U.S. & World

How food stamps keep families in a cycle of poverty


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  • Hipmama Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    If Jimmy and Melissa lost their benefits because of their tax return they need to be in touch with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, tax returns are specifically exempt as income for the purpose of SNAP/food stamp eligibility. They should lose benefits or eligibility entirely unless their income foes over 130% of poverty. But tax returns are not considered an asset even if they squirrel it away in savings. Which is exactly why they changed the rule, to encourage savings in low-income households. Had the reporter talked to DWS she would have found this out.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 8, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    An educated society wouldn't have the majority of its people begging for food, and welfare.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 8, 2013 5:33 p.m.


    Everyone jumped down this couple’s throat for saving for a house. But the article states they were “Putting some money aside for unexpected expenses and towards a down payment on a home . . .”

    I thought having some money set aside for a rainy day seemed smart and more likely to help them get on their feet. Which, by the way, seemed to be the point of the article. That moderate savings should be encouraged to help the poor get on their feet rather than count against them. Obviously there have to be reasonable limits and those too are addressed.

    Everyone thinks they are not cooking for themselves. Did I miss something in the article?

    Commenters say they can easily live off of $400 per month or less. Great. But the average for a THRIFTY family of four is between $553 and $634 (depending on the age of the children). That about squares with my shopping experience.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 8, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    Two kinds of dependencies:

    * on your self
    * on government, or others

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Sept. 7, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    The fishing story?
    Lovely thought.
    However, reality has come forth to prove that unattainable in so many cases.
    Simply think it through.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    Wow, there's a lot of envy of poor people in these comments. You can only hope that you get your wish and become just as poor as these people that you envy so much. Then you too will have all the "perks" of wondering how you're going to pay the rent, feed your family, etc.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    Lastly, the middle-class and American worker deserves everything that it gets. We spend so much time over-analyzing welfare and food stamps and rationalize for modern-day robber barons, Koch Bros, Waltons, Romneys, etc. If we ever hope to turn this economy around, we need to stop attacking police men, teachers, vets, retirees, students, women, minorities, and small business owners.

    We need to stop giving away our wealth and freedom away to corporations and start DEMANDING equality. When we talk about the "rich" we are talking about big corporations who are taking away our salaries and benefits and awarding those at the top with millions. When they go bankrupt, the CEOs aren't held liable. The workers are. This is wrong.

    As Americans, if we want to maintain our standard of living, our freedoms, and our capitalistic society, we need to stop supporting these types of garbage studies. We need to stop attacking each other. We must unite and fight for America. If we do not, we will see a feudal system in which 1 percent controls everything and the rest of us are turned into serfs.

    Fight against stereotypes and fight for America.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Why is it horrible for a poor family of 5 to have kids but use food stamps but ok for families in this state to have 5+ kids but use tax exemptions? Aren't we both paying for their lack of accountability?

    "Give a man a fish and he will eat for one day, but teach him to fish and he will become self-reliant and keep his self-esteem"

    Why are these stereotypes so prevalent among conservatives? What evidence to they have to support these stereotypes?

    Since 08, higher education has seen its largest increases in attendance in decades. Americans working 49+ hrs per week has doubled in recent years. Worker productivity has skyrocketed. Older Americans are working well into years that were typically retirement years. College grads are working for min wage because they're unable to find better employment. American families are spending less, going on fewer vacations, and working more.

    With so much evidence to suggest that Americans are hard working yet just lacking opportunity why do conservatives insist that they're really just lazy and wanting a free lunch?

    Americans want to fish. But the 1 percent has bought all the ponds and won't share.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Sept. 7, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    Close down the food stamp program.
    Dole out the money to starving corporations...
    There, all better.

