Food Stamps

Labor, Politics, The Economy

More of New York City’s working poor are using food stamps:

Even as welfare rolls have dropped, food stamp use has increased over the last few years, fueled by a surprising spike among the working class. While overall food stamp use has gone up by more than one-third since 2002, the number of recipients who are able-bodied or working and not on welfare has nearly doubled, said Seth Diamond, executive deputy commissioner for the city’s Human Resources Administration, at a City Council hearing last week. Those recipients now account for about 40 percent of the city’s 1.1 million food stamp recipients—and roughly three-quarters of the increase since 2002.

This is partially because the city has worked hard to make it easier to apply for food stamps, as part of an effort to eliminate hunger. But New York remains far behind other cities:

A survey of 2001 food stamp enrollment rates for workers across the states found New York’s to be significantly below the national average … And for all its work to expand access, the Bloomberg administration this week refused to pursue a federal waiver that would have allowed the city to offer food stamps to unemployed workers looking for jobs.

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