From Townhall Magazine's EXCLUSIVE November feature "Stamp-ede!":
Food stamp enrollment swelled to a new high in 2010, surpassing the 40 million mark for the first time in March 2010. That number climbed steadily to 45,183,931 (1 in 7 Americans) in June 2011. The average recipient receives $133 per month, totaling $5.5 billion in government spending each month.
This surge can be attributed to ramped up marketing efforts on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the agency which administers SNAP benefits), including looser eligibility requirements and outreach to large populations. The Department of Agriculture and the White House say it is meant for the poorest of the poor, but there is a deeper story beneath those talking points. Government officials also want to use food stamps to influence products that food vendors sell and what private citizens can buy at the grocery store.
SNAP is ostensibly about feeding the poor. But the Department of Agriculture's aggressive marketing, combined with ever-loosening eligibility requirements, is changing what that means. ...
Read more of Helen Whalen-Cohen's report in the November issue of Townhall Magazine, including:
- -- why the SNAP program swelled to such large numbers
- -- how the Obama administration is using SNAP to influence your diet