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for one day, but teach him to fish and he will become self-reliant and keep his self-esteem

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    Sept. 7, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    CPI and Liberal Ted
    I agree that education should be pathway to upward mobility and financial independence, and financial aid would be a possible source of income for these families. But the problem with this pathway, is that the levels of funding for financial aid has not changed since the end of WWII or the beginning of the Korean conflict, and because of this huge financial downturn, "financial aid" has changed from grants, scholarships and work-study, to some federally subsidized loans, with much more unsubsidized and commercial loans, that require payment of interest accumulation as they go through school.

    What makes matters worse is that there are an ever increasing population of unemployed, or under-employed college and trade school graduates with financial burdens that cannot be defaulted on.

    The real drain on America and American tax-payers isn't the levels of funding for Federal food stamp programs ($85 billion nationally), but instead the corporate welfare ($ trillions internationally) that never seems to be addressed on either side of the political isle.

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    I don't believe that families on food stamps should be stereo-typed. Everyone's situation is different and there are a lot of people who need assistance. I suggest that before people give their two cents, think about walking in their shoes and what you would do in their situation.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:12 p.m.

    One change that is needed is taking the word 'entitlement' out of the rules for food stamp, Medicaid, welfare payments, and many other government programs. The way they are set up now they do create and encourage poverty. How did this couple anticipate supporting 7 people on $21,000 a year? With 7 people to support how can he find time, opportunity, money to pursue an education or technical training that could help him get in a better situation to support them? It all becomes a vicious cycle.

    Many things can happen to any family from death, job layoffs, catastrophic medical conditions, and other life changing events. That is all the more reason these programs should be 'temporary safety nets' to help families. No one is ever 100% prepared for everything that can happen. But, at the same time everything is not just by accident, happenstance, or just 'have enough faith and it will all work out'. There will never be enough government or church programs to help everyone that wants and needs them. You can only tax or tax and tithe people so much to pay for all of them.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Sept. 6, 2013 7:32 p.m.

    Hahahaha - Uhm... per capita received is only telling part of the story. You failed to include the half I already factored in: monies paid. California is a net creditor of federal dollars received vs paid to the tune of over $500 billion. To put it bluntly, the weak, dependent conservative states like Idaho, Utah, etc... owe us over $500 billion. When will they take some personal responsibility and pay up?

    Re: land-locked vs coast: Wonderful theory, let's test it using the same timeline. Coastal conservative states: LA: owes over $120B. MS: owes over $141B. AL: owes over $165B. VA: owes over $375B. SC: owes over $88B. NC: owed $9B. GA: owed $4B. TX: owed over $133B. Excepting TX, every coastal conservative state is either essentially net neutral or completely self-reliant on federal government aid. You can almost guarantee that if a state follows conservative economic principles they will not be self-sufficient and the liberal economic powerhouses will be paying their bills. Your theory fails.

    Add in my earlier stats re: SNAP participation and conservatives are almost uniformly reliant on welfare from liberal individuals and states. Sorry.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal:

    Got any statistics or proof that "those complaining about large families don't support birth control or abortions" or is that, like much of what you contend, just your opinion?
    Other than that, why in the world should people who feel we should be responsible for our own family size need to pay for other people's birth control... or especially for anyone's abortions?? That seems ludicrous. There is nothing wrong with having a limited number of kids and also being repsonsible for your own birth control. Apparently, you've been spending way too much time reading your "Socialist Today" magazine.

    @ Maudine:

    Same with you. There is no reason for society to have to pay for every woman's birth control, and especially not for morally reprehensible abortions. What is wrong with people paying for their own specific personal needs in life? It seems that Obama has got you caught hook, line and sinker... or is that stinker! We're obviously developing the bad habit of turning to the government much too often and for far too many things in life. The government dependency trap is getting too far out of hand.

