All Articles Tagged "low income families"
You may think that there are too many people on food stamps, but the government doesn’t. According to CNNMoney, about 46.4 million people are on the food stamps program also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Although that number is only a bit below January’s record high level, the report states that one in four Americans who are eligible for the program don’t participate, and the government is running an extensive campaign to change that.
“Research has shown that many people — particularly underserved seniors, working poor, and legal immigrants — do not understand the requirements of the program,” said Kevin Concannon, a USDA under secretary.
About two-thirds of the elderly and people just below the poverty line don’t participate in the food stamps program.
To encourage participation, the US Department of Agriculture has spent about $2.5-3 million has been spent on paid radio spots in California, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York metro area and Ohio. The ads have run for the past four months.
The recruitment campaign started during the Bush presidency, which raised participation by 63 percent in his eight years. President Obama’s stimulus act made qualifying for the program easier for unemployed adults with no children and increased monthly benefits by nearly 15 percent through 2013.
In 2011, the federal government spent over $75 billion on food stamps, which is about $34.6 billion more than in 2008. The increase has drawn strong criticism from fiscal conservatives and is a subject of contention between Democrats and Republicans.
But proponents view the increase as a necessity, especially for the country’s elderly citizens.
“Millions of low-income seniors struggle to afford life’s necessities like food and medicine,” Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said to CNN Money. “Enrolling in SNAP can help ease that struggle.”
(AJC) — Comcast Corporation is partnering with several metro Atlanta school districts to educate families about a new program to offer discounted Internet access to low-income students. Today at a morning press conference, Comcast executives along with Mayor Kasim Reed, Gov. Nathan Deal and other area leaders will announce the program, which will be offered to families of students who qualify for free school lunch.