We've told you before. Food stamps are hotter than the flames that hissed around that truck of yams on I-5 Thursday morning (where was a marshmallow avalanche and a dusting of brown sugar when you needed them, right?). If you require further evidence, Daily News is reporting that, each month, just after midnight on the morning that monthly government benefits hit their bank accounts, recipients around the country are rushing the checkout counters of 24-hour grocery stores to load up on supplies.
According to the story, money is just that tight: “Not counting Social Security, one in six Americans now receives some form of government assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid and extended unemployment benefits… These government payouts now account for about 20 percent of Americans' total after-tax income, said David Rosenberg, an economist at investment firm Gluskin Sheff. The average over the past half-century is 13 percent.”
In other food stamps news, The New York Times says that Mayor Bloomberg is asking the United States Department of Agriculture to prevent New York City's users of food stamps from being able to buy soda or similarly sugary drinks with their benefits. Like George Hacker, senior policy adviser for the health promotion project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, we think it'd be nice if folks consumed more kohlrabi and less cola, but feel like Bloomberg's approach is problematic.
Hacker breaks it down: “[A] more equitable approach might be to use educational campaigns to dissuade food-stamp users from buying sugared drinks. . .[T]here are a great many ethical reasons to consider why one would not want to stigmatize people on food stamps.”