View Full Version : One in 10 Americans on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

12-07-2008, 11:54 AM
One in 10 American on food stamps
Fri, 05 Dec 2008 22:07:04 GMT

Statistics reveal that US unemployment reached the highest level in 15 years; as 31.6 million Americans are now receiving food stamps.

According to Friday's figures from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate reached 6.7 percent in November, the highest level since October 1993.

With 3.2 million more Americans unemployed than 12 months ago, the need for food assistance has risen. Last month saw the evaporation of 533,000 jobs, the biggest one-month loss since 1974.

Figures released earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that food stamp beneficiaries increased by 17 percent.

The food stamp program is now known as SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. "While 10.3 million Americans are unemployed, more than 31 million -- one in every ten -- Americans now receives food stamps," said Dr. Jim McDonald, vice president of policy and programs at Bread for the World.

"In an economic recession, it is harder than ever for Americans to feed their families." McDonald added.

12-07-2008, 03:15 PM
Note the word "Supplemental" in SNAP.

I am not sure people on these programs are using the money they receive at its full potential.

I tend to see people who use these programs purchasing too much convenience foods withe the "assistance".

I am still working off a large pot of beans and rice supplemented with $1.39/lb sausage I found on sale. (and I bought all they had at that price.) I made that pot 3 days ago.

How much do I have invested in that pot of beans? US$7-8? including the natural gas to cook them?

How hard is it to cook beans and rice and toss in some sausage or a ham hock?

12-07-2008, 03:33 PM
Who says that they don't buy rice and beans with their foodstamps?

12-07-2008, 03:45 PM
Who says that they don't buy rice and beans with their foodstamps?

Grocery store sales statistics.

12-07-2008, 04:06 PM
Who says that they don't buy rice and beans with their foodstamps?

Statistics and personal observation.

It is obvious in my state and the "credit card" is a certain color and style.

In addition, I don't see them using affinity cards to get loss leaders and I don't see any discounted items in their purchases. (Meat with discount stickers [1-3 day expiration], yogurt reaching expiration, discount bread, etc.

I do see a lot of prepared microwavable meals, "Lunchables" for the children (instead of sack lunches), packaged cookies, frozen pizzas, etc.

If it isn't your money and you didn't earn it wasting it isn't on your mind. (Until you "run short" at the end of the month.)

You think it is a coincidence that sales at McDonald's and Burger King increase at the first of the month and the "checks" are distributed?

12-07-2008, 06:49 PM
When I was on food stamps in the early 1980's I fed myself and helped feed three other underemployed friends. At the end of what a friend still calls "The Winter you helped keep us all alive," I had enough stamps left over to trade my mother food for a bus ticket to accept a job offer in Denver.

Now I know that stamps do not go as far as they used to, even the Federal government admits that the current amounts do not even provide enough for their own so-called Thrifty Food Plan. A plan that assumes a family both knows how to cook and has access to a real grocery store. Many people on food stamps have neither, the first problem can be solved with a bit of education, but the second is harder to cope with.

I managed to feed my friends because I knew how to cook beans, rice and baked goods. I got a couple of cook books, like my mom's 1956 Joy of Cooking and learned to bake bread. I got 25 pound bags of white flour and mixed it with small bags of whole wheat, oats and nuts. We all ate a lot of stew that Winter (marked down meat and veg for the most part).

I used to see other people on food stamps buying full sugar Colas, full priced steaks and ding dongs and it would make me very angry. The only time I got steak was on the mark down table, or on my birthday.

I think a change back towards real cooking is slowly taking place, but some things have to continue to change to make it stick. As our current house-mate pointed out about a year ago, it was in fact cheaper to buy pre-prepared oven chips than buy the fresh potatoes (even the cheapest ones) but I bought the fresh potatoes anyway. Until the shipping and packaging make these overly processed food choices cheaper than real food, the very poor will continue to eat them. And then wonder why their children are shaped like small battle tanks, when they aren't really eating all that much volume, just lots of sugar, salt, flour and oil...

Ought Six
12-07-2008, 09:44 PM