Sunday, August 7, 2011

More Americans live on food stamps

US food stamps (stock photo)

Source: Press TV

Poverty-stricken American families are using more government-assisted food stamps than ever before, which could lead to an increase in homelessness.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), reports that a record 46 million Americans need government assistance to afford to buy food.

“We have every reason to believe that the economic situation isn't getting better; correspondingly, it's unlikely that the number of folks receiving food assistance won't go down at all,” said Jeremy Rosen, Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

He added that “if anything, I think we can expect it to continue rising.”

A weak US economy and continued high unemployment has contributed to the growth of the food stamp program, with experts saying that cuts in the food stamp program will lead to an increase in homelessness.

“It's entirely likely that people are not going to stop feeding their families; so if they can't get food assistance from the government, they'll have to use more of their limited funds for that and they may not likely have enough for housing,” Rosen said.

In 2007, 27 million people were on food stamps; a year later, 31 million. In 2009, 37 million, and in October 2010, 43 million required food stamps.

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