Children May Be Recession’s Biggest Victims

The recession is causing more and more families with children to seek help from the San Francisco Food Bank.

Here are two important newspaper articles which tell a grim story for children struggling to grow, learn and thrive. We need to make sure our city’s children get a good start in life, with plenty of nutritious food.

The San Francisco Food Bank is doing everything possible to meet the skyrocketing need for food assistance, with Healthy Children grocery pantries in schools, school snack programs and by fighting for better school lunches.

LA Times: 7 Million More Food Stamp Recipients – and Half Are Children

The Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 12, 2010:

A study finds 7 million additional people receiving food stamps compared with a year ago, half of them children. California had a 21% increase in recipients. As more families are hammered by the recession, more are using food stamps to feed their kids, according to a study by the Brookings Institution and First Focus, a bipartisan child advocacy group. Read the full story

New York Times: Living on Nothing but Food Stamps

A New York Times (Jan. 3, 2010) piece by Jason Deparle and Robert M. Gebeloff reveals the surprising story of those who have been forced to rely food stamps as their only source of “income”:

After an improbable rise from the Bronx projects to a job selling Gulf Coast homes, Isabel Bermudez lost it all to an epic housing bust — the six-figure income, the house with the pool and the investment property.

Now, as she papers the county with résumés and girds herself for rejection, she is supporting two daughters on an income that inspires a double take: zero dollars in monthly cash and a few hundred dollars in food stamps.
With food-stamp use at a record high and surging by the day, Ms. Bermudez belongs to an overlooked subgroup that is growing especially fast: recipients with no cash income.

About six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income, according to an analysis of state data collected by The New York Times. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, they described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid — no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay.

Their numbers were rising before the recession as tougher welfare laws made it harder for poor people to get cash aid, but they have soared by about 50 percent over the past two years. About one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card. Read the full story

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