Record 1 in 5 Americans Now Needs Food Stamps


A new U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows that the number of Americans now reliant on the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to stave off hunger has skyrocketed to 45.8 million in May of this year.  That’s up a whopping 34% from May 2009.

Advocates for low-income families worry how those 1 in 5 Americans enrolled in SNAP programs will fare if the impending trillion plus dollar federal budget cuts impact SNAP. With 20% of U.S. households receiving food assistance, any administration cuts to farm programs such as SNAP could spell disaster for child and family nutrition, since may households are existing on just $1 per meal per person each day, even with the SNAP program. Also alarming are the congressional and presidential candidates who propose cutting government involvement in  food security programs at this time of record hunger and need.

From ABC News:

The Republicans’ 2012 budget plan proposes changing SNAP from an entitlement to a block-grant program that would be tailored for each individual state, much like their proposal for Medicaid. States would no longer receive open-ended subsidies and the aid would be contingent on work or job training. It would also limit funding for the program. The president’s 2012 budget, however, goes in a completely opposite direction. It aims to make requirements less stringent by temporarily suspending for one year the time limit for certain age groups without dependents. The president also suggested restoring benefit cuts that were included in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill last year.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Ruth R.
Ruth R.5 years ago

If each person who is willing grows food on their counter or indoors, and/or in their gardens, then there is more stability in the individual people and the neighborhoods. Organic Seeds and Organic soil and bio-degradable containers might be given from food banks, health clinics, churches.
Then, people who are willing need to create food pantries by drying and canning the food that they grow, after they have eaten it.

Don Isaksen
Don I.5 years ago

@William Y,
I know there are not a lot of job availabe now. I'm not talking about finding a job at a business necessarily. What I meant is the gov't agency they're receiving food stamps and other benefits from should put every able bodied person to work doing jobs that would benefit or help communities or gov't.

Jobs like cleaning roadsides of trash, collecting trash and cleaning rest areas or parks, filing paperwork at gov't offices, providing child care for people receiving benefits that have children, but need to work for their benefits, and a host of other jobs that may or may not be pretty meanial and unskilled, but necessary. Those people would earn their benefits by working enough hour at minimum wage until they had earned money to offset the cost of the benefits they received.

It would be a huge benefit to the tax payers, the community, and the gov't by doing so.

William Y.
William Y.5 years ago

@ Don I. If these people could find gainful employment, they wouldn't need the food stamps or other social benefits. THere are more people looking for jobs, than there are jobs.

Don Isaksen
Don I.5 years ago

@ William Y,
Is the reason you and other liberals want to increase the wealthy peoples tax burden because it's would be no skin off your hide? The old "Tax others, but not me" syndrome?

As I've wrote before, increasing the tax rates will NOT guarantee more income tax revenue to the government. Apparently it's too hard for liberals to understand that tax deductions and loopholes that allow people/businesses to lower their tax burdens would be used to keep their tax burden at about the same level as it is now.

The only real way to guarantee increased income tax revenue to the government is to get rid of deductions and loopholes in the tax codes that allow tax burdens to be lowered so much. Increasing the financial investments, and capitol gains taxes a couple % would also help some. That's the trick Warren Buffett uses to cut his tax burden tow that 15-17.5% level he claims he pays.

Don Isaksen
Don I.5 years ago

@SirWalk F,
And the immediate impact on the economy is what? They're more of a drain on the government than they are a help for the economy. Please give us a few examples of economists that espouse food stamps and other forms of social welfare as a preferred form of economic stimulus. Although those programs badly need to be changed to remain viable in the future, there is no chance of them going away.

What's wrong with making the people receiving food stamps and other social benefits (not including Social Security and Medicare) work to earn those benefits. It would be a win-win situation for the government.

J C Bro
J C Brou5 years ago

and three in five are about to hit the food pantries soon!

Deborah L.
Deborah Lashever5 years ago

It really seems like the GOP is doing everything in it's power to start a revolution in the U.S.! For what are people going to do when their children are starving? Just lie down and take it? A little history lesson about, for example, the French Revolution might make the situation more clear. The situations are becomming increasingly similar......the government does not care about the population and will not listen to the people and the people are getting poorer and poorer and are hungry more and more often. What do they expect will happen when it reaches the tipping point?

I think maybe the GOP thinks they'll just be Raptured away and won't have to deal with it. I see no other explanation for their "Christian" callousness and their totally uncharitable behavior. I guess they don't remember that only the pure at heart are supposed to be Raptured....

Deborah L.
Deborah Lashever5 years ago

Yup, do everything you can possibly do to protect the unborn children and then when they are born it's okay to let them suffer and die of starvation, right, GOP? Disgusting!

(GOP=Greedy Old Party....nothing "Grand" about it anymore....)

Lynda H.
Lynda Harrison5 years ago

To Grace A., you say the Tea Party want to elect a RePUBICan to the office of the Presidency the next time around . . . er! I thought they already had that in the current holder of that position!!!

Sir Walk F.
Sir Walk F.5 years ago

What the faux-conservatives fail to acknowledge is that food stamps and other forms of social welfare have an immediate impact on the economy. Any economist can tell you it is a preferred form of economic stimulus. Removing these programs will only further cripple the economy. Which is what they want to do and will do.