Reuters: “Foodstamps USA-foodstamps tops 34 million…”

August 6th, 2009 by admin Leave a reply »

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.

Connie Baum

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5 comments

  1. Connie, I really don’t think there is any good answer. It use to be people neighbored and helped each other instead of having to depend on the government. Now everyone wants a government handout that they sit and wait for the next governement windfall like the $80 you spoke of instead of going out and seeing if they can help someone to earn some money or to be a good neighbor or what about how to make something happen. We have lost our intiative.
    Your classes are an awesome idea because it will open up the opportunity for more people to learn that there ways to help oneself and to help others along the way. Ways to make a meal without breaking the bank.
    I guess I tooted my horn I’m sorry.
    I know I am hoping to make your class on Sept. 19 if all goes well.

  2. Oh, Renita!
    This is the place to bring your soap box, stand on it, and tell the world what’s REALLY goin’ on!
    Maybe our little Cooking Class will help people reach out to one another again.
    This is a good time to mention that as we went for our morning walk a man had lost part of his plum tree in the recent storm. He invited us to come and share the bounty of his trees, even in his misfortune. THAT IS NEIGHBORLINESS PERSONIFIED! What a shining example he is.
    Thanks for stopping by. Remember to RSVP; there are only 10 spots for THAT class!
    Hugs
    Mother Connie

  3. WritewhereUr says:

    You know Connie:

    I heard through the grapevine that even many of our military men and women, in the service to their country, have to get food stamps just to make ends meet for their families. What in the world are people to do when they can’t even afford to feed themselves, when jobs are scarce and those with jobs don’t know from week to week whether they will still have one in the future?

    It is going to take some creative American thinking and problem solving. Thank goodness you are offering up some great money stretching tips for folks. We appreciate all that you are trying to do by sharing and caring! Keep on keeping on!

    http://www.twitter.com/WritewhereUr/
    http://www.writewhereyouareblog.com/

  4. Rainy,
    Is this heart wrenching or WHAT? Here we have men and women who are protecting our freedoms, risking their very lives, and we expect them to exist on a pittance!
    When I started the Food Stamps Cooking Club I had no idea it would be such a passion to help so many segments of society!
    There are many more talented cooks; bloggers all over the world are more creative than I. But hardly anyone has the passion to teach people about good food and good health the way I do. This must be what God has in mind for my life because it seems to be unfolding in an astonishing manner.
    Thank you SO MUCH for your support, Rainy.
    Hugs,
    Mother Connie

  5. John says:

    Connie,

    It used to be hardship cases, but now it is widespread. I was listening to the Omaha Food Pantry representative one Saturday morning on a talk show. They were talking about the number of children in school who receive free lunches and the number of those whom they send home food for their brothers and sisters. The amount per person is also surprising to me. One does not realize how people right among us have this problem. Yes, it used to be such a small number, and how it has grown with the unemployment and increased food costs. Very interesting and scary.

    Thank You

    John