No matter how much you keep up with the proper paperwork, maintain your records with your caseworker, or try to maintain your food stamp benefits there are times when food stamps may be denied.
Results show that food stamps benefit recipients and retailers, but there is still a major battle over the food assistance program across the nation. Politically, it is one of the controversial programs that conservatives fear because of its social welfare implications. However, the nation’s food assistance program has become a safety net for many Americans who are jobless and toeing the poverty line. People need food to be able to work, go to school, even look for a job, and that’s why this program is a necessity. Still, there are those who continue to disagree.
The program serves 46 million people, which are almost as many people as Medicare. And that’s despite the fact that more than one-third of those who are eligible for the benefit do not actually receive any funds. If all those who were qualified applied for food stamps, it would include 20 to 25 percent of Americans.
With the large numbers of participants, food stamps are a diverse bunch that include the elderly, disabled, single-parent families with multiple dependents, low-wage workers, students, soldiers and those who are unemployed. Even families with both parents have trouble when working two jobs, and that’s becoming an increasing trend with the loss of jobs in this economy.
Many Republicans have challenged the funding by calling those who receive these funds “welfare queens.” However, that’s not the face of many Americans who depend on this food assistance. Even with the proposed limited lifetime use of food stamps by Republicans, proponents have continue to vie for the program in the wake of these political showdowns.
Food stamps are used to replace the government’s in-kind food distribution, which forced the hungry to line up in front of government buildings for cheese and excess produce, which was right off the back of trucks. Grocers preferred to have people standing in lines at their stores with the new debit cards for food stamps rather than providing free food to people outside of the story. Once the program was started, grocers were able to make money from the money-saving shopping tools offered to food stamp users.
Conservatives have been criticizing President Obama for his defense of these programs. However, food stamp redemptions are great for retailers. In 2009, they pumped $50 billion into the economy. And, according to a 2008 USDA publication, the benefits extend beyond stores.
Even while food stamps programs are becoming challenged, there is no denying that there are benefits for Americans to have this program. It allows families to receive food, and those who are unemployed can supplement their other assistance with this assistance program.