Ed Murrieta used to be a food critic for the Tacoma News Tribune with a $1,300 monthly expense account and a "middle-class salary." Today, however, "I eat on the fringe of the food business, hungry for work and living on the dole, one of 6 million Americans whose sole source of income is food stamps." Murietta recounts his plight in a first-person account in the Seattle Times.
"As I search for work without success," he writes, "I find neither shame nor deprivation in food stamps." (But maybe a little embarrassment, including the time he inadvertently took food from a church's donation table.) He's got a $200 monthly food budget now, and he's learned to make it work. "Though it's not without its labors and worries, life on the food lines tastes pretty good, from where I sit. But I know that feeding myself with my own money would taste a whole lot better."