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25% of American children fed by food stamps

December 17, 2009

According to a report published in the New York Times, 1 in 8 Americans are fed by food stamps, and 1 in 4 children are fed by food stamps.  More than 36 million people in America use food stamps.

What used to be associated with the most destitute has become a way of dealing with the current economic crisis even for the middle class.  Have you had to use food stamps? I have.  It’s no picnic to get qualified, but even with that, there is still a stigma attached, no matter what the NY Times says.

Supposedly Costco now accepts food stamps. I think it would be interesting to see how that works out, because the real issue is that food is very expensive.  Food stamps have changed in rates even as the cost of living has gone up with inflation, so being able to shop in bulk at places like Costco might help.

I have friends who are on food stamps, and it doesn’t amount to much: $300 for a family of 3, which may sound like a lot, but with butter and milk at $4 per pound and gallon, one week’s groceries can be eclipsed in a matter of one trip.  Head lettuce now sells around here for $1.29 each, and staples like cheese cost $3.29 for a small block.  Even bread is $3.00 a loaf here at Michigan chains like Meijer.

Still, when food stamps help, who is to say that they would take them away from feeding our nation’s children?  Well, years ago the Republicans want to.  Apparently now this system  feeds 25% of this nation’s children.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. PhilosopherP permalink
    December 18, 2009 2:13 am

    It would really help if Costco gave free memberships to folks who qualify for food stamps. When I buy milk at Costco it’s never more than $2.00/gallon. Enough butter and sliced cheese to last months is about $7.00. A small case of mac and cheese is about $7.00.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      December 21, 2009 2:28 pm

      I agree. If one is on food stamps, it’s hard to buy the Costco memberships. My partner said he was going to check with the DNR to see if he could get a free fishing license. It’s all well and good to save money at Costco, but paying the membership fee is beyond most peoples’ budgets. The fishing license, by the way, in Michigan is only $15.

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