One in seven Americans now on food stamps
Saturday, May 07, 2011
new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that about one in seven Americans receives food stamps. Although the percentage of food stamp users seems to have increased in February of this year, 14.3 percent of the population still needs assistance in order to put dinner on the table. While a recovering economy might be the reason for this increase, the USDA’s research does not take into account seasonal changes that might affect the rise or fall of food stamp user statistics.
Not only does this astonishing report point to increased reliance on state and federal assistance, but it also confirms that problems surrounding the nutritional content and availability of healthy foods for food stamp recipients remain unsolved. For many struggling individuals and families, healthy food options are the most expensive options. Buying a variety of vegetables in order to make a casserole, for example, costs considerably more than frozen lasagna. Families are forced to buy processed, packaged foods in order to stretch a dollar. Additionally, the program does not cover nutritional supplements that are necessary for children – and adults – who aren’t getting daily recommended values of nutrients and vitamins from the unhealthy foods they must subsist on.