Tuesday, November 3, 2009


HOW DOES THIS GRAB YOU? What about the gay/lesbian street kids who live on the streets, thrown out of their homes. . . .can THEY obtain food stamps? Had you heard of this before??? justin

Estimate: Half of kids will get food stamps
Fallout from recession could push numbers even higher, say researchers
The Associated Press
updated 7:16 p.m. ET, Mon., Nov . 2, 2009

CHICAGO - Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say.

The estimate comes from an analysis of 30 years of national data, and it bolsters other recent evidence on the pervasiveness of youngsters at economic risk. It suggests that almost everyone knows a family who has received food stamps, or will in the future, said lead author Mark Rank, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Your neighbor may be using some of these programs, but it's not the kind of thing people want to talk about," Rank said.

The analysis was released Monday in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The authors say it's a medical issue pediatricians need to be aware of because children on food stamps are at risk for malnutrition and other ills linked with poverty.

'Danger sign'
"This is a real danger sign that we as a society need to do a lot more to protect children," Rank said.

Food stamps are a Department of Agriculture program for low-income individuals and families, covering most foods although not prepared hot foods or alcohol. For a family of four to be eligible, their annual take-home pay can't exceed about $22,000.

According to a USDA report released last month, 28.4 million Americans received food stamps in an average month in 2008, and about half were younger than age 18. The average monthly benefit per household totaled $222.

Rank and Cornell University sociologist Thomas Hirschl studied data from a nationally representative survey of 4,800 American households interviewed annually from 1968 through 1997 by the University of Michigan. About 18,000 adults and children were involved.

Overall, about 49 percent of all children were on food stamps at some point by the age of 20, the analysis found. That includes 90 percent of black children and 37 percent of whites. The analysis didn't include other ethnic groups.

The time span included typical economic ups and downs, including the early 1980s recession. That means similar portions of children now and in the future will live in families receiving food stamps, although ongoing economic turmoil may increase the numbers, Rank said.

Pediatrician: 'Not surprising'
An editorial in the medical journal agreed.

"The current recession is likely to generate for children in the United States the greatest level of material deprivation that we will see in our professional lifetimes," Stanford pediatrician Dr. Paul Wise wrote.

Wise said the Archives study estimate is believable.

"I find it terribly sad, but not surprising," Wise said.

James Weill, president of Food Research and Action Center, a Washington-based advocacy group, said the analysis underscores that "there are just very large numbers of people who rely on this program for a month, six months, a year."

"What I hope comes out of this study is an understanding that food stamp beneficiaries aren't them — they're us," Weill said.

The analysis is in line with other recent research suggesting that more than 40 percent of U.S. children will live in poverty or near-poverty by age 17; and that half will live at some point in a single-parent family. Also, other researchers have estimated that slightly more than half of adults will use food stamps at some point by age 65.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33591333/ns/us_news-life/?gt1=43001

© 2009 MSNBC.com


Jack Greenman said...

I'm not surprised. I wish I were, I wish I were shocked, but I'm not. When I was out in Phoenix the apt complex I lived in had a lot of poor families.

I knew a few guys in their mid teens who were on food stamps struggling to get by, struggling in that way that most adults think is impossible for a kid to be struggling - half the time they don't fully accept how much another adult is struggling to get by, they just look down their noses.

Most of my classmates were on food stamps, especially the guys who were 18, they were struggling to make rent and keep their loans, food stamps + the dollar store for food. These are the guys who are being trained to work on your cars or motorcycles.

I'm trying to get on them now, it's lagging, and if I didn't have the option to eat at home, my mother's food, there is no doubt I'd be at a soup kitchen.

I'm 25, I have 3 syndromes and PTSD. I have been fighting to get on disability since Feb, and food stamps since early August.

No, I'm sad to say that article isn't shocking at all.

PS: please excuse any misspellings, or if its hard to follow, had a shock today, I'm a bit off my game.

J said...

Those figures are pretty high; arguably too high. Two things stand out here: The estimate that 90 per cent of black kids will use stamps is astonishingly high some 50 years after integration and government programs to erase poverty, and you wonder why it is that the races don't show a rough parity. (It would be interesting to see how other minorities fare in comparison.) The second observation is something a friend mentioned over lunch today. He said that he believes the gap between the rich and the poor in the USA has become an extreme one, with the suppression and shrinkage of the upper middle and middle class. I don't know if he is right, but suspect that this might be true. The papers are filled with foreclosure notices for homes on which between $95,000 and $300,000 is owed.

JustinO'Shea said...

Jack, thanks for your comments. I am surprised. . .and you gave me an important opener to a more realistic view of this scene. . .to see these as they really are. Grateful, Jack.

Thanks for opening this door in Jack Greenman too. ;-)

Sorry too about your uncle. I left a note on your blog.

JustinO'Shea said...

J. . . I heard talk at our home about the widening gaps in the various social/financial strata. . .rich and poor are most pronounced.

The investment losses have hit hard. A personal example. . I actually have a bond investment which was worth a tad over $40K. . .for a future starter. . .Last December it had slid down to $2500!!! Bummer. . .but it has gone back up. . so I may have that someday as the downpayment on the elegant older house 'with high ceilings' a friend here suggested I should look at. . .and maybe some
$$$ also to purchase some fine furniture at an auction or estate sale. .

I can file that in my folder Portuguese Daydreams, , ,after Peter. . . hehehe

J said...

Well, Justin, I hope your securities recover before the housing market does, so you can take advantage of the depressed housing market. Right now cash is king.

Jack Greenman said...

You're welcome. Thank You.

It's nice to see someone who has the taste for the older elegant houses, we live in a state that is blessed with a lot of them.

I saw your note and replied. Thank you very much.


Gary Kelly said...

I'm confused. Are we talking the U.S of A here? The world's biggest economy? Food stamps?

I found it a tad incongruous to read J's line: "The second observation is something a friend mentioned over lunch today." I suspect J was not referring to a bowl of soup in a charity kitchen.

It comes as a bit of shock to me, even now, because I was raised on American movies and TV shows. I thought all Americans lived in two storey houses and drove big shiny cars.

J said...

If you must know, Gary, I was eating in an Italian restaurant owned and operated by an Egyptian from Port Said who often has American country music playing in the background. The best things on the menu are the New Zealand flash frozen mussels, thawed out and cooked in a garlic sauce. Believe me, it is not a fancy place. The only upscale aspect of it, if you want to call it that, is the friend. He's a trial lawyer who travels around the state in a black Mercedes, and we were accompanied by his driver, a young fellow with long hair and a lot of tatoos. Its like dining with Dr. No and Oddjob, if you remember your Ian Fleming. With modern living and migration we soon will all be living the LA street scene from the movie Blade Runner.

Gary Kelly said...

I think anyone who mixes with an Egyptian who runs an Italian restaurant and who likes American country music needs a good lie down on the couch and a serious chat. :-P