Almost 46 million Americans received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in May. That’s a record high, not to mention a 12 percent jump from last year at this time and a 34 percent jump from 2009.
As the media foams over the S&P downgrade and focuses its attention on the likely reaction of billionaires and corporations worldwide, 46 million Americans are focused elsewhere. As the nation contemplates the likely implications of the downgrade, namely rising interest rates on home loans and credit card balances, a large percentage of Americans will be focused instead on how to feed their families.
To qualify for food stamps a family’s income cannot exceed $14,088 dollars a year, a staggering number by itself. But, when one considers that many who qualify for these benefits likely have family incomes well below that number, one wonders how we can even care about how much we won’t be able to charge this month. It seems more than ever that our priorities have fallen out of whack.