East Texas woman capitalizes on food stamps fine print - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas woman capitalizes on food stamps fine print

GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) -

Many families across East Texas are struggling and trying to make ends meet with food stamps, but one East Texas woman has found a little known option of the food stamp program to feed her family in the future.

With a limited income, Tara Fenlaw of Gladewater found herself in the desperate state of going on food stamps.

"I had to go on government assistance to help feed my child, the job wasn't quite making it. I just wasn't sure what I was going to do," Fenlaw says.

But she found a little known advantage in the food stamp program.

"When they sent me my food stamp book, I read it and in tiny little print I saw that I could buy seed, plants or trees if they bore fruit," Fenlaw says.

Fenlaw saw a way out: home gardening.

"Now I can save money, get a better quality of food for my family by growing my own," she says.

She's growing fruit trees, and vegetables, to cut her costs on food.

"And I will feed my family all season and for many years on what the government has provided right now," Fenlaw added.

She wants to change the stigma attached to food stamps.

"People think its a shame, well they'd rather sit on their behind and get a check rather than go to work, and that's just not true, it might be true for some but not for most. You're not helpless and you can be productive, you can take care of your family," Fenlaw says.

She's trying to get the message out to people that may be in the same position. You can do nothing! Or you can make something happen.

"It makes me hold my head up a little higher and go out and look for that job. Because I don't feel like I should be ashamed of my life," she says.

Fenlaw is hoping to save enough money by growing her own food, to get off of the food stamp program for good.

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