Hunger in America: Half of Our Kids on Food Stamps

November 3, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A new study finds that nearly half of all American children will need to use the federal food stamp program to eat at some point in their childhood, with the number much higher for African American children, at a startling 90 percent. And the current recession with persistently high unemployment rates, will cause the numbers of children on food stamps to rise even higher, say researchers.

The researchers, Mark R. Rank, PhD of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri and Thomas A. Hirschl, PhD of the Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York used thirty years of longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics survey.

The study concluded that:

“American children are at a high risk of encountering a spell during which their families are in poverty and food insecure as indicated through their use of food stamps. Such events have the potential to seriously jeopardize a child’s overall health.”

The alarming results showed that between the ages of 1 to 20 years, nearly half (49.2%) of all U.S. children will live in a household that receives food stamps. Broken down by race, 37 percent of white children use food stamps, compared to a whopping 90 percent of black children.

The high numbers of American youngsters experiencing food insecurity reveal the hidden face of childhood hunger in our country. Children from all walks of life, may need to resort to food stamps to eat at some point in their lives.

“Your neighbor may be using some of these programs but it’s not the kind of thing people want to talk about,” Dr. Rank said. “This is a real danger sign that we as a society need to do a lot more to protect children,” Rank added.

For a family of four to be eligible for food stamps, their annual take-home pay can’t exceed about $22,000.

James Weill, president of Food Research and Action Center, a Washington-based advocacy group, said it best: “What I hope comes out of this study is an understanding that food stamp beneficiaries aren’t them – they’re us.

The study can be found here.



17 Responses to “Hunger in America: Half of Our Kids on Food Stamps”

  1. All In One Information » Hunger in America: Half of Our Kids on Food Stamps | ChattahBox … on November 3rd, 2009 6:28 pm

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  2. John Roberts on November 3rd, 2009 8:47 pm

    What can be bought with food stamps needs to be restricted. If I stop at a convienence store after work on the way home and I stand in line and watch others check out, I see: They buy candy, cokes, ice cream, and chips with their food stamps – then they have the cash to buy beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. I buy their snaks for them and they have money for vices. Plus they are all fat and have tatoos and gold all over them. I have a hard time thinking they really need my help. If they are really hungry we should buy them hamburger meat and milk and flour and beans and rice and potatos – not candy, cokes, ice cream and chips.

  3. Faces Of Hunger on November 4th, 2009 2:21 pm

    The problem of hunger in America is really much more pervasive than it seems, even in our richest neighborhoods, food pantries and food stamps race to catch up with the tens of millions that are affected. We ran a film contest to filmmakers under 25 years of age to make a film about Hunger In America and we got some really beautiful entries by young filmmakers. Voting opens Nov 6 and ends Dec 4, Please come and check out these short films and vote on your favorite. is hosting our entries @

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