While spending on the food stamp program has increased 100 percent under President Barack Obama, the government continues to push more Americans to enroll in the welfare program.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has embraced entire promotional campaigns designed to encourage eligible Americans to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.
A pamphlet currently posted at the USDA website encourages local SNAP offices to throw parties as one way to get potentially eligible seniors to enroll in the program.
“Throw a Great Party. Host social events where people mix and mingle,” the agency advises. “Make it fun by having activities, games, food, and entertainment, and provide information about SNAP. Putting SNAP information in a game format like BINGO, crossword puzzles, or even a ‘true/false’ quiz is fun and helps get your message across in a memorable way.”
The agency’s most recent outreach effort targets California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and the New York metro area with radio ads.
The ads have been running since March and are scheduled to continue through the end of June—at a cost of $2.5 million—$3 million, CNN Money reported Monday.
CNN Money further noted that the USDA began running paid radio ads in 2004, under President George W. Bush, who oversaw a 63 percent increase in average food stamp participation.
In the 1970s, one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today one out of every seven receive the benefit. After the recession, the ratio is expected to hover around one out of every nine, according to the Congressional Budget Office.