Darlena Cunha says that she wrote her essay about her family's temporary poverty so her twin daughters would learn not to judge people on government assistance. Courtesy of Darlena Cunha hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Darlena Cunha

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Burton/Getty Images

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif. Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank hide caption

itoggle caption Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

The farm bill proposes a $1 billion cut to food stamps, which would affect nearly 850,000 struggling families who already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif. Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank hide caption

itoggle caption Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

The recent cuts in federal food benefits may be felt most in rural areas and the grocery stores that serve them. USDA hide caption

itoggle caption USDA

Screen grab of a map that shows hard numbers about who's getting hit by food stamp cuts. Stateline hide caption

itoggle caption Stateline

A woman and her daughter shop for groceries in New York City's Union Square using electronic benefits transfer (EBT), more commonly known as food stamps, on Wednesday. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Appalachia has a distinct culture of sipping soda constantly throughout the day. "Here in West Virginia, you see people carrying around bottles of Mountain Dew all the time — even at a public health conference," says public health researcher Dana Singer. Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Advocates for the poor say the proposed cuts to the food stamp program — $40 billion over 10 years — don't make sense at a time when unemployment remains high. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com