Piggy chocolate. House-made pickles. New Nordic Cuisine. Food stamps. No, it's not as sexy as reindeer tartare with a lichen gastrique or a bar of fair-trade dark studded with smoked bacon bits, but the humble food stamp is really catching on. According to a Sept. 29th Fox News report that did not include any mad, frothing commentary from Glenn Beck, a fresh batch of Census data reveals that 10.3 percent of all American households are using food stamps. Forty-six states saw an increase, and six of them--Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wisconsin--had their ranks of food stamp recipients grow by more than 30 percent. As one might expect, where there is an increase in the use of food stamps, there is more poverty:
"Separate Census figures released Tuesday showed Separate Census figures released Tuesday showed the number of people in poverty grew to 43 million last year. Census estimates released along with the food stamp report showed increases in 31 states between 2008 and 2009 in the number and percentage of people in poverty."
As reported the very same day by an article in The Press-Enterprise, the trend is playing out a little closer to home as well:
"The rate of household food-stamp use in Riverside County more than doubled between 2007 and 2009, from 2.9 to 6.3 percent, and it spiked in San Bernardino County from 5.4 to 10.4 percent. Statewide, it rose from 4.3 to 6.2 percent. The poverty rate increased from 9.3 percent to 10.7 percent for Riverside County families between 2007 and 2009 and from 9.6 percent to 14.1 percent in San Bernardino County."