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Food Stamp Use Rises As Employers Refuse To Pay Living Wages

Food Stamp Use Rises As Employers Refuse To Pay Living Wages


Recent report shocked the nation by exposing the fact that one in five Americans are currently using food stamps.  But what has been discussed less is who is the new face of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and why there has been such a dramatic increase over the last few years.

Conservatives will have you believe that rise in numbers is due to people “scamming the system,” pointing to instances of fraud on college campuses as if it was the main factor in the 34 percent rise in the last two years.

Instead, the new face of food stamps isn’t college students or even so much the unemployed.  According to Reuters, 40 percent of those accepting food stamps are wage earners who simply do not make enough money to pay all of their bills.

About forty percent of food stamp recipients are, like [mother and Wal-Mart cashier supervisor Genna] Saucedo, in households in which at least one member of the family earns wages. Many more could be eligible: the government estimates one in three who could be on the program are not.

“If they’re working, they often think they can’t get help. But people can’t support their families on $10, $11, $12 an hour jobs, especially when you add transport, clothes, rent.” said Carolyn McLaughlin, executive director of BronxWorks, a social services organization in New York.

As businesses continue to bring in record profits while cashing in and asking for even more tax breaks, they continue to take advantage of programs paid for by the rest of the country’s taxpayers to support workers who they refuse to pay a living wage to.  Regular families are subsidizing programs like SNAP so businesses can continue to reap even larger rewards.

This crisis that has caused so many people to need these programs that they aren’t sustainable in their current form. What’s the Republican solution?  It’s not to ask the businesses to pay more in taxes, or encourage them to raise wages, both of which would help the struggling economy by giving people back some ability to spend on goods again.  No, it’s to cut the programs themselves.

It’s milk the middle class until they have nothing left, then cut off the lower class from assistance when it’s out of money.  All to protect the rich.

Related Links:

Record 1 in 5 Americans Now Needs Food Stamps

The Rich Get Guard Dogs and the Poor Get Food Stamp Cuts

Gingrich: Obama A “Food Stamp” President

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Photo credit: revisorweb

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5:54AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:32AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

What Americans need is a minimum wage with COLA, cost of living adjustment.

11:04AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

Wood Sprite G. you are so right on and well said! I,too,am disabled. We are fitted into a stereotypical box. When will people realize it's not the poor who opress them,it's the rich. Any time sacrifices have to be made they always start slashing with the poor. Medicaid will no longer pay for dental or optical care. How about not giving corporations billions in bailouts?

8:14AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

, unless the world turns into "The Matrix" where everyone is genetically engineered.

So basically, I still believe that lower rents will be able to help these people be not so needy productive members of society.

8:12AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

...To CPS, a motel room is not "adequate shelter" because everyone is in the same room, but it's the only shelter the mom CAN AFFORD. So she's trying to "live within her means", and gets punished for it.

The general homeless people, are homeless because of most of these reasons, or all of them combined. Some have mental issues/disabilities and can't get jobs, some had back medical bills, and the powers that be were docking their checks to pay them back so they couldn't afford to pay rent, a parent's partner left, or kicked them out/or the parent left because they were abused by their partner, some may be veterans who have "problems" after they came home, some ARE people who made bad decisions, got into drugs/alcohol, stole stuff, got into fights, etc.

But, all of these people, are still people, a lot, have no control over the things that made them homeless/poor/needing assistance. It's not her fault he left or beats her, it's not his fault a machine at work malfunctioned and crushed his hand, it's not their fault if they're born with mental /genetic disorders or birth "defects". It's not the teens fault if he has a processing disorder/dyslexia/discalulia, etc. It's not his her fault they developed cancer or parkenson's disease (micheal J Fox) An able bodied successful actor, etc, suddenly can't do hardly anything for himself.

People aren't perfect robots, and they never will be, so there will always be people with these diseases/problems, unless the world turns into

7:52AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

So they'll always be poor, needing the system. Imagine if a persons disability is more severe, they got hurt on the job, have a genetic disorder, mental disorder, had an accident, just got diagnosed with cancer, they lose limbs, are blind.

