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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks for Food Stamps: Americans to pay for Thanksgiving dinner with food stamps in record numbers!

While some will spend Thanksgiving and days after it feasting on turkeys, 13 percent of Americans will rely on food stamps to avoid going to sleep hungry this holiday season. About 42.2 million Americans will eat on a budget of $1 to $1.25 per meal this Thanksgiving as the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program remains high, found a new report by The Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit government watchdog group. The number of Americans relying on food stamps this Thanksgiving is equal to the populations of California and Connecticut combined. The latest data from the US Department of Agriculture shows that 47.1 million Americans relied on food stamps in August – the highest number yet. Since 2007, participation in the food stamp program has skyrocketed, increasing by 70 percent. The cost of feeding the approximately 44.7 million Americans who relied on food stamps last year cost the US government a record $72 billion. But the high number of Americans dependent on the nutrition assistance in a struggling economy is not the only problem the US faces this Thanksgiving. This past summer’s record-breaking drought has taken a toll on the food industry, causing prices to skyrocket while supplies remain low – making it even more difficult to provide Thanksgiving-style food to low-income families. In Framingham, Mass., a turkey shortage at a food pantry will leave some families without a typical Thanksgiving feast, CBS News reports. Food pantries, or food banks, are non-profit, charitable organizations that distribute food to people in need.
The Pearl Street Cupboard and Café, a food bank that delivers, is facing a turkey shortage and the highest demand it has ever seen. Requests from low-income individuals are up by 400 percent since last year.
 Read On: Americans to pay for Thanksgiving dinner with food stamps in record numbers

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