Food Stamp Usage Across the Country

New York Times, November 28, 2009

[Editor’s Note: The New York Times has published a useful map of food stamp use by county. Unfortunately, it leaves Hispanics (and Asians) completely out of its figures. Thus, in Webb County, Texas, on the Mexican border, 27 percent of the population gets food stamps, though only 12 percent of whites and 16 percent of blacks do. Obviously, Hispanics have a higher rate of food stamps use than either blacks or whites, but the Times pretends they don’t even exist.]


Now the city [New York City] urges the needy to seek aid (in languages from Albanian to Yiddish). Neighborhood groups recruit clients at churches and grocery stores, with materials that all but proclaim a civic duty to apply–to “help New York farmers, grocers, and businesses.” There is even a program on Rikers Island to enroll inmates leaving the jail.


{snip} After a U-turn in the politics of poverty, food stamps, a program once scorned as “welfare,” enjoys broad new support. {snip}


{snip} The program has commercial allies, in farmers and grocery stores, and it got an unexpected boost from President George W. Bush, whose food stamp administrator, Eric Bost, proved an ardent supporter.


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