14% of Americans are on Food Stamps

Here's a statistic to go along with the unemmployment report. 14% of Americans are on food stamps with a 17% increase in one year. That's 42,389,619 people.

Idaho had a 38.8% yearly increase in food stamp use for the year. No state had a decrease.

The Wall Street Journal broke down the percentages of State populations on food stamps. By the way, the government calls this the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, which of course is nice and nondescript.

The district of Columbia has 21.7% of it's population on food stamps. Mississippi has 20.1% of it's population on food stamps. Tennessee, 20% and Oregon is 19.2%.

People are so desperate kids are coming in for school lunch, while school is out:

Even during the summer children returned to schools to take advantage of free lunch programs where they were available. Nearly 195 million lunches were dished out in August and 58.9% of them were free. Another 8.4% were available at reduced prices. That number will surge when the fall data are released because children will be back in school. Last September, for example, more than 590 million lunches were served, nearly 64% of which were free or reduced price.

Children whose families have incomes at or below 130% of the poverty level — $28,665 for a family of four — can access free meals. Those families earning between 130% and 185% of the poverty level — $40,793 for a four-person family — are eligible for reduced-price meals that can’t cost more than 40 cents.

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To get food stamps or go on Medicaid, you can't have zip

This story hardly tells the whole story. What about youngsters who are too young for school? What about states (like California) that–punitively–make people re-qualify for SNAP every 2-3 months?

What about the ridiculously low income/assets any family can have to qualify for food stamps. Do you really think you know what they are??? If not, get educated:

1) If you have $3,000 in assets of any kind for a family of four, YOU ARE TOO "WEALTHY" to collect food stamps (SNAP);

2) If you have $3,000 in assets of any kind for a family of four, YOU ARE TOO "WEALTHY" to qualify for Medicaid.

These limits apply to a family family of four whose ONLY assets at are a "beater" car many years old, but worth $3,200 on Kelley Blue book's page.

Yet... in a place like southern California, you probably need this old car to get to an interview.

Please tell me: In what world does $3,000 in total assets for a family of four make you TOO RICH???

You PRAY that your toddlers don't get sick, because you, ironically enough, don't have enough income (even if your unemployment hasn't run out) to qualify for the federal SCHIP children's health program!

So, you find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place, and lucky if you have any family at all who is willing to let you move in until you can find a real (if lower paying) job.

Yet, the luckier ones among us, cozy in your nice middle class suburban house eagerly anticipating Thanksgiving and Christmas, (even if worried about cutting back on your vacation plans or maybe selling your boat), obviously never understood what the spirit of the season was all about; or what your priest, pastor or minister meant when they spoke of grace and charity. You thought they were only talking about those poor children in invisible far flung places on other continents (who certainly do suffer).

But if they truly spoke of compassion and preached charity, then you ignored them. Your taxes? Oh, no! You definitely don't want to pay any taxes for ANYTHING (including food stamps, road/bridge/airport/dams/waterworks/power grid... construction and repair, public schools, sanitation, and even perhaps defense spending, etc.) The wealthiest among you cry like babies on these discussion boards. It is so convenient for you to blame all our problems on illegal aliens, when in fact most of us who are so desperately looking for work and trying to support our families are ordinary working people born and raised here; many of us (like my husband) are those very veterans than you so cynically give lip service to.

I first saw this article on the WSJ site, but because I could NOT afford a subsciption to it, was unable to comment; yet I wanted to add my 2 cents! So thank you...

sharpmama poverty rates, you are right

I've written about that many times on this site, but not recently. The official poverty rates are so low, you cannot afford a cardboard box to live in.

On the top, you'll see a breakdown of wages with 16% of working people earning $5000 or less per year in this country.

So, even with these high of numbers for food stamps, the reality is America is poor in the majority.

On accounts: You can register here and bypass moderation to comment.

On WSJ: actually you can register for free with them too and comment on their "free" articles, but many are not "free", their business model is mixed with a lot of "subscription only" content, so some things you can comment on, others not.

We're free though, although anyone who wants to give us a donation to keep the site going, that's useful, but don't do it if you are broke.

Cars do NOT count as resource in Calioria

Cars do not count as resource in California. The are excempt since 2004. So you can have a car in southern California and still get foodstamps. Read the rules. Than give your comments!!

You are right. Cars do not

You are right. Cars do not count. It is my son and his wife who are going through this; they have two very young children.

I got a bit confused, since they have also been trying unsuccessfully to get the children (and hopefully my daughter in law) on Medi-Cal, (their insurance ran out last spring); they have been told that they have "too much money" to qualify. (As a veteran, my son is now covered by the VA, but they do not cover family members.) They DO include a second car in one's assets, maybe both. One car is a 1983 model that runs, but frequently breaks down; the other is a 2003 sedan with 110,000 that is worth about $3,500-4,000; they just spent $800 on repairs for it. They have $2,000 in the bank; his UI runs out in 2 months.

My husband and I cannot help them with rent any longer, so I imagine that they will soon be forced to give up their apartment and will qualify for both. However, if they are forced to move in with us, I worry that they won't qualify if they then count us.

I am lucky enough to live in

I am lucky enough to live in the Netherlands. So healthcare is cheap and available to everybody. And we don't have foodstamps as there is always a minimum level of suport available for everybody. I know, this is pure socialism and has many disadvantages, like misuse and people not working for long times. But on the other hand, in the Netherlands children do not have to be afraid that they have to live on the streets. And that is worth something.
Now we are lucky enough toe be able to live quit comfortable, my wife is a succesfull consultant and I make my money on the stock market. So we knwow what capitalism is. But I still like the socialism in our country. What I find difficult to understand is why socialism is such a dirty word in the US. Never understood that. With so many people so poor, with so many people not covered against illness, where is the uproar? Where is the revolution?
I mean this in a respectfull way. I honestly find it difficult to understand.

Socialism is a Dirty Word

The reason Socialism is such a dirty word in the United States is because Socialism is a "spread the wealth" system. In a decent world economy, socialism works ok, but let the world economy break down and suddenly you lose everything you manufacture to the government and get no pay for it while even if you DO get at least some recognition for your hard work in the form of ration easements, there are no products to ration, there's just not enough to go around. This was proven many times during the life of the U.S.S.R. Even worse is Barack Obama and the cronies pulling his strings that are trying to force the world to the SAME GOVERNMENT MODEL THAT GERMANY USED PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II, the nationalist agenda. This too was socialism but, according to history, the Jewish people were so good at business until there was no more wealth in the country, they had earned it all and would not spend it back into the circle of wealth. This is what sparked Germany into their conquest phase. Unfortunately, when this new attempt at world government fails, there will be no other worlds to invade.

me thinks you need to do your homework

Firstly on what planet did you get the metric that those of Jewish ethnicity after WWI in Germany "had all of the money and wouldn't get it back"? That's just some serious fiction. Read your history!

Secondly, the USSR is not socialist, it was a totalitarian state that was communism. The two are not the same.

People stop listening to some whatever it is, go to the library and crack a book on pre-war Germany.

You're also nuts if you think that's what Obama is doing. His track record to date is he is doing what the corporate lobbyists want him to do for the most part, same as Bush.

You want to know how one reason Hitler came to power? Ignorance of the people. Another was their economy collapsed and it had everything to do with the treaty of Versailles, where the war repayments broke their economy as well as economic mismanagement. Jews were a scapegoat, like they have been throughout history, they did not cause these things are "have all of the money".