Wikinvest Wire

One in ten Americans receives food stamps?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wow, where do you go from here? Fifteen percent?

The Associated Press reports that more than 32 million Americans now sheepishly pull food stamps out of their purse or wallet in the checkout line and the bad news is that things are likely to get worse from here.

Given that labor markets are a lagging indicator, likely to get much worse before any net job creation begins, the number of food stamp recipients may go much higher this year.

Food stamps are the major U.S. antihunger program and help poor people buy groceries. The average benefit was $112.82 per person in January.

The January figure marks the third time in five months that enrollment set a record.

"A weakened economy means that many more individuals are turning to SNAP/Food Stamps," said the Food Research and Action Center, an antihunger group, using the acronym for the renamed food stamp program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Well, if the government can't do anything about the underlying causes of families not being able to put food on the table, at least they have a new "snappy" acronym.

Tomorrow's labor report is likely to provide a pretty good indication of whether they'll have to add another shift for the food stamp printing presses. If economic reports so far this week are any indication - new highs for weekly jobless claims and new lows for the ADP employment report - they might want to start placing some help wanted ads.
Food stamp enrollment rose in all but four of the 50 states during January, said Agriculture Department figures. Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota had increases of more than 5 percent. Texas had the largest enrollment, 2.984 million, down 65,000, followed by California at 2.545 million, up 43,000, and New York with 2.211 million, up 37,000.
IMAGE Food stamp benefits get a temporary 13 percent increase, beginning with this month, under the economic stimulus law signed by President Barack Obama. The increase equals $80 a month for a household of four.
If those statistics and my math are both correct, benefits for a family of four go from a little over $600 a month to almost $700 a month.

You can actually buy a lot of groceries for that amount of money, particularly the high-calorie, processed variety.


Pool Shark said...

Not to sound flipant, but we do indeed have the wealthiest poor in the world.

At least in California, those who choose (yes, for many of them, it is a choice) to live just above the substistence level, can actually be relatively comfortable and have considerable spare time.

(Worked indirectly with DHS for over four years... the average taxpayer wouldn't believe the scope of 'programs' available for those who 'opt out' of employment, and choose to live off the government teat instead...)

Shawn said...

Where do I sign up. I have family of 6 and make 6 figures and don't spend that much.

Anonymous said...

If you have less then $2,000 in assets, then you can get gov health care. I would not say that makes them the wealthiest poor in the world. I looked into it, with a paid off house and no job I could not make it. What am I missing, what are your secret programs?????

Imee said...

I'm not as cynical about the situation.. I mean sure, so many people are now on food stamps and other government programs, but people shouldn't have to rely on them fully. As a safety net, why not?


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