  • Stiching Together Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    I found this story very interesting. Parts of it could have been our story. We also received a tax return from the Federal government. Money that they say we qualified for. Yet when we put it into our savings we almost lost our foods stamps. How is it that money that the Federal government gives you counts against you with food stamps? It makes no sense. We struggled and struggled to earn enough to we could get off food stamps. In the end we choose to get off all our assistance and then went and lived with my in-laws for over a year. Instead of just cutting a family off of assistance the program needs to change with the family so the can actually get off of assistance. Keeping the asset limit low does not keep out fraud. It will just make people more desperate. Losing all your assistance over $25 more income or because you chose to save instead of spend has red flags all over it.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    Liberalism in all forms, food stamps, welfare, free anything, ect. exploits the worst part of human nature. Laziness. Give people something for free, and ask nothing in return, you get laziness, lack of ambition, and ultimately ingratitude. Obama took away all the workfare type programs, which was one of the most destructive things a President could do to to a society. He hates this country. What a horrible President and person he is.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    Re:Happy Valley Heretic

    Please review the history of the United States of America. That country has provided a marvelous case study on capitalism, the creation of wealth, and its subsequent distribution across all social strata. In order to fully appreciate what that country has accomplished, keep in mind what the definition of poverty is today in that amazing country in contrast to a more historical or even a worldwide current definition of poverty.

    A careful review of that country's history may instill a desire to move there and participate in its many wondrous achievements. In fact, what we find is that there are millions of people crossing borders illegally just to be a part of its incredible ability to impart wealth across all economic spectrum.

    Someday you and I will be able to live there.

    Oh...we already do. Lucky us!

  • Youngbutsmart Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    I do have to say 5 children is a bit excessive with an income at that level especially with a child who needs special attention. My husband and I were in their shoes at one point, but we knew we could not keep having kids and we only still have the one, my husband worked two jobs and I worked part time. We never required nor applied for any government assistance because we felt we didn't need to, we stayed within our means, budgeted, had a small, but clean apartment and were happy. Raising the minimum wage is not a solution, the cost of living will just increase with it. Unfortunately also going back to school and getting a degree is not what it used to be several years ago, unless you are willing to relocate to where there are jobs available and most people in Utah are not willing to do so for some odd reason. I do have to agree that buying fresh produce and basic ingredients in bulk like rice and beans is actually the cheaper way to go.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    I have been in a similar situation. Right after my bone marrow transplant I couldn't work. But I owned my house and a 3 year old car. Couldn't get any Gov't assistance because I had $200 more assets than was allowed. Ended up taking out a new mortgage on the house to get enough to feed my kids and pay what Ins. didn't cover in medical and non-medical expenses for the next 9 months. We just needed a hand-up, not a hand-out, but couldn't get either from the Gov't.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    Re: "Easy welfare is just another attempt by the left to mitigate the consequences of poor personal choices."

    So if somebody makes mistakes or poor personal choices, even if the mistakes were honest ones and the choices seemed right at the time, or even if he falls prey to illness or misfortune, he - and anybody dependent on him - should suffer for it and just starve? Or better yet, quickly die "and decrease the surplus population"?

    Re: "Why are people poor in America?"

    Because it's right to adjust profits and high salaries for inflation and beyond, but wrong to adjust low wages for inflation? Because those at the top can never earn too much, and those at the bottom can never earn too little? Because a modest profit isn't enough? Because profits must be maximized at all costs, regardless of the price in human terms?

    "For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many" - Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations."

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    The main purpose of the food stamp program is to provide a market to the food industry. We know that because the people who created the food stamp program are tied to their business masters and only allow government programs that benefit business to be created.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    RE: Stalwart

    Interesting statistics that leftists always like to throw around, while leaving out a lot of facts that tell more of the story. Going on as if MM is responsible for the whole state of Idaho. If you dig deeper into some of these statistics you will also see that since 1981, per capita, Idaho has only been in the top 25 of states receiving federal spending 2 years. Meanwhile, your precious california, in the same 30+ years, has been in the top 25 of states receiving federal dollars, per capita - 20 times. A few years California was in the top 10, so apparently, per capita, your state eats up a whole lot more federal dollars. Yeah Yeah, my statistics are just a half baked and meaningless as yours, but feel free to get back to us when you've finished a complete study. One that includes all the costs of federal mandates, that play more unfairly with a state like Idaho then yours. Factor in the difference between a land-locked state and one which has ports and thousands of acres of coastline. Get the idea? Then you can start factoring politics into it!

