While some politicians think that poor people use food stamps for trips to Hawaii and that the program should be limited, aid for hungry Americans keeps dwindling.
Most recently: In Iowa’s capital, a group of food banks has cut the amount of groceries given to families — by 40 percent, The Des Moines Register reports.
“A family of four had received 55 items in a box each month; beginning Monday there will be 33 items in the box,” the paper notes. “Officials said contributions to the pantries have not kept pace with demand.”
They enacted the cutbacks because it costs more to feed families in 2011 — $22,500 — compared with $20,000 in 2010.
Also, demand has increased sharply: 30,000 people got served in 2010, but that number has shot up by 7 percent in 2011.
The news comes several weeks after Newt Gingrich lambasted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Council Bluffs, Iowa, during a press conference. He said the benefits can be cashed in for vacations and allow millionaires eat for free. Media analyses of SNAP qualifications, however, show that Gingrich’s statements are totally false.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 8, 2011