Sad: More Americans Than Ever Use Food Stamps for Thanksgiving

Kate Hicks

11/20/2012 6:49:00 PM - Kate Hicks

Just another one of the myriad blessings many of us can be grateful for this Thursday: a Thanksgiving turkey. A new study from the Sunlight Foundation indicates that, thanks to economic hardship, more Americans than ever will be forced to set their Thanksgiving tables using food stamps -- hardly a budget that allows for an opulant feast on a day centered around dinner.

The Food Stamp Challenge, which challenges higher-income families to live as if they are on food stamps, estimates that a person on food stamps has a budget of about $1.25 per meal. In other words, a family on food stamps must buy an entire meal per person for less than the cost of an average cup of coffee.

This Thanksgiving, 42.2 million Americans will be on food stamps, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This is roughly the size of the populations of California and Connecticut combined.

Not surprisingly, feeding millions of Americans isn't cheap. The cost of the SNAP program last year reached $72 billion, the highest to date, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Although the election -- and subsequently, the rhetorical reminders of economic hardship -- are both over, these figures remind us that the reality is, many of our fellow Americans are still hurting. It's worth saying a prayer for those who are struggling, and certainly a reminder not to take a single bite for granted.