Georgia food stamp rolls grow

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ATLANTA — The number of people relying on food stamps in Georgia is on the rise.

The Supplemental Nu­trition Assistance Program provided food assistance to a record 1.91 million people in the state a year ago. Nearly a quarter of them were 6 years old or younger.

By this June, the program had added 40,000 more recipients.

The Atlanta Journal-Con­sti­tution reported that those numbers have nearly doubled since the economy
slid into recession in late 2007.

Georgia suffered more than most states and is still hundreds of thousands of jobs below its pre-recession levels. Many jobs that have been added are low-paying. About 58 percent of working-age food stamp recipients are employed.

Meanwhile, Georgia has surged from having the 15th-highest proportion of food stamp recipients to sixth-highest.

About one in five Geor­gians in urban, suburban and rural areas are food stamp recipients.

“A lot of people who, before the recession, were above the food stamp level are now below,” said Mike Konczal, a Roosevelt Institute fellow. “Food stamps in this recovery have been a much more fundamental part of the social safety net.”

The federal nutrition assistance program now costs about $78 billion a year. The U.S. Senate in June passed a farm bill that included $4.1 billion in cuts to the program over a decade. The House of Representatives passed its own version of the bill that didn’t include funding for food stamps. Congress is expected to revisit the issue and come up with a compromise.

Critics of the program say food stamps offer short-term help but can be part of a harmful pattern.

“I think all of these programs, taken together, do create a broad disincentive for personal responsibility,” economist Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The more of these programs there are, the less incentives for moderate-income people to rise above it and to improve themselves.”

However, the Food and Nutrition Service estimates that every dollar in new benefits generates up to $1.80 in economic activity, and a $1 billion increase in benefits supports 18,000 jobs – including 3,000 on farms.

More than 642,000 food stamp recipients in Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton and Cobb counties spend about $900 million on food annually, According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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myfather15 07/24/13 - 10:21 pm

I agree with Red headed step child, the program was intended for people in situations as YOU were in. If you've paid your taxes for many years, then you've helped others and deserve help if needed.

myfather15 07/24/13 - 10:31 pm

Trying working the streets for 16 years!!! Then tell me about judging!! I'm not judging, I'm telling you a PLAIN FACT!!! Millions are abusing the system, meant to help those in NEED; not those to lazy or sorry to work!!!

I simply can NOT count the amount of people I've arrested or been involved with investigations in; that had gallons of liquor, cases of beer, marijuana and other drugs; just to find out their on food stamps and other government programs including free phones!! Employers simply aren't going to hire METH ADDICTS and alcoholics and if they do, they won't keep the job long; because they won't show up for work and won't do a good job when there. Then WE have to pay their way through life, because THEY choose to be drug addicts and alcoholics? Seriously?

I personally would be in absolute favor of saying ANYONE who can buy their own alcohol and weed; doesn't need assistance from taxpayers for their food!! Weed and alcohol in your house, no assistance!! Maybe we should have periodic inspections to continue assistance!! AND DRUG TESTS!!! One positive drug test, assistance is suspended for 3-6 months, 2nd positive it's suspended for 1 year; 3rd for LIFE!!!

myfather15 07/24/13 - 10:35 pm
WE as a society are ENABLING

WE as a society are ENABLING these people to continue their pathetic ways!! You stop enabling people and they will change their ways!! If you don't, there is no incentive for them to improve THEIR conditions!! It actually IS that simple!!

JRC2024 07/24/13 - 11:54 pm
I would second myfather on

I would second myfather on the drug test for welfare and food stamps. All they do is buy the food and sell it for the drugs or whatever. Pathetic people.

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