I spent the weekend in Henry County with our precious OBB Mobile for a couple of benefit clinics. We had our usual successes *brushes dirt off of shoulder* and we spoke to quite a few people in a sparsely populated part of the state.
But today I want to focus on a failure of mine. A senior citizen living off of less than $600 in Social Security who wouldn't let me help her sign up for SNAP Benefits. Part of my gig is to try reallllly hard to convince potentially eligible Ohioans to apply for these programs and when I can't achieve that with someone it really chafes me.
But this client was especially sad. Her reasons for not applying for food stamps: 1. The deficit (ugh) and 2. Her local pantry has lots of tuna fish and that's what makes her happy.
i hate canned tuna
I am going to ignore #1 because that's the sort of thing that will drive me insane, but #2 was especially heartbreaking. I tried explaining to her that with an EBT card she can buy loads of tuna fish. Heck, she can buy the fancy tuna fish that comes in a bag. She mentioned depending on eggs because they stretch meals out and keep her full. With an EBT card, she wouldn't have to do that anymore. And of course the money that goes into grocery stores can help people in her hometown achieve employment.
My colleagues saw my efforts go up in smoke and gave me the "at least you planted a seed" condolences. But I don't want a seed! I want her on benefits.
Next time I am in Napoleon, OH, I am going to be on the lookout for her. This isn't over yet, not by a longshot.