Single Moms, This is For You
GAZA CITY, Mar 07, 2013(IPS) – “In Gaza we don’t lead normal lives, we just cope and adapt to our abnormal lives under siege and occupation,” says Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician and a long-time human rights and women’s rights activist in the Gaza Strip. On International Women’s Day, when many of the world’s women are fighting for workplace equality and an end to domestic violence, Farra and the majority of Gaza’s women fight for the most basic of human rights.
This is the common story across the world but it is not so unheard of even here in our own country. Hundreds of thousands of women every day are left hungry with no means to feed their children and care for their families. More women go hungry than any other demographic group. A report released by the US Department of Agriculture based on the most recent data from 2012 finds that hunger in America has a great deal to do with gender. More than 1 in 3 single mothers struggle to feed their children, and more than 1 in 7 report that at least one member of their family doesn’t get enough to eat on a regular basis. Some of the issues that lead into this gap or hole in the system are the ways the Welfare Agencies rule out who qualifies for aid. In the state of California, a single mother can qualify for food stamps based on her income or lack thereof but the amount received is little compared to the high costs of food and sales tax in California. If the single mother lives alone she can qualify for more money in food stamps but if she shares housing then she is considered sharing food and her amount drops. As far as Cash Aid works there is an even bigger loop hole. A single mom can literally have no income and can qualify for Cash Aid benefits as long as she doesn’t own any vehicle valued over $1500-2,000.00. The Welfare Agency offers a $4500 deduction with only a $2000 owned property limit. So once the deduction is added with the $2000 limit and her car value exceeds that limit she will not qualify for cash aid. This means the single mother will need to sell that vehicle and own something valued under that amount to transport her children around safely or find another means to get financial support.
Many women on aid are capable of working full time but let’s face the facts that jobs are difficult to come by even with a degree, and skilled training costs money. I am speaking mainly for the women who have ongoing health issues that find it difficult to work or women whose job related skills are limited. There are some wonderful grants and school loan programs for moms to go to school but they also need to have some form of income coming in while they are continuing their education.
Surprising enough the majority of the women I am referring to are not in the eighteen to twenty five year old age range. These women are wives, or mothers who have stayed home and cared for their children while their husband worked. She was the housekeeper, taxi driver, PTA mom, soccer mom, nutritionist and all the other things that come with raising children. She is the mom who never expected to be divorced looking to find a career at the age of thirty or forty. She owns a decent car that doesn’t break down and cannot sell it and find something for $4000 that provides safe and reliable transportation. She is the mom who now slips between the cracks when child support is not paid and she’s scouring Craigslist for a job, any job. There is every different scenario as to why our rate of hungry women and children have sky rocketed in this country over the last 10 years. I unfortunately do not have the solution or the advice on how to remedy such a quandary. I am only presenting the facts on what our countries statistics show and offering a little bit of the other side of the story that most don’t have time to listen to. If you are a single mother trying to make ends meet there are some school loans and programs that can help get you educated and on your feet if you can afford to not work and go to school or do both meanwhile find adequate and affordable care for your children.
Please check out these websites for helpful information and all my blessings: XOXOX