Thursday, January 13, 2011

Food stamps: More Americans keep signing up

The Christian Science Monitor reports that food stamp participation continued to rise in December - the latest in a series of record-breaking months for the food stamp program:
As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn it appears that participation in the federal food stamp program is continuing to rise.
In fact, household participation has been climbing so steadily that it has far surpassed the last peak set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.
The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in October, an additional 289,737 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 14.67% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 16.98%.
Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 13.72% over the same period.
Read more

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One in Three Working Families Considered "Low Income"

The Wall Street Journal reported December 21, 2010:
Nearly one in three working families earned less than 200% of poverty line last year, as a bad economy pushed 250,000 families below that threshold, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data.

The recession’s effects extended beyond the millions who lost jobs, according to a report released Tuesday by the Working Poor Families Project, which researches and advocates for working families. Among those who were working, more than 10 million families earned less than 200% of the poverty level, which the researchers considered “low income.” The low-income threshold for a family of four with two children last year was $43,512.

“Working families are taking it hard during the great recession,” said Brandon Roberts, one of the report’s authors. “We’ve got a whole lot of middle-income families, middle-class families that have now fallen back into low-income working families.”
Read the full story here.