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    So, let's say they get to bank that $3K and in a couple of years have a down payment on a house. Then what?
    They can't afford a home. Did we learn nothing from the last collapse?
    Who are we kidding?
    These two need to make some major changes in their lives. The provident living program has some keys:
    Living within your means
    Wise use of resources (groceries, energy)
    Service to Others

    This is not new.

  • m-squared Herriman, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 1:08 p.m.


    I feed my family of 7 (5 kids) for just over $200 a month. We eat cereal for breakfast(the cheapest we can find). My kids all take a lunch to school (sandwich and one or two other sides). We have a good dinner. My kids aren't fat from over-eating and we still have desserts and eat out once in a while. When I heard that food stamps pays $400 a month I almost died. Do you realize how good I can eat on $400 a month just for food?!? It can be done but it takes work (you know, like cooking and meal planning) but you can eat just fine. Bountiful Baskets is a great way to add fruits and veggies at a decent cost. Unfortunately I have assets in the tens of thousands so I don't qualify. But I got those by spending less when I could.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    RedShirtMIT said: "Capitalism is the way out of poverty. Historically that is the best way to end poverty."

    Can you provide some historical evidence any?

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" there is a word for what you are trying to describe. That word is Fascism. Fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. Sure companies are privatly held, but they are controled by government entities.

    Capitalism is the way out of poverty. Historically that is the best way to end poverty.

  • Full Sunset, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    I admire the men and women of the armed forces, but you're not telling the whole story. In addition to SNAP (your words) they also receive BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing), free healthcare, and a food allowance. The military does have low pay for enlisted rank, but don't pretend $18,000 a year is all the compensation they receive.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    When I read the article, I wondered what kind of comments the conservatives would supply to place blame on the poor or on the president. Well, I could have predicted most of them.

    marxist, regarding your question "Can capitalism ever return to a higher wage base?" I would suggest that what we have today is not capitalism as envisioned by Adam Smith and other early capitalist thinkers. We have corporate capitalism, a totally different animal that has somehow found a way to preserve the most advantageous (to the rich) aspects of the feudal economy and the aristocratic system capitalism once intended to overthrow. 200 words is insufficient to lay out the history of the modern corporation, but you can find it if you search a bit. It's rather enlightening.

  • Pasmith St Petersburg, FL
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    I am sure if someone paid for my families groceries for a year or so we could save a bunch of money, too. How is it fair for people with money in the bank to be on food stamps? However, if they wnt to cheat the system, have they never heard of an at home safe to put their 3000 in?

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    The "free cheese" often turns out to be bait in a trap.

    First, ignore the advocacy and recommendations of the "progressive" outfit that is provided the narrative for this story. Their philosophy is basically unlimited welfare solves all problems, which is demonstrably untrue.

    As pointed out by others, people need to stop making bad choices, and learn there are consequences for bad choices as well as rewards for good choices. About half these people would benefit immensely from listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio to hear the truth about choices and consequences and tough love advice that actually works when tried.

    Also, welfare recipients need to learn how to cook from scratch, thereby cutting meal costs dramatically. And, they need to make smart family planning choices, and not demand that others pay for kids they cannot support. (And pay for their own birth control- don't do the deed if you cannot afford another mouth to feed!)

    Those who are trying to save deserve support and respect, but those who merely live off the work of others because they are too lazy to work deserve nothing at all.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    I see no problem with CEOs and Corporations earnings swelling by a factor of almost 10 over the past 2 decades,
    if minimum wage and the Middle Class incomes had increased by that same factor!

    But they haven't.

    And thus we see the huge disparity between the makers and the REAL takes in America.

    The 1% who now own 85% of everything in this nation vs. the 99% who own nothing.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    "Your ingratitude is duly noted!"

