1 in 5 U.S. Households on Food Stamps, Groups Call for Transparency on how Money is Spent

Apr 25, 2013 12:36 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter

Close

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that a record number 23 million households are now on food stamps.

The most recent Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) statistics of the number of households receiving food stamps shows that 23,087,886 households participated in January 2013 - an increase of 889,154 families from January 2012 when the number of households totaled 22,188,732. 

The recent growth in SNAP participation is stunning; as of last summer, it doubled in size in just four years, and its growth has continued even as the economy has slowly recovered - which normally one would associate with a reduction, not an increase, in food-stamp use. A record number 47,692,896 Americans are now enrolled in the program and the cost of food stamp fraud has more than doubled in just three years.

The most recent statistics from the United States Census Bureau-- from December 2012-- puts the number of households in the United States at 115,310,000. If you divide 115,310,000 by 23,087,866, that equals one out of every five households now receiving food stamps.

Meanwhile, seven major journalism groups and open-government organizations have banded together in calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to release data on where and how the money is being spent.

 The feds disclose information on where beneficiaries of those programs withdraw cash using their electronic debit cards, but with SNAP, officials have declined to provide data on which retailers are benefiting and what types of products the money is spent on.

With poor diet and obesity a common factor in illness, there is no legitimate argument for keeping secret data on what food is being purchased under SNAP.

"As medical professionals and policymakers call for limits on the use of food stamps to buy ' junk food' and soft drinks, data about the type and healthfulness of food purchases is necessary to inform the discussion," the letter states.

The group includes the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters & Editors, the National Association of Science Writers, the National Freedom of Information Coalition, the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Association of Food Journalists and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

© 2018 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
Food Biz
Campbell Soup To Sell Danish Snacks Manufacturer To Ferrero Affiliate For $300 Million

Campbell Soup To Sell Danish Snacks Manufacturer To Ferrero Affiliate For $300 Million

Campbell Soup has announced it will sell its Danish baked snacks manufacturer Kelsen Group to CTH Invest, a Belgian holding company affiliated with the Nutella maker Ferrero, for $300 million. The transaction is subject to customary purchase price adjustments, and it is expected to be completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

New Whiskies Well Worth Buying This Summer: Brown Is Beautiful

New Whiskies Well Worth Buying This Summer: Brown Is Beautiful

The newly appointed editor-in-chief of Esquire Magazine, Michael Sebastian, recently told the press that he wants to get away from the idea that the magazine's reader is "a middle-aged white guy who likes brown liquor and brown leather"). Which should send chills down the ad dept's spine working on those Scotch and bourbon accounts!

To Celebrate National Michelada Day On July 12: Everything You Need To Know

To Celebrate National Michelada Day On July 12: Everything You Need To Know

Adding a squeeze of fresh lime and a dash of salt to a lager or pilsner has long been Mexican tradition, and in the 1980s, this practice evolved into the refreshing beer cocktail known as a michelada. The popularity of the drink grew across Mexico and, thanks to the influx of immigrants, it translated well to restaurants and bars across the U.S.

Food Tech
Rosé Wine: Is Oak-Aged Rosé Wine Gilding the Lily?

Rosé Wine: Is Oak-Aged Rosé Wine Gilding the Lily?

Rosé wine is made in almost every region in the world, from many different grape varieties. And rose-colored wine is produced in a sweet, dry, sparkling, and even fortified style. Yet the classic style of dry rosé wine from Provence sets the trend that many other wine-producing regions around the world want to emulate.

Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel Celebrates 15 Years In NYC With A Sweet Tribute To The City

Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel Celebrates 15 Years In NYC With A Sweet Tribute To The City

Dominique Ansel moved from Paris to New York City to work at Daniel Boulud's French flagship Daniel as the executive pastry chef, a position he held for 6 years. Fast forward 15 years later, and Ansel has become a household name after the invention of a certain croissant-donut hybrid, and his namesake bakery has expanded beyond SoHo to include branches around the world.

This Is Where The Piña Colada Was Born

This Is Where The Piña Colada Was Born

As if you ever really need an excuse to order a piña colada, today is National Piña Colada Day, so go ahead and order that creamy, sweet, cocktail-meets-dessert libation that is best served on a sunny, tropical beach somewhere exotic.

Real Time Analytics