Who Gets Food Stamps? The Answer Will Shock Most People

If you really want to divide friends and family, bring up the topic of food stamps. Forget government spending on anything else, including military or the environment. The debate over whether to provide those in need with government assistance in the form of food—or to provide as much need, I should say—continues to be one leaders wage when trying to get votes. The big problem is that they're often VERY misinformed when it comes to just WHO is receiving the most aid in food stamps.

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Republican State Rep. Gene Alday came under fire last week and had to apologize after the Mississippi political leader slammed food stamps and said "all the blacks" in his town get what he calls "welfare crazy checks."

No question, Alday should have known better, but let's be honest: a lot of people think he's right. Maybe they don't express it with such blunt force, but a good number of folks probably believe African Americans receive the majority of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding.

And that's just not true.

The greatest number of beneficiaries of SNAP reportedly live in the Republican rural community of Owsley County, Kentucky.

And, while 9.6 percent of people living in poverty were non-Hispanic Whites in 2013, compared with 27.2 percent who were African American, 40.2 percent of SNAP recipients are reportedly Caucasian and 25.7 percent are African American.

The average monthly benefit per household, and 75 percent of those households include a child, was $256 per month last year. Every penny counts, of course, but the notion that SNAP recipients are living the charmed life and don't deserve assistance is difficult to swallow.

More from The Stir: Mom on Food Stamps Shouldn't Be Criticized for Driving a Mercedes

Here's what we shouldn't do with this information: use it against those people—Caucasian or otherwise—who are receiving food stamps. And we shouldn't stand for it if our Democratic leaders try and use these stats in their favor. No one should be allowed to profit from someone else's misfortune or inability to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty that exists in our country.

There is a system in place and it's open to those who need it, regardless of their race. Let's hope this information helps change the conversation and stop GOP leaders from using the food stamps excuse to slam democrats and African Americans.

Are you surprised to learn more Caucasians receive food stamps?

 

Image via Matt MacGillivray/Flickr

 

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