The politics of food stamps – a great reading list

Maria Niles of PopConsumer just posted her first 2009 Hunger Challenge blog entry (she’s getting a big headstart!). Maria comes at the Challenge from her perspective as a political activist, so for a great reading list of blogs and articles related to hunger and food politics, see her posting on BlogHer: How To Use Hunger To Fuel Political Activism.

Some Food Stamp Facts

  • Nearly 34 million people in the U.S. received food stamps in April 2009, up about 20% over April 2008.
  • Approximately 2.5 million Californians (1 million households) receive food stamps each month. That is expected to increase to 2.8 million Californians (1.15 million households) over the next few months.
  • In California, a single person is eligible to receive food stamps, only if their yearly gross income is $14,079 or less. A 2-person household is eligible only if they make $18,941 or less. And a family of 4 can’t have more than $28,665 in income. So in San Francisco, where the cost of living is particularly high, there are many people scraping by on extremely low incomes who still aren’t eligible for food stamps.
  • Food stamps are officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the benefit is now distributed on swipe cards that can be used at the grocery store. Though in California, it’s not exactly a “snap” to get food stamps. The state makes it so difficult to get the benefit, that it ranks last in the entire country in the number of eligible people who are actually receiving food stamps.
  • The government estimates that for every $1 of food stamp money spent in California, it generates $1.85 in business for the state’s economy. Even more reason to make sure all those eligible receive the benefits.

SF Food Bank’s Gary Maxworthy Honored with a Jefferson Award

San Francisco Food Bank board member and architect of the Farm to Family program, Gary Maxworthy, has again been recognized for his contributions to providing millions of pounds of fresh produce for California’s hungry.

Last month, Gary was invited to the White House to celebrate the launch of the new White House Office of Social Innovation.

Now he is being honored with a local Jefferson Award from CBS5. Read all about why Gary was selected for this prestigious award and see a video here.

On the local level, Jefferson Awards recipients are ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition or reward. By honoring the recipients, it is the goal of the Jefferson Awards to inspire others to become involved in community and public service. Learn more about the Jefferson Awards here.

%d bloggers like this: