The Offhand Band - Program aids food stamp users

from by Various Artists

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I looked for an ultra-small, ultra-local story in an ultra-small, ultra-local newspaper, hoping to find one that exemplified the notion of little things meaning a lot, a story that might be as especially impacting for someone's life as the vast majority of news stories, especially larger ones, are fundamentally meaningless to most of us. In further honor of the challenge, I played with song-as-journalism: with a headline as its title, it's a song that itself mimics a newspaper article as much as I felt I could while still writing a proper song. More on the making of the song: theoffhandband.com/2011/06/program-aids-food-stamp-users/?postTabs=1

lyrics

Northeast resident Mary Johnson uses food stamps,
putting groceries on the family table.
She said, "I'd felt ashamed, but when you need, the shame goes away."

Though she's grateful for all the help she's been receiving,
still, whenever she reads a food product label,
she'd like more healthy options for her children each day.

"When there's so much we once had that's all gone from our world,
it's hard just keeping my family well fed.
I know there's lots of big things going on in the world,
but all the little things are big for us," Johnson said.

Now, North East Community Center has a program,
and all users of food stamps qualify for it,
with discounts on the freshest local produce in town.

Health Bucks coupons are good at area farmers markets.
Whether Johnson would like to serve fresh or store it,
her family now eats healthy local food all year round.

"When there's so much we once had that's all gone from our world,
it's hard just keeping my family well fed.
I know there's lots of big things going on in the world,
but all the little things are big for us," Johnson said.

"The same world that makes breaking news of moms who kill their babies
makes cans from distant factories and beans and broccoli grown
in other countries so much cheaper than the farm stand down the road.
We've no place for a garden, but best as we can, I believe we should tend our own."

"When there's so much we once had that's all gone from our world,
it's hard just keeping my family well fed.
I know there's lots of big things going on in the world,
but all the little things are big for us," Johnson said.

credits

from SpinTunes #3: Round 2, released June 30, 2011

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Spintown Middletown, Ohio

I run a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. Most of the material hosted on this account is a result of that contest. You can follow the contest on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or my personal account (@Spintown).

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