post lamenting the lack of conversation between the foodie and anti-hunger movements I've come across two quality recent examples to the contrary: Divided We Eat, an article by Newsweek's Lisa Miller on food and class in the US., and an interview with anti-hunger advocate Joel Berg in the very foodie Edible Brooklyn.