Photo: Clementine Gallot (flickr)
Americans relying on food stamps has risen 74 percent since 2007, Reuters reports.
Food Assistance Has Become Income Assistance
Unlike 20 years ago, many using government assistance have some form of income.
Job growth since the recession started has been slow, and mostly in the form of lower income wages.
Even as more people rely on food stamps, one in three could be eligible for assistance.
About 15 percent of the population uses the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP, commonly still referred to as food stamps.
Until recently, food assistance benefits were largely bipartisan and immune to cuts. The growth in usage combined with the debt crisis has some Republicans calling for a cap on SNAP.
House Republicans have called for a “block grant” instead of the current system that allows for emergency growth in the program.
Increase In Children’s Poverty
As food assistance is needed, more children are considered impoverished.
Based on data collected by Kids Count, there has been an 18 percent increase in children living in poverty between 2000 and 2009. Connecticut, Texas, Michigan and Alabama are just a few states bringing attention to the alarming trend.
Mississippi has the largest percentage of children living in poverty, at 31 percent, with Alabama and several other states following at 25 percent.
- Country wrestles with spike in food stamp use (MSNBC)