For children who live in extremely poor households, food stamps are the one program with direct benefits. Huffington Post reported on how SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) has reduced the number of extremely poor children by almost 50 percent in 2011, according to a newly released study by the National Poverty Center. The study comes at a time when concerns are high about the program with many foreseeing budget cuts and changing asset limits as ways to limit the families who are receiving this necessary aid during current economic crises.
As income, the study reveals that SNAP provides households with $2 a day before other government aid. This number is actually the World Banks limit for being extremely poor. The number dropped from 2.8 million to 1.4 of extremely poor children, according to the NPC study. The number of extremely poor households also saw a definitive drop, falling to about 800,000 from 1.46 million.
Americans are trying to find work and that search is proving incredibly difficult for many. Those who do receive food stamps are left to scrounge every cent and look for ways to cut down on prices as best they can. In 2011, more Americans claimed that the struggle for food was the hardest than any other year since the economic meltdown, coming from a report by the Food Research and Action Center in February. One in five also told Gallup this February that not everyone in their families were getting three square meals a day.
Fraud allegations are plaguing the food stamp programs across the country. There are also bills currently circulating that would seek to limit what people can buy with food stamps. There are also amendments being made to change asset limits so that people must be even poorer to receive any kind of aid. The election year has also seen some incredibly offensive remarks from Newt Gingrich as well as Minnesota State Representative Mary Franson who compared food stamp recipients to wild animals.
However, the study proves that this program is beneficial to the nation’s neediest, and it means that many families don’t have to go hungry. With greater 14 million Americans enlisted in the program since the economic crisis, it’s no wonder that there is such an outcry to continue programs that are helping today’s families living at or below poverty level.
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