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One in Seven Americans Rely on Food Stamps

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 10:33 AM

About one in seven Americans uses food stamps for groceries, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The government reports that 14.3 percent of Americans were using food stamps in February, about the same rate it has been for months, which may signify demand for such assistance is tapering off, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Mississippi and Oregon accounted for the largest share of the population using food stamps in February: at least one in five residents in those two states were receiving benefits.

Wyoming had the lowest rate at 6.6 percent.

foodstamp200gtyy.jpg
A Federal food stamps card that is used to buy food.
(Getty Images photo)
Food stamps have gained the spotlight amid congressional proposals to cut deficits.

House Republicans have proposed overhauling the $65 billion food stamp program — known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — by replacing it with capped block grants to states, the Associated Press reports.

The new program would pay for aid but make it contingent on work or job training.

"America's safety net does not become a hammock that lulls able-bodied citizens into lives of complacency and dependency," says Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., according to the Associated Press.

The overhaul forms part of the Republicans' proposal to slash over $6 trillion from government deficits in the coming years.

Some Democrats criticize the plan, pointing out the overhaul will ultimately lead to the program's dismantling.

"Budgets are moral documents. They reflect our values," says Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

"There is a very real risk that we could lose some of these programs that provide a circle of protection to people who are poor."

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About one in seven Americans uses food stamps for groceries, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The government reports that 14.3 percent of Americans were using food stamps in February, about the same rate it has been for months, which may signify demand for...
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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 10:33 AM
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