Entries tagged with “Food Stamp Program”.

1 in 10 American’s were hungry or on the verge of hunger in 2006. This comes alongside other bad news from America’s Second Harvest (national food-bank network and the largest hunger-relief charity).  Second Harvest is also reporting that their 200+ food banks are at “critical shortages.”

There simply may be no food for many families when the rest of the nation gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving and religious holidays,” said Vicki Escarra, president of Second Harvest.

According to the Christian Science Monitor Second Harvest is reporting two major causes for this decline in food available through their network:

  • Higher Costs – oil prices are hurting both food banks and individuals.  It costs more for the banks to transport the food which results in their dollars not going as far.  With individuals facing rising heating bills, housing costs, and health insurance they have less money available to purchase food. Food Stamps are also declining in value due to inflation.
  • Less Surplus Food – A strong agricultural economy means the federal government has less need to buy up surplus products, and less surplus to pass on to food banks. The government’s support for food banks is down 70 percent over the past three years (as measured by its dollar value).

Second Harvest is trying to help eradicate hunger throughout the year through advocacy, food banks, education, and more.  This year they are trying to provide a Thanksgiving feast for 23 million people (which is actually 10 million less than the 33 million food insecure).

It is sad that there is so much need in the US.  But it also a growing trend, that we are falling behind in supporting our fellow citizens.  I’m not advocating for socialism, but our government needs to take a look at its policies and how they negatively impact millions of people while only benefiting a small group.

Other hunger related resources can be found at the ELCA World Hunger Calendar, which provides 40 days of short readings that make you think and act on hunger issues.  This is an interesting journal article entitled Fat Christians in an Age of Hunger?

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Is it possible to live off $21 a week for food? This is what the average American on food stamps receives in food aid via food stamps.  This means about 25 million Americans have around $21 a week per person to purchase all of their groceries.  While $35 million struggle to put food on the table. We try to live frugally, but that’s almost impossible.


Recently this idea has become popular with political figures of all stripes and at all levels of government.  4 Congressman, a Governor, City Councilman and others have all attempted to live on a food stamp budget for at least one week.  Someone has even tried to do so while eating organically!  So far all have succeeded in making their food budgets stay within the guidelines (I know for sure that the Congressman aren’t allowed to eat free food at various political functions either!).

It has been interesting to read their blogs and the stories it has generated as the Farm Bill, which includes Food Stamp legislation is coming up for reauthorization this July.

CNN did a story (see You Tube below).  I found it interesting that the USDA (who administers Food Stamps) [why does the agricultural department administer food stamps?] recommends Food Stamps as a supplement to other food purchases.  Rep. Ryan’s remarks are excellent.  They were originally designed to be a supplement, but with cost of living, especially gas prices, continuing to rise, without a significant rise in income for the bottom tier of workers, food stamps are the primary source of income for food purchases.

Here is a quick compilation of some of the links to their blogs and stories.

Good Blog Article

Rep. McGovern of MA

Rep. Ryan of Ohio

Organic Foods on a Budget

Washington Post Article

Also on You Tube:

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