Bronx County, with a 13.3% unemployment rate, has joined Hidalgo County, TX as the US counties of their size with the greatest share of people receiving food stamps at 29%. Nationally, 1 in 8 adults and one in 4 children are using food stamps, according to data collected by the New York Times.
According to the most recent annual USDA enrollment report, only 61% of eligible New Yorkers are receiving food assistance from the Simplified Nutrition Assistance, or food stamp, program. The other three most populous states lag us, with Florida at 57% enrollment, Texas at 55 percent, and California at 50%.
In New York, the feds are offering a $600,000 grant to set up a system for New Yorkers to apply for their food stamps online, according to Kevin Concannon, USDA Under-Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. Concannon is also making noises about forcing Mayor Bloomberg to get rid of the current fingerprinting requirement. We’re one of only four localities to require it. Despite New York’s low enrollment rate, Bloomberg says it isn’t a deterrent. Concannon disagrees.