According to this article published last year by the Washington Post, there are 47 million Americans on Food Stamps. Why are there so many people needing government assistance to buy food? Blame the great recession. That took a huge toll on many households. There are some who saw their wages and hours cut. Others lost their jobs and saw their unemployment benefits run out before they could find another job. There are households where both parents are working but are not making enough to be able to cover all their expenses. That’s why there is a big jump in the number of people on SNAP benefits.
As you can see from the image above, which was taken from the same article, there were about 25 million people on food stamps in 2006 through 2007. The number of people on government benefits regarding food stamps quickly rose as the recession kicked in from 2008 peaking in late 2012 close to 50 million people. That’s almost double what it was before the great recession. Unfortunately, the number has not moved much from the peak because people are still hurting and need the help. Even though the economy is improving, many people are still unemployed or underemployed. There are some who have stopped looking and are in households that are still in need of government assistance.
In addition, record numbers of seniors are now on food stamps, which disturbing because their prospects for getting off public assistance is slim since they are on fixed income. As the video above shows, working people need food assistance the most. That is a change from before when the highest number was children and the elderly. That shows that the perception that slackers are the one on food stamps, and therefore taking advantage of the government is simply not true.