We're all feeling the sting of skyrocketing grocery bills — but families living at or below the poverty line are seeing their food stamps purchase less and less — and they're going hungry.
We're all feeling the sting of skyrocketing grocery bills — but families living at or below the poverty line are seeing their food stamps purchase less and less — and they're going hungry. About 1.3 million New Yorkers identify themselves as “food insecure,” concerned about their ability to keep themselves and their families adequately fed.
In the past year the price of what the government recommends as the minimal nutritional diet has risen 7.2 percent, with the prices of particular staples rising even more. Eggs alone have gone up 20 percent.
Food stamp allocations on the other hand, haven't changed since last fall — and won’t increase again until October.
The decrease in buying power of food stamps has been recognized in Washington — Congress passed a farm bill in May that would raise raise the minimum amount of food stamps families receive beginning this fall, passing despite President Bush’s veto.
The director of food assistance for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says of the difference between food stamps and cost of food, “we know food stamps are falling short $34 a month [of the monthly $576 that the government says it costs a family of four to eat nutritional meals.] The sudden price increases on top of everything else like soaring fuel and health care have meant squeeze and strain that is unprecedented since the late 1970s.”
To see how the amount spent on food compares to that spent in Iraq, read more