Oregon to Women on Welfare: Dumpster Dive

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(WOMENSENEWS)–A contractor for Oregon’s welfare agency advised women on welfare in the Eugene area to “check the dump and the residential and business dumpsters” in order to save money.

For what, the advice sheet did not make clear. Dumpster diving, or removing recyclable materials from trash containers other than one’s own, is illegal in the state.

The current monthly welfare payment to a family of three in Oregon is $460, fixed since 1991. The Oregon Center for Public Policy calculates that amount has the same value now as $357 did 10 years ago when the amount was set.

The agency later apologized and said that the contractor, Lane Workforce Partnership, distributed the leaflet, which was not part of official state literature. The contractor conducts job training and advises recipients on how to save money in the Eugene and Springfield areas.

Other tips on the sheet include “look for freebies” and “barter or trade with friends.” The list gave excerpts from an out-of-print book, “One Thousand and One Ways to Stretch a Dollar,” by Vivo Bennett, also the author of “One Thousand and One Ways to Avoid Getting Mugged, Murdered, Robbed, Raped or Ripped Off,” also out of print.

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