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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Name:
    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Food Stamps Buy Less; Families Are Hit Hard or See what Coulter Licking, Knock Kneed, Pig Eyed, Ball Heavy republikkkans & dimocrap enablers have done

    [...]

    She hunts for items that are on the shelf beyond their expiration dates because their prices are often reduced, a practice she once avoided.

    Ms. Johnson, 44, who works in customer service for a medical firm, knows that buying food this way is not healthy, but she sees no other choice if she wants to feed herself and her 1-year-old niece Ammni Harris and 2-year-old nephew Tramier Harris, who live with her.

    “I live paycheck to paycheck,” said Ms. Johnson, as she walked out of a market near her home in Hackensack, N.J., pushing both Ammni and the week’s groceries in a shopping cart. “And we’re not coping.”

    The sharp rise in food prices is being felt acutely by poor families on food stamps, the federal food assistance program.

    In the past year, the cost of food for what the government considers a minimum nutritional diet has risen 7.2 percent nationwide. It is on track to become the largest increase since 1989, according to April data, the most recent numbers, from the United States Department of Agriculture. The prices of certain staples have risen even more. The cost of eggs, for example, has increased nearly 20 percent, and the price of milk and other dairy products has risen 10 percent.

    But food stamp allocations, intended to cover only minimum needs, have not changed since last fall and will not rise again until October, when an increase linked to inflation will take effect. The percentage, equal to the annual rise in prices for the minimum nutritional food basket as measured each June, is usually announced by early August.

    [...]

    The more than one million New Yorkers on food stamps receive on average $107 a month in assistance, which is slightly higher than the average for the rest of the country. But it is not enough to close the gap in food costs, experts say.

    Poor families interviewed in the New York area say that they are not going hungry — thanks in large part to the city’s strong network of 1,200 soup kitchens and food pantries — but that they have really felt the pinch. To cope, many say, they are doing without the basics.

    June Jacobs-Cuffee of Brooklyn shares $120 a month in food stamps with her 19-year-old epileptic son. She says that even after her once-a-month trip to the food pantry at St. John’s Bread & Life in Brooklyn, she has had to give up red meat and is also cutting back on buying fresh fruits and sticking instead with canned goods and fruit cocktail.

    [...]

    The most recent census data showed that from 2003 to 2006 an average of 1.3 million New Yorkers identified themselves as “food insecure,” meaning that they were worried about being able to buy enough food to keep their families adequately fed. City officials are concerned that the food price increase has caused that number to increase significantly.

    [...]

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