USDA Irony: Poor on food stamps ‘less food secure’ than poor not on food stamps

A nonsensical result from a nonsensical government survey on “food security.”

Low-income households not receiving assistance from any of the programs were less likely to be food insecure (12 percent) than those that did receive assistance (approximately 23-30 percent, depending on the mix of programs). This difference suggests that low-income households with greater food security are less likely to choose to participate in food assistance programs.

Check out the entire survey.

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6 responses to “USDA Irony: Poor on food stamps ‘less food secure’ than poor not on food stamps

  1. According to fig 1, about 1% of households have “very low food security” and children in the household.
    According to fig 2, only that group reported significant instances of children missing meals—almost 65% reported such circumstances.

    From those facts I would conclude that the problem of children going hungry occurs in a little under 0.65% of American households.

    Having about 20% of the population on food stamps, can we conclude that the program is a complete failure and should be abandoned?
    I didn’t read past page seven but I am going out on a limb and guessing that they conclude that the program is suffering from a lack of funds.

  2. The report is hard to read. In particular, I missed any clear definition of “food security”. I know that, at least one time, a family was labeled “food insecure” simply for electing a less expensive food choice over a more expensive food choice. I do that nearly every day.
    I am sure that some children sometimes go without food because the adults who are responsible for them have used their money to buy other things. In a very few cases, this may represent a real lack of resources. In most, however, I think you would find that the adults were making a number of poor choices about both earning and spending.
    Of course as a nation we keep electing legislators, governors and presidents who do the same.

  3. If a family isn’t feeding their children, the children should be removed from the home.

    • My sweetheart is a school lunch lady. She’d be inclined to agree with you and she’d have a list.

  4. GoneWithTheWind

    In most evaluations of being “poor” in the U.S. any and all welfare and food stamps are ignored. That is a poor person might have in total a $30,000 income from all sources including welfare and food stamps etc. But they will be evaluated based on their earned income only which could be $0 or $5000 a year. So all results will make it appear they are more poor and more food insecure then they really are.

    • Howdy GWTW
      I have to say, if a family is poor before the family receives assistance, that family is poor. You’re right that the definition of poor is a bit muddled by how the income is evaluated — with and without assistance.

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