16 April 2008|
Do You Qualify for Food Stamps?
It seems the government just can't wait to give away your money
By Joe Holmes
I was driving home the other day and heard a very interest radio advertisement. I may qualify for food stamps and the United States government wants to help me in this pursuit. Do I have a job? If I do, it is no problem, according to this recent radio spot. Call and talk to someone today!
Am I the only one who finds this a little absurd? It is estimated that within the year a record 28 million citizens will be on food stamps. This is nearly 1 in 10 Americans. Some states such as West Virginia and Michigan boast rates as high as one in six citizens on food stamps. The U.S. government spends roughly $3 billion dollars a month on this federal program. And where do at least some of these resources go? Towards advertising and bringing in new recipients.
According to the ad, I no longer have to hang my head in shame when using food stamps. No, I can get a check card with upwards of $500 a month for a family of four on it and I can use it discreetly. No one ever has to know that I am on food stamps, not even the checker at my local grocery store. Is there a maximum time-period that I can receive food stamps? Of course not!
Go to the United States Department of Agriculture website and they proudly advertise that the food stamp program is working. In 2005, sixty-five percent of those eligible for foods stamps participated in the program, up from just sixty-one percent in 2004 and fifty-four percent in 2001. Four consecutive years of proud growth to the United States’ food stamp program.
The Food Stamp program was designed to give struggling families access to healthy foods. But the perverse result has been that some subgroups, such as non-elderly women, are more likely to be obese as a result of extended food stamp usage. At a time where the federal government has declared war on obesity, it is quite ironic that participation in the food stamp program may actually increase unhealthy eating habits and weight gain.
Even if you are a supporter of food stamps for underprivileged children and families, can you really support taxpayer money being spent on trying to court new participants into the food stamp program? The ad was clearly targeted toward working singles…are these the people who food stamps were designed to help? With the deficit rising and our national debt skyrocketing, is this the time for the government to place television and radio ads to encourage food stamp usage and assuage fears of being stigmatized for using food stamps? At some point, we will have to address these issues and I don’t see how we can continue down this current path.