Better East Texas: Temporary boost in food stamp program comes to an end

Better East Texas: Temporary boost in food stamp program comes to an end

(KLTV) - The federal food stamp program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, reduced benefits at the beginning of the month.

The reduction wasn't a cut but was actually the end of a temporary boost in food stamp benefits enacted in 2009 as part of the stimulus spending bill. The temporary increase was enacted to help those struggling workers put more food on the table and to stimulate the economy by increased spending on food. It was a noble but appropriate temporary step.

The problem is that, while the economy has improved and employment rates have risen, those using food stamps have sky rocketed. The program was used by about 9 percent of the population back in 2007 or about 26 million people nationwide. Now, the program serves free food to about 15 percent of the population or 40 million people. So look at the equation and see if you see an imbalance – a better economy, more jobs but more people using this system.

Now there are some people that absolutely benefit from this program the way it was designed – as a temporary provision while you get on your feet – but it is obvious we have millions that are taking advantage of this program and the federal government has not done any favors to many of those who use food stamps. Perhaps this end to the temporary boost will be the boost that many need to become more productive contributors to our society – and that could be the best stimulus of all.

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