SNAP/Food Stamp Use Continues to Rise in Spite of Recession's "End"
(What follows is a summary of an article that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, October 26, 2010. To read the entire article, click here.)
Record numbers of Americans now receive SNAP/Food Stamps, more than a year after the recession has been officially deemed over. Job layoffs and reduced family incomes have driven more and more households to apply for the benefit, while the economic recovery act made more Americans eligible through expanded access and eased requirements.
While the recession may have "ended," "all it means is that the decline in GDP [gross domestic product] stopped, but there's very little evidence that the loss of jobs and wages has stopped," said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center.
The SNAP/Food Stamp Program, notes Weill, is "relatively invisible, that's a great strength of the program," as recipients use EBT cards which helps remove the stigma of being on the program. Weill said he's watched SNAP/Food Stamp participation skyrocket in the past few years and expects more and more Americans to sign up for the program in the coming months. Almost 42 million a month in the U.S. now receive SNAP/Food Stamps, up from 26.3 million in 2007, and it's projected that 43.3 million per month will be enrolled in 2011.