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Food stamps and the working people who need them

Food stamps and the working people who need them

From the folks at Need to Know at

More than 46 million Americans — one in seven of us — gets help from the federal government to feed ourselves and our families. If you’re surprised at how many Americans receive help in buying food, you may be even more surprised who they are. As it turns out, millions of Americans with jobs also need the help.

Watch Portraits of Hunger on PBS. See more from Need to Know.

Hat tip: Episcopal Public Policy Network


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Josh Magda

Employment status has nothing to do with a human being’s right to the stuff of life. (Even as) in a capitalist economy there will always be wild job and market fluctuation. And the current amount offered by food stamps for an individual is pitiful.

America produces nearly 4000 calories a day, which is more than twice what most of us need. That nearly one in five of us go hungry is a grave and terrible sin (remembering gluttony to be one of the big seven).

A Super Big Kyrie Eleison

John B. Chilton

Replace food stamps with cash transfers, please. It honors the recipient’s judgment and autonomy. And it’s less wasteful.

Daniel Robayo

Most of the people on food stamps are white, working, and poor. One of the big political myths about food stamps is that African-Americans and Latinos (you know, those people who come here to abuse our system) make up most if not all of the population receiving food stamps.

Daniel D. Robayo


One of my goddaughters is working this year for AmeriCorps in Rochester, NY. She is serving her country and serving teen-agers in need. AND she is on food stamps. Because we don’t pay our AmeriCorps volunteers enough to buy food.

The vast majority of those receiving help receive it because they can’t make it on their own, even with jobs.

Lauren Stanley



Volunteering at various food distribution programs has been a real eye-opener for me, even though I already work at an organization that serves those in need. Both the rapidly rising tide of need and just how demanding the work is are painful reminders of how every difficult life can be here in one of the world’s wealthiest nations. One of our great failings as a society, too, is in creating a myth of those in need as “not trying hard enough.” Every day I see people who are trying very, very hard who are just not making it.

Eric Bonetti

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