It’s a little discouraging that, after I conducted two separate “food stamp diets”—spending less on food than is available from food stamps—the Denver Post is still publishing nonsense about food stamps.
A coule days ago the Post published the following commentary:
[Newark Mayor Cory] Booker suggested they both [he and a critic] live on food stamps for a short time and see how they fare. The woman, known as TwitWit, reportedly has agreed.
Given that the average monthly food stamp benefit per person in New Jersey is somewhere around $133 a month, they’ll have their work cut out for them.
We see a lot of ramen noodles in their near future.
However, as I wrote back in 2007, the “average” figure is NOT the amount of funds available for food.
The current information is as follows. Perhaps this time the Denver Post will actually attend to the relevant facts:
SNAP [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] expects families receiving benefits to spend 30 percent of their net income on food. Families with no net income receive the maximum benefit, which equals the cost of the USDA Thrifty Food Plan (a diet plan intended to provide adequate nutrition at a minimal cost). For all other households, the monthly SNAP benefit equals the maximum benefit for that household size minus the household’s expected contribution.
The maximum amount available for a single person is $200 per month, or $6.67 per day.
Now, whether the government should actually provide food stamps is a much broader debate. That it provides food stamps to 42.4 million Americans is a disquieting reminder that the American economy remains weak as the welfare state expands.