    Typically fallback on emotion laced tirade.

    That is why I rarely respond to these kind of posters.

    Nothing that was posted implied anything that was set up in this straw man indignation.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:21 a.m.


    Your statements are factually and demonstrably incorrect. According to the USDA, when comparing state eligibility to participation rate, the states w/ highest participation over the past few years are evenly split among Republican-controlled and Democrat-controlled state bodies. The only 6 states with consistently low participation rates, however, were comprised of 2 Republican-controlled and 4 democrat-controlled state bodies. Translation, on the whole, Republican states have higher SNAP participation rates.

    Further, as a citizen of Idaho, you may want to clean up your own house before you rail on other people for accepting aid. According to IRS data, over the past 30 years Idaho is a net debtor in federal funds to the tune of roughly $28 billion dollars or so. In fact, from 1981 forward, I couldn't identify a single year in which Idaho didn't receive more in federal funding than it paid. Your entire state is on federal welfare so show a little compassion towards the individuals that are temporarily in a rough situation, you and your state have been doling off our hard work for decades and show no signs of becoming self-sufficient.

  • CP1 South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    In the article it states that the family may have to cut out fruits and vegetables due to a decrease in their SNAP allowance. However, based on their income, the amount of children (I'm assuming some of them are under five), and the fact that she is pregnant I'm sure they are also receiving WIC, which now provides fresh fruits and vegetables, along with cheese, milk, eggs, cereal, etc. I'm sure they also qualify for Medicaid, and probably housing assistance to boot. If you couple these resources with a food bank, the $21,000 a year seems like more than enough to provide for all of their NEEDS without SNAP (and a down payment on a house doesn't fall into the NEEDS category IMHO). Also, if he wanted to go back to school and earn a degree that would allow him to get a better paying job, I'm sure they would qualify for financial aid. Wow, how would it be to have someone paying for everything.......

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy....I understand your thought process of taking your tax refund and saving up for future events (ie buying a home etc). However, there are options to get out of your situation. You can get a second job to pay for the babies you currently can't afford to feed. You can go back to school and change your career path. You can look at other career options (ie oil fields in North Dakota, Alaska fishing).

    It sounds like only 9% of the people on snap should be on it. The rest need to get a job, stop breeding, grow their own food.

    I just don't understand why people and families on welfare get bigger budgets than my family has to do the same thing? We budget $150-200 for the same family size per month. These people get more than double. They get a tax refund that they didn't even pay taxes towards. When you add all of their benefits up, it makes more sense to be a security guard and not go to school and make the same as someone that gained an education and has more responsibility.

    Just sayin.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    My wife and I recently successfully completed a one year mission with LDS Employment Resource Services. We missionaries often observed that far more people entered the Bishop's Storehouse than our office. All patrons entered the same first door. They then had to make a choice between either selecting the door to the Storehouse or selecting the door to LDS Employment Resource Services.

    The above facts are absolutely correct. However, isolated facts by themselves do NOT always tell the whole truth. However, the above observation was, and still is, shall we say interesting.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Easy welfare is just another attempt by the left to mitigate the consequences of poor personal choices. Why are people poor in America? Why didn't they develop some marketable job skills? Why do so many people use drugs and alcohol and think there will be no consequences? And the rest of us are told they are the victims?

    Sept. 6, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    The great thing about the LDS welfare system is that every case is taken on a 1 on 1 basis. There are no broad rules placed on everyone that people are trying or can't work around. The Bishop is given a set of guidelines and he acts as he sees best for each family that comes in and talks with him.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    Don't lose track of the underlying issue: a low wage economy that has been developing over the last 30 years - stagnant real wages. Can capitalism ever return to a higher wage base? The answer is not clear. If it can't then capitalism as we have known it is going to tank completely and we will have to go on to another type of system. This is the issue staring us in the face.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    So - women should have to pay for birth control on their own, they can't have an abortion if the birth control fails, but let's all condemn them for having children they cannot afford.

