A Reminder: Hungry People Edition

Pretty straightforward, this time. Katherine Mozzone of KRQE reports:

A hundred people or more showed up to a meeting about proposed food stamp changes and many were not happy. The State wants to require recipients to get a job if they want to receive benefits. The Human Services Department says this proposal will help people become more self-sufficient but critics say it will mean less food on the table for those who need it most.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program“We stand strongly opposed to the new work requirements,” said one speaker. “It’s just bad policy,” said another.

One by one, people took to the podium at Friday’s Human Services Department food stamp hearing to share their concerns about the proposed changes.

“I think the work requirement is based on the mistaken notion that people receiving SNAP benefits don’t know how to spend their time to better their lives,” said another opponent.

(Boldface accent added)

And that last would be the important point.

More specifically, as Dottie Rosenbaum explained for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

SNAP Households with Working-Age Non-Disabled Adults Have High Work RatesThe overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients who can work do so. Among SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult, more than half work while receiving SNAP — and more than 80 percent work in the year prior to or the year after receiving SNAP. The rates are even higher for families with children — more than 60 percent work while receiving SNAP, and almost 90 percent work in the prior or subsequent year. (See Figure 1.)

The number of SNAP households that have earnings while participating in SNAP has been rising for more than a decade, and has more than tripled — from about 2 million in 2000 to about 6.4 million in 2011 …. The increase was especially pronounced during the recent deep recession, suggesting that many people have turned to SNAP because of under-employment — for example, when one wage-earner in a two-parent family lost a job, when a worker’s hours were cut, or when a worker turned to a lower-paying job after being laid off.

While it is easy enough to glibly pretend that only teenagers and college students work for bad wages—because, hey, if you can drop a joke and laugh your troubles away in order to not give any serious, respectful consideration to those who can’t just chuckle away the hungry kids, the eviction notices, the insurance cancellations and resulting license suspensions, making it even harder for people to work their asses off in pursuit of the privilege of falling farther behind, then you, too, can be a politician—reality would seem to disagree.

And while it might help a capitalist sleep at night, let him pat himself on his back for being so responsible as to tell working people to get a job, that sort of depravity is inappropriate for decent society.


Mozzone, Katherine. “Many outraged over proposed food stamp changes”. KRQE. 29 August 2014.

Rosenbaum, Dottie. “The Relationship Between SNAP and Work Among Low-Income Households”. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 29 January 2013.

(Tip o’the hat to NMS.)

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