Belt Tightening

Food Stamps Gaining Popularity

With many Americans still struggling with the biggest recession in recent memory, the number of people on Food Stamps has hit record highs and continues to increase, with around 20,000 new recipients every day. More than 36 million are currently enrolled in the program, which received a makeover during the Bush administration and was labeled “nutritional aid” instead of welfare. “This is the most urgent time for our feeding programs in our lifetime, with the exception of the Depression,” said an undersecretary of Agriculture. “It’s time for us to face up to the fact that in this country of plenty, there are hungry people.” Use has expanded equally across urban, rural, and suburban areas, and has grown as much in traditionally high-need areas as ones where Food Stamps were rare. The program still faces some opposition but the stigma seems to be wearing off. “I always thought people on public assistance were lazy, but it helps me know I can feed my kids,” said one new recipient.