We are not alone.
According to Reuters, there are 34 MILLION Americans who are using food stamps!
My understanding of the matter is that this astronomical number does not include those who use food commodities, food pantries or any of the other helpful agencies who help people put food on their tables. Another example of such an entity would be Angel Food Ministries. This number also does not include those who qualify for Farmers Market Coupons!
Good grief! Maybe I should schedule more cooking classes? 34 MILLION indicates a lot of need!
The Reuters article states that enrollment in the SNAP program surged by 2% for a record 34.4 million people. These figures indicate that ONE in NINE Americans need help with getting food!
May was the 6th month in a row that set a record. EVERY STATE recorded a gain in participation from April. Florida had the largest increase. SIDEBAR: Incidentally, I am told privately that workers who process the applications for those in need are losing their jobs! END SIDEBAR. Enrollment, according to the Reuters piece correlates to the highest unemployment rate in 26 years: 9.5% is what is reported. There are those who feel the percentage is much higher.
Furthermore, Reuters reports that the AVERAGE benefit paid out in May was $133.65 PER PERSON. The economic stimulus package included a TEMPORARY increase in food stamp benefits of $80.00 per month for a family of four!
Did you READ that? $133.65 for a family of four + $80.00 = $213.65!
Not only should I schedule more classes but I must also increase the class size. That’s a LOT of need to address.
What are the answers? More community gardens? More education? More jobs? I would very much appreciate your thoughts on the matter. You are more than welcome to leave your comment on this page.
Let’s all work together to help one another and ease all our burdens, shall we? I want to give you the name of a blog that will hit your hot button. I’ve been following it for awhile and it is presented with great sensitivity. It is all about surviving despite food stamps.