Do Food Stamps Make America Stronger?

Before Obama took office, there were just over 31 million people on food stamps. Today, that number has grown by nearly 50%. And according to a CNBC report filed last summer, 15% of the households in the country were relying on SNAP.

But on February 8 of this year, the government reported that 47.7 million Americans were were now receiving food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). America has more people on food stamps than Canada has citizens.

That’s amazing, isn’t it?  Thank you Obama for making us dependent on you.

To give an example on how big 47.7 million is, consider that represents a fairly large country, larger than Argentina, Poland, Canada, and a few others.  And according to the USDA, food stamps make us stronger.

But is this the truth?  The Obama administration has been selling Food Stamps as a benefit to the overall economy as well as to the people receiving the assistance. Posted on the USDA website is the following:

Every $5 in new food stamp benefits generates almost twice as much ($9.20) in total community spending

If the national participation rate rose just 5 percent, 1.9 million more low-income people would be able to spend an additional $1.3 billion on healthy food. This would generate $2.5 billion in new economic activity nationwide.

The Blaze

In the fiscal year of 2009, the average amount of SNAP money per household was $272.  These benefits, funded by Federal dollars, create business when they are redeemed at your local food retailers. Eighty-six percent of benefits, totaling $25 billion, were redeemed at the nation’s 35,000 supermarkets. The remaining benefits, totaling $3.6 billion, contribute to the viability of 121,000 other firms which include grocery stores, convenience stores, combination stores, farmer’s markets, and other retail food stores; plus wholesalers and meal services.

Then the Weekly Standard last summer discovered that the Obama Administration was pushing to make the entitlement program permanent.  In fact, the Administration was encouraging people to “sign up.”

However, the current administration is not the only one to blame. The federal government has been encouraging people to partake in this program for some time now. In fact, it predates the Obama presidency.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:
In fiscal year 2006, FNS awarded more than $1 million to 15 faith- and community-based organizations to conduct food stamp outreach. In FY 2007, FNS awarded an additional $1 million to another 14 organizations.

In 2006, FNS awarded a total of $5 million to five States through the program to help increase access. The FSP also awarded $18 million to States for improving access and increasing program participation through performance bonuses.

Three outreach tool kits designed for State and local food stamp offices, faith- and community-based partners, and retailers are available on the FNS website.

The Blaze

WHO THE FEDS ARE TARGETING FOR THE PROGRAM:

GENERAL LOW-INCOME Eligible, nonparticipating individuals and families

WORKING POOR Employed individuals and families who may not understand that even though they work, they still might qualify

NEWLY UNEMPLOYED Recently unemployed individuals who may be in a financial crisis for the first time in their lives, and unaware of resources and assistance available to them

ELDERLY People 60 years old or older who may have misunderstandings about the process and potential benefits

LEGAL IMMIGRANTS* Immigrants may misunderstand eligibility requirements related to citizenship. *Recent immigrants who are in various stages of their U.S. citizenship process could benefit from this educational effort. You may want to connect with local SNAP eligibility workers in your community to identify other distinct groups to target. Some FNS outreach materials are available in 35 languages and can be downloaded from the FNS Web site.

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