1 in 5 American Kids on Food Stamps

Which is a huge jump over 2007's numbers
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2015 1:34 PM CST
1 in 5 American Kids on Food Stamps
Maggie Barcellano has dinner with her daughter, Zoe, 3, in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Barcellano, who lives with her father, is on food stamps.   (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)

There are roughly 73.7 million kids running around America, and about 16 million, or nearly one in five, of them are doing so fueled by food stamps, according to US Census data out yesterday. That number is particularly alarming when compared to pre-recession levels: In 2007, some 9 million, or one in eight, kids were on food stamps. There are currently about 46 million Americans total on food stamps, down from the 2013 peak of 48 million. The jump signals what Reuters says is a "lop-sided" economic recovery that has left low-income people behind, but it also underscores a fundamental partisan divide over social welfare programs.

As the Blaze notes, Republicans want to scale back the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program—arguing that the end of the recession should indicate less need—and trimmed $8.6 billion and 850,000 people from its rolls with last year's farm bill. Democrats, meanwhile, argue that it's too soon to scale back the program. Meanwhile, some other highlights from the Census numbers:

  • 27% of children live in single-parent homes, three times the 9% who did in 1960
  • 10% of kids live with a grandparent, 15% have a stay-at-home mom, 0.6% have a stay-at-home dad, and 38% have at least one foreign-born parent
  • 48% of households are made up of married couples, down from 76% in 1940
  • Americans are continuing to marry later, at a median age of 29 for men and 27 for women; that's up from 24 and 21 in 1947
(Read more food stamps stories.)

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