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NAS Demands More Spending On Food Stamps

From an unquestioning Reuters:

Report questions food stamp program’s effectiveness

By Lisa Lambert and Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON | Thu Jan 17, 2013

(Reuters) – A report by a panel of experts released on Thursday questioned whether the federal government’s food stamp program adequately provides for healthy diets for the more than 47 million low-income people who rely on the benefit.

"47 million people."

The report by the National Academy of Sciences found that the aid for families to pay for groceries, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, does not account for many barriers to finding affordable, nutritious food by inner-city shoppers.

Here it comes. We have to increase spending on food stamps. And never mind that spending on food stamps has skyrocketed under Obama. (See below.)

Panelists for the academy, an independent group of scientists who advise the federal government, also said benefits lag behind the increasing cost of food and the program penalizes beneficiaries with jobs.

Yes, they always used this tactic to give more to the people sitting on their couches all day.

The U.S. Agriculture Department, which administers the aid program, sought the report to help it determine the best way to assess whether food stamps benefits are adequate for recipients to have access to a healthy diet.

"We will thoroughly review the analysis and recommendations contained in this report and use them to help set our agenda for future program research," USDA said in a statement.

Gosh, can the USDA be made to see the light and increase their budget? Stay tuned.

During and following the 2007-2009 recession, demand for food stamps soared, with middle-class families who found themselves suddenly homeless and jobless pushing enrollment to a record 47.7 million people by September 2012. Even during the recovery, demand has remained high and food pantries and soup kitchens continue to feel the strain.

In its report, the panel said the USDA is slow to react to rising food costs. There is a 16-month lag between when the government assesses the cost of food and when it adjusts benefit amounts to accommodate fluctuations, it said.

"Because of the impact of inflation and other factors on food prices, this lag in the benefit adjustment can significantly reduce the purchasing power of SNAP allotments," the report said.

But the government says there is no inflation. Apparently, inflation only exists for those on the government dole.

Panelists said the dearth of affordable supermarkets in many cities means that urban dwellers, who represent a high proportion of those in poverty, must pay more for healthy foods.

This myth has been debunked numerous times, even in the New York Times.

They also questioned basic assumptions built into the program about how Americans prepare daily meals, especially for single parents. Food stamps are intended for buying cheap basic ingredients and unprocessed foods.

"By failing to account for the fact that SNAP participants, like other households, need to purchase value-added foods that save preparation time, the current value of the SNAP allotment substantially limits the flexibility and purchasing power of SNAP benefits," the report said.

In other words, they want to allow food stamps to be used for prepared foods. So nobody has to miss on second of ‘American Idol.’

Food stamp funding could be cut in coming years

Sure it could. Any minute now.

Meanwhile, lest we forget, we had this report via CNS News just two weeks ago:

Federal Food Stamp Program Spent Record $80.4B in FY 2012

By Patrick Burke | January 4, 2013

(CNSNews.com) — During fiscal year 2012, the U.S. government spent a record $80.4 billion on food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a $2.7 billion increase from FY 2011.

According to the Monthly Treasury Statement that summarizes the receipts and outlays of the federal government, $80,401,000,000 went towards SNAP during FY 2012, which was a $2.7 billion increase from $77,637,000,000 in FY 2011

In total, nearly $106 billion was spent on food assistance in 2012…

Between FY 2009 and FY 2012, SNAP’s budget jumped by approximately $24.8 billion…

And yet that is still not enough, at least according to the National Academy Of (Liberal) Scientists.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, January 18th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “NAS Demands More Spending On Food Stamps”

  1. We’re never going to dig ourselves out of this enormous hole of debt if we don’t increase our debt

  2. imnewatthis

    They’re always talking about the dearth of supermarkets in the inner city. I would imagine it’s alot harder to do your shopping when you live way out in the country, especially if there are poor weather and road conditions.

  3. beautyofreason

    “The dearth of affordable supermarkets in many cities means that urban dwellers…have to pay more”

    Beans and rice…a complete protein….will always be cheaper per ounce than every single fast food restaurant in the world. It was even cheap in New York, when nothing else was!


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