#StipendLife Vol. 3: Thoughts from the Food Stamp Office

AmeriAdvice Column

My first year in AmeriCorps, I saved so much chicken marsala in my freezer from a gala event that I got sick of it and threw some away (I won’t eat it anymore). Also, I needed the tupperware containers. I had new food to save.

AmeriCorps members are masters of food preparation, cheap food, food saving, and free food. Due to our unique financial situation, we can also apply for government assistance.

Having SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits during the last two years has been a lifesaver for me. It can also be a massive waste of time to make it possible.

Here are some of my thoughts from my experiences at DSHS.

  1. “My supervisor told me this will take at least 3 hours, but I can’t imagine why. I brought all the paperwork! I’m prepared! I’ll be back by lunch.”
  2. “I really wish I’d brought lunch with me.”
  3. “And a pillow.”
  4. “It’s like the waiting screen itself is testing my patience. Skipping numbers….”
  5. *Incoherent mumbling about annoying tiny children playing tag*
  6. “This place should have a snack bar.”
  7. “Would I be able to buy food from a snack bar with an EBT card?”
  8. “Glad I brought this book.”
  9. “I wish I had another book to read.”
  10. “FINALLY! My number!”
  11. “That’s only the FIRST STEP???”
  12. *1 hour later* “Ok, interview time. Remain calm. Don’t panic. You don’t have anything to hide, you barely make any money anyway. Don’t get nervous. Don’t get nervous” *Gets extremely nervous*
  13. *45 minutes later* “I am NEVER doing that again!”
  14. *Second term starts in another state* “Hello, I’d like to apply for food benefits?”


*If you weren’t aware that you may qualify to apply for government food assistance, you should talk to your site leader or your direct supervisor immediately.*


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