VIDEO REPORT: A record 45.8 million Americans using food stamps.

Land of the Free? Home of the Broke?

Throughout the years the cost to maintain the program has risen due to inflation, and an increase in demand as the program sheds its stigma.

“It’s clear that the historical stigma of being on food stamps is quickly eroding because there are so many people on it. People don’t feel bad asking for help,” says Colas.

“If people are struggling to make a mortgage payment, there’s less money to spend on other things like food,” says Colas. “If you think of suburban as the philosophical heartland, the fact that food stamps are on the rise in suburbia’s been accepted as a program people do not feel embarrassed about accepting help.”

In 2010, the program cost U.S. taxpayers $68 billion, compared with $250 million in 1969 when the program began, or $1.4 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.

With Congress set to trim trillions from the federal budget over the next decade, some are speculating that the USDA may face cuts.

“I have no doubt this will be a political football next year,” says Colas. “It’s been rising steadily for the last three years. How it plays out politically is hard to know because a lot of people are on it now. It’s obviously a popular program.” SOURCE


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