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Thursday, September 29, 2011
Hard Times For 46 Million Americans On Food Stamps (ETB) Highest Amount Ever
In hard times, poor Americans Struggle to feed their famlies.
One in six people in the U.S. didn't have enough money to put food on the table. Food insecurity is at its highest level in the US since 1995, and local officials report significant increases in the number of families seeking help.
More Americans are in poverty right now, meaning more children are going to sleep hungry at night.
Nationwide, more than 16-million children live in homes with parents struggling to put enough food on the table.
Dr. Megan Sandel is at Boston Medical Center's unique "Grow Clinic." It specializes in treating underweight & malnourished children.
"People think about acute malnutrition and they may look at Somalia. What we see is chronic malnutrition, stunted growth, kids that are the size of a one year old when they're two years old. And they're not going to be able to make up for that for the rest of their lives."
Emergency rooms in boston are seeing a spike in severely-underweight children ages five & younger.
In other cities like Baltimore, Minneapolis, Philadelphia & Little Rock, Arkansas, the number of malnourished kids have doubled in the last two years many doctors say, because of the recession.
The latest numbers show that 46 million people are on food stamps.
Now, there's a renewed debate in Congress over what food stamps can and can't buy.
For example, food stamps can't be used for beer, wine, liquor or cigarettes.
They also can't be used for vitamins, prepared food from a store, pet food, or toilet paper.
But soft drinks, candy, cookies, ice cream and birthday cake are allowed.
Now, some restaurants in Florida, Michigan, Arizona and California are permitted to serve the homeless, disabled and elderly paying with food stamps.
Some fast-food companies want to expand that and allow people to buy fast food with food stamps.
Some advocates for the hungry think it's a great idea, while public health advocates think the program should be geared toward more nutritious food.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture runs the program.
Congress will be debating if a change should be made to what can and can't be bought with food stamps (EBT Cards - Electronic Benefit Transfer).
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