Even moms (probably the number one "clients" of assistance), can't work and pay expensive childcare, rent, food for more than one, car insurance, medical care, if her child/children are disabled, specialists and meds/caretakers for them, and the list goes on.

What about the guy/older fellow, who's worked at the same place for years, and then gets layed off, or even the young man who actually takes the responsibility for his wife/mate and child. So he gets a job, then they down size, or he gets hurt at work/has an accident on the way to work, and thereby can't be the "bread winner" any more.

So are these people losers? That's why it's important to know why people need assistance and rectify that if possible. If rents were lower, then maybe people could pay a month a head, then if anything happened, then they'd at least have a roof over their head for a month, while they tried to resolve a dibilitating problem.

7:45AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

green star to Andrew c. Another thing that could help, is finding out why exactly do individual people need to be on the assistance programs. Solve those issues, and they won't need assistance anymore. I needed assistance because I had a lousy work history because I was eventually diagnosed with multiple INVISIBLE DISABILITIES. No one wants to hire someone with a memory disorder who forgets stuff, or needs more time to write a zillion notes. Because of this memory disorder, I struggled, everywhere all the time, and still do because I LOOK "NORMAL"

Now on disability, I still squeek by. Why? because the max disability assistance check a person can get, is $659. If the lowest rent for a one bedroom apartment is $400.00 or more. That leaves $259.00 for food, car, gas, bus fare, taxi, clothes, medical, electricity, etc.

If this disabled person spends just $1.00 a meal for the whole month, that $1.00x3 meals a day = $3.00 a day x 30 days = $90.00 a month. Now, can anyone actually get a MEAL for a dollar a day? No, so their food costs are much higher. Then add in all the other stuff, and in theory, one CANNOT LIVE ON $659 A MONTH ALONE.

How does this disabled person improve their station in life, if no one will hire them, because businesses want "top of the line" cabable help? I couldn't even get a job as a grocery bagger ( something I don't need to use memory to do).

So they'll always be poor, needing the system. Imagine if a persons disability is more

6:58AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

There's another way to fix this with out cutting programs or making new taxes, and that is to cap rents. Rent is lots of money to just occupy space. If that space is deemed residential, it costs more, if residential space is deemed a "bedroom", then it costs even more!

So why are they charging hundreds and thousands of $'s just to occupy space??

Section 8/hud housing subsidies reduce these enormous rents into something affordable to

the very destitute. I know, I "qualified" through "housing athority" to be able to rent a thousand dollar a month "townhome" for only a hundred $'s or whatever it was. The living room alone, was the size of a small apartment (without a kitchen or bathroom). Before that, I lived in an apartment with no bathroom for $400.00 a month. just for a huge "bedroom". that I paid for without assistance. The reason the townhome cost more is because it was bigger and had more rooms. On the other had, SECTION 8 made a new policy, that 1 parent + kids = 1 bedroom apmt. They were supposed to give at least 2 bedrooms, if the child was a boy, so males and females weren't in the same room, but because of funds shortages, they gave single parents only 1 bedroom, and ignored the "gender clause".

However, the Civil Persecution Service (CPS) still persecutes parents that don't have individual "separate gender" bedrooms. That's why they go after poor moms with no/bad credit who've taken to renting motel rooms to stay in with their kids. To CPS,

1:54AM PST on Nov 11, 2011

This article just encapsulates all that is going wrong with this country. If the pay rate was even raised slightly, I think so many less people would have to fall back on Food Stamps and other programs in Welfare, they can pay just as much in taxes and less of our taxes will be put into these programs, so that will further help us to get closer to making living wages. There may not be as many social services employees so there will be a cut in jobs slightly from that, but as we get production going more in the U.S., the jobs will quickly follow suit obviously, maybe to the point where almost everyone who can work will be have at least a part-time job?

7:47AM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

The sad thing is, Patrick- they just don't care. Period. Everything has been stripped to so far that those who have "their own" feel threatened they may also lose their patch in the middle of this economic clusterf**k. What the "business experts" attitude has trickled down to the many members of the lower classes People have been adopting an "I'm all right, Jack- I have mine so screw you," attitude for so long now, duped for years by right wing television, who feel threatened themselves that there will come a day when they will no longer have any validity in the media, and will viciously blame those who are jobless.

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