Writing for the Independent Women’s Forum, Vicki Alger points out an incredible statistic about food stamp recipients.

About 10% of the country’s 47 million food stamp recipients are able bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD).

How incredibly sad for these millions of people who, for one reason or another, have clearly lost their way. A compassionate society will provide immediate emergency help, but where and when should it stop? That is the center of an ongoing debate over what is an appropriate safety net and what is an enabling mechanism that robs people of the dignity that comes with work and sentences them to dependency on government. As Alger continues in her piece for IFW, the hand up we should offer is clear:

If the federal government really wants to help those in need, reduce the overall tax burden on businesses so they can expand and hire more employees. The work of corporate and philanthropic charities offering food assistance and job training should also be encouraged to meet the unique needs of their communities.

And individuals should not rely on government to solve social problems such as poverty and hunger.

In any given neighborhood across the country there are any number of charitable organizations dedicated to helping those in need. Volunteering just a few hours of time can change people’s lives for the better. Most important, becoming involved personally helps reinforce the social and civic bonds that strengthen the fabric of a free society—and that fabric is what distinguishes the United States from centralized socialist states where poverty and hunger are somebody else’s problem.