Thursday, April 02, 2009

One in Ten Americans On Food Stamps

The debate between this fiscal crisis being a recession and a depression has been increasing as do the length of the rolls displaying the recently unemployed. Nobody wants the economy to be in bad shape, but acknowledging the extent of the damage is the first step in dealing with it. For the unrealistic optimists still out there, take heed of this sobering fact, one in ten Americans are now on food stamps. Yes, one in ten.

From Yahoo News:

A record 32.2 million people -- one in every 10 Americans -- received food stamps at latest count, the government said on Thursday, a reflection of the recession now in its 16th month.

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.[...]

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.

Here in New York, a figure of 2.211 million means that even more than one in ten residents receives food stamps. Those numbers only reflect the people that actually go out and seek assistance. Thousands, if not millions more across the nation make much tougher decisions, such as going hungry because they have to pay rent or for overly-expensive prescriptions.

Imagine now if the GOP would have gone through with their attempt to eliminate the food stamp program. It is good to know Obama won't let that happen on his watch.