Tennessee mom Melissa Thaxton has relied on food stamps to feed her family since sustaining a back injury in 2015 that left her unable to work.
So when she didn’t receive any food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the government shutdown, she decided to speak to local news station WKRN.
She was concerned about being unable to feed her 7-year-old and knew other families may have had the same problem. Thaxton said:
“Very concerned with the shutdown that the people that do have to wait won’t get their benefits and I have a kid to feed and I’m very worried you know that we will not get them.”
The mom hoped speaking out could create some change. Instead, Thaxton said that she’s just getting slammed by online bullies.
She said social media users have left cruel comments implying that she doesn’t need food stamps because she’s not “missing meals.”
Thaxton read aloud one comment to WKRN, she said it read:
“’If she would back away from the table, there would be plenty for her kids to eat.'”
The mom said commenters had no sympathy for her situation, even though she’s trying to feed her 7-year-old.
She’s noted that’s she’s struggled with weight her whole life. Thaxton said:
“I don’t think some people even read the article, they just read the caption and they just started going off.”
Social media users also criticized her tattoos and piercings, though Thaxton said hasn’t spent money on them in a long time.
The mom said adult bullying could be a negative influence on children, and she believes it needs to stop. Thaxton noted:
“Say no to adult bullying. How can you expect your kids not to bully when you are doing the same thing?”
Her boyfriend has started a Facebook page to raise awareness about adult bullying, WKRN reports.
Thaxton said the experience was “horrendous.”