‘Everybody Hates Chris’ star says food stamps episode was based on her life
October 26, 2022 | 1:02pm
One of the stars of classic sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” says that she mined a serious subject from her own childhood for comedy on the show.
A memorable episode of the hit CW show, which was inspired by Chris Rock’s upbringing, addressed the subject of food stamps.
The fictional Chris’ dad finds $200 worth of the vouchers, but his mom — who was played by Tichina Arnold — refuses to use them because, she says, “when I pull out food stamps, people look at me like I ain’t got no husband; they talk to me like I ain’t got no sense; they treat me like I ain’t got no class.”
Arnold tells Page Six that the episode was actually based on her own family.
“The food stamps episode was totally my mother because that really happened to me,” she told us, “My dad bought home food stamps one time and my mother was like, ‘I’m not using no food stamps.’ It’s not a bad thing to do.”
“You have a lot of mothers who had children who fed their children on food stamps but never told them that they were getting fed through food stamps,” she added.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP was created to help low income parents to feed their families. To qualify for SNAP, households must have an annual pre-tax income of $25,760 if there’s one earner in the home, $34,840 if there’s two and $43,920 if there’s three.
The series aired from 2005 until 2009.
Arnold also says she grew up with the processed cheese known as “government cheese,” which was provided to welfare recipients in the US until the early 1980s.
“Of course I had government cheese. Everybody had government cheese. That’s the cheese that you don’t know what the government put in that cheese. You can put it in the oven for seven hours and it will not melt,” she said, “I don’t miss government cheese but that was a moment in time that made us stronger.”
Arnold will serve as the host for the Inaugural Paramount Music Showcase in New York.