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      American households on food stamps continues to climb

      When Pamla Pierce lost her job, her husband got sick and then passed away last year, she said she had to turn to public assistance to survive.

      "If you need it, it's out there. I don't have a lot of help right now. I can't get the insurance and stuff, but every little bit helps. But then you get these other people that just sit around and get it handed to them, but they could work! It just wasn't fair," said Pierce.

      Numbers released by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) show Pierce, along with 47 million Americans, rely on food stamps. SNAP also found over 2.6 million people living in Michigan and Wisconsin are on food stamps.

      On average, Michigan residents receive $135 a month.

      Barb Kramer used to help people on public assistance train and find work. When it comes to training programs, the state of Michigan will lose $1.7 million in funding for job search assistance programs due to federal budget cuts.

      Kramer said more welfare-to-work programs, along with a much more supportive network, should be available.

      "We only had 16 hours per week per group, and we took them from their very resistant/angry selves, because they were mandated to be there, and didn't understand what the process would be through a process of actual grieving for their way of life," Kramer said.

      "Through the process of allowing them to express themselves, for the very first time, perhaps about their frustrations, about their hopes and desires, we were able to help them decide what they wanted to do," Kramer said.

      Kramer also added people on assistance have to strive for something better.

      "Persistence and hope and belief in oneself, and if you want something better, then you can have it if you continue to look for it," Kramer said.

      As for Pierce, she said she is hoping to get off of public assistance soon by selling her home and moving closer to her family.