    Oh - and let's blame Obama for welfare rules instituted under Clinton because Obama is just that powerful!

    And let us not forget that we are a Christian nation living according to Christ's dictates to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." and to "Love your neighbor as yourself."

    The self-love is so evident on these comment boards.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    When a family seeks food help through their LDS bishop, I believe $3,000 in savings would probably also impact his decision in the same way as Utah SNAP policy.. If, again if I am correct, then does church “Asset tests impede the process of moving from dependence on” church “assistance to self-sufficiency,”??

    I do not know the answer to my own question. There are far more “angles” to welfare than I even have a hint of knowledge or understanding about.

    But I am smart enough to know that government and church welfare serves far more good purposes than just attracting “votes” and church membership.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    BTW -

    I'm a Veteran.
    MOST military families qualify and receive SNAP.

    $18,000 - $21,000 per YEAR.
    [$9 to $10 per hour -- NOT including deployments overseas year after year.]

    Ya - all those lazy good for nothing's serving in the Military, keeping you free to complain about their livelihoods.

    Your ingratitude is duly noted!

    Ironic still - those complaining about large families don't support birth control or abortions either.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    I live on a limited income, don't own my own home, I would not apply for food stamps,etc, but that's my choice. However, isn't it cheating me and my tax dollars if you are accepting food stamps and then trying to save for a home. I'm sure a lot of people would love the opportunity to get free food while they save their money. I feel really bad for this family. They sound like they are hard-working blue-collar people like myself. The husbands job has ridiculously low pay and to support 7 people with 21,000.00 is probably unheard of. There are food banks that might help them as well as lots of agencies that can direct or help them with clothing, food etc. I feel so bad when I read stories like this, I wish I knew who they were so I could help with what little I have. I wouldn't ever want my grandkids to only be able to have a spoon of nutella or whatever.

  • Ace Farmington, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    What is baffling to me is that this family makes $21,000 per year, lives on food stamps, and is about to have their FIFTH child. I'm not saying you have to be rich to have kids, but I firmly believe that you get your affairs in order first. Don't bring another innocent child into a life of poverty. Irresponsible!

  • calcu_lus tucson, az
    Sept. 6, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Looking at the graph makes me feel good that most of the SNAP money is going to feed children, but at the same time the numbers insinuate that poor people are probably having children they can't afford. The poor married couple in the story is anecdotal proof since they are having their fifth child. With interest on savings at historical lows, paying off high interest debt instead of putting the money in a savings account is probably the way to go for people wanting to continue SNAP benefits. No easy solutions to government social engineering and dependency.

  • Christofer B Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    And barack considers this unprecedented increase a "success"

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Sept. 6, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    @ LDS Liberal
    Without adjusting the problems addressed here, the poor will just spend their money frivolously and not save. If you have to suddenly face a year or more of $400-800 dollars less in income because you started saving... you won't save. Pretty simple. Raising the minimum wage won't address the core problem talked about in this article. I'm not saying it shouldn't be raised nor am I saying it shouldn't. It would simply fail to address the problem.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    So then - raise the minimum wage.
    Push it back onto the businesses who take advantage of it.

    SNAP is adjusted for cost-of-living.
    Minimum wage is not.
    Minimum wage has not kept up.

    That's why more and more people qualify now than before.

  • Chad S Lorton, VA
    Sept. 6, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    I reject the notion that a family cannot eat healthy on a limited budget. Rice, beans, and fresh fruit (apples, oranges, and other in-season fruit are easily purchased in bulk) can all be done on a limited budget. Cut the junk -- mac & cheese, nutella, and pre-packaged freez-dry meals, etc -- and learn how to cook like the rest of the world who live on much less than a $400/month food budget.

    Certainly there is room for SNAP changes, but learning how to cook inexpensive meal items should be step one.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 6, 2013 6:51 a.m.

    But is wins elections for Democrats, which is really the point, isn't it? Dependency on government votes for more dependency, always has, always will.