Private School and food stamps ?

I have done volunteer work at my local Catholic Charities in the food bank. The primary source for food in the bank is not private local donations but from the USDA (Federal Govt).

The policy for distribution of food in the bank is the eligibility for food stamps.

I was surprised to learn that many of the benefactors of the food bank who are also receiving food stamps have kids enrolled in local Catholic private schools.

I have no problem helping those in need, but if someone has enough wealth to send their kids to private Catholic Schools while at the same time having to seek assistance from the government and charities, I wonder where our society is headed. My personal experience about most families who send their kids to private school is that they have the best SUVs, the best homes, and are the least likely to offer help in the soup kitchen.

More than anything I am interested in other people’s viewpoints and perceptions on this matter.

First I think you should be less judgmental and presumptuous about the people who need help.

Second, most Catholic schools I am familiar with have a sliding tuition scale, particularly for parishioners that allows low income families to still send their kids to school even if they can’t pay.

What’s next? Are you going to criticize food bank clients for dropping envelopes in the collection on Sunday?

It could be a divorced mom whose kids tuition is paid by the father or other family members. When I was a kid a well to do Catholic paternal grandmother paid the tuition for her three grand kids to attend a Catholic School, but the divorced mother worked and the family was on food stamps.

I am unfamiliar with any Catholic food bank that requires a person to be on food stamps to receive assistance.

Many states offer vouchers for private and parochial schools. Most parochial schools offer tuition discounts and sliding scales, along with need and academic-based scholarships. Some even have discretionary funds to assist when a long-time student(s) is not able to pay the tuition because of a parent’s loss of employment or income. If one or both parents have been laid off from their job, there’s a good chance they qualify for food stamps and other government/state assistance programs. Please don’t be so quick to think these families might be “scamming” the system based on your limited knowledge of both their individual situation and the programs out there to help families afford a Catholic education.

Is not this information gained in food banks confidential? Should this be posted on a public forum? .

If one works in a food bank and discerns certain people do not “deserve” benefits because their children are in Catholic Schools perhpas they are the wrong person to be in the food bank.
Mary.

As long as she doesn’t identify the people she is fine discussing the topic.

That’s a pretty big generalization you have made there CrossBro.

My kids have been in Catholic schools in a few locations. In each there were several families who were there through the generosity of others. In one case, it was the PT janitor’s kids who were given a tuition waiver. In more than one, it was a grandparent who was paying for school. One school had some donors who would pay tuition for a few kids each year and who teamed up with the local uniform store to provide uniforms for those same kids.

It’s also possible that after school began, the family fell on hard times - lost job, widowed, disabled.

It seems you have a poor opinion of people who make Catholic education a priority for their kids and it may be coloring your perceptions. Just possible. :rolleyes:

You are making judgments based on limited information. If you know EVERYTHING about a family’s finances, then you might be in a position to make a judgment.

I’m glad our local food bank doesn’t require income information. It’s on the honor system - if a person says he’s in need, he gets the food. The amount is based on family size. Our income is variable, so we’ve have sometimes received food and other times given food.

In addition, the children may have earned scholarships.

It is true that *private *schools usually have as students the children of the well-off, altho even in private schools there are scholarships and tuition waivers, but most Catholic schools are *parochial, *supported to one extent or another by the parish.

Quite honestly, Crossbro, yours is an easy mistake to make. However, it can lead to embarrassing situations, so the best thing to do is to ignore assumptions. But at least you asked here rather than the individuals involved!

Catholic schools are tuition free in Wichita, KS. In other places they have scholarships for those in need.

Don’t assume.

I live in New York and Catholic schools here are expensive and a lot of parents work second jobs so their kids don’t have to go to secular state run schools where they teach all sorts of things that a young Catholic mind would be hurt by, they are even worse in California where in some schools usually low income Hispanic areas Planned Parenthood has offices inside the schools.

The parish my mom and grandma go to is a very poor parish. They have a school but it’s mostly low income people that go to school. The parish takes into account the income of the family when deciding tuition. A lot of the children who go there do not pay tuition and instead are supported by the parishioners of the church.

Personally, I find it sad that only people who qualify for food stamps qualify for food bank assistance. Here in Indiana at least, if you have a felony on your record, you don’t qualify for food stamps. I know a couple like this who would starve if it weren’t for help from a family member. And yes, the husband in this family does have a job.

I think a lot of my anger and negative reaction towards learning that families receiving food stamps and food bank assistance comes from the fact that for five years in a previous city I volunteered weekly in a soup kitchen run by my parish.

Most of the people who volunteered looked like they could of used a hand out themselves. I would go to daily mass and see these parents in the most expensive late model sports cars and SUVs taking their kids to school.

Of all these parents, I can think of only one who ever volunteered to work to help feed the poor in the soup kitchen in five years. The service was provided right out of the school gymnasium/cafeteria, so it was not like it was a secret either.

Maybe you are right there is some truth that I am over generalizing or stereotyping and should not be judging everyone and everyone’s situation is different. But I was not overly impressed with the unwillingness of the upper-middle class in my previous parish to lend a hand to the poor.

Your two posts don’t make much sense. In your OP you appear to be criticizing recipients of food bank help, thinking that they are undeserving of help because you think they use their money to send their children to private schools when they instead should be using the money to buy food for their families. As others have pointed out, you don’t know the specifics of each individual’s situation. And you come across as judging the food bank recipient and seeing them as undeserving.
In your second post, you say you are unimpressed with the upper-middle class response to helping the poor? I’m very confused.:confused: The people you speak of who never help out in the soup kitchen and drive fancy SUVS and send their kids to expensive schools are the ones who are frequenting the food bank you help out at?:confused: You said your food bank goes off of food stamp eligibility? I don’t know too many truly upper-middle class families that are food stamp eligible? Your posts are utterly confusing. What is the point you are trying to make? :confused:
It seems like there are two separate issues here (should people who use a food bank pay for private school instead of food?) and your discontent with others response to the poor. But somehow you’ve managed to lump the two issues together and it makes no sense.:confused:

You resent the low income people, if they send their kids to Catholic schools, and yet you believe that “most families who send their kids to private school… have the best SUVs, the best homes, and are the least likely to offer help in the soup kitchen?”

So it seems to be your premise that because these people were not volunteering in the soup kitchen, they are slackers who do not care about others.

Well I have never seen you outside the abortion clinic where I consistently pray and counsel women. Clearly you are a slacker and don’t care about women in crisis pregnancies. How dare you drive down the street with your head up high. :shrug:

Or maybe I don’t see you at the abortion clinic because you are at the soup kitchen. Maybe you don’t see me at the soup kitchen because I’m teaching CCD and volunteering at the hospital and chairing the bazaar committee.

So, think about the fact that maybe these people volunteer and give time, talent, and treasure in other ways.

AMEN! :blessyou:

We can’t all do everything.

And if the OP was seeing these moms drop their kids off at school means they were busy taking care of their kids. And there might be a toddler or two and a baby in the car that he didn’t see. And maybe they were on the way to a job to help pay the tuition. Who knows? :shrug:

I taught for eight years in an expensive Catholic high school. No student was turned away because of the parents’ inability to pay.

Go to my YouTube channel, it is called endrenoabortion. I have protested outside a clinic for years in every type of weather and my friends can testify to that. I have been spit at, threatened, almost lost my job. You might not have seen me outside your abortion clinic because I am too busy outside mine.

You want to accuse me of not protesting against the death penalty next ? Go for it !

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.