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Article published July 13, 2013
Food stamp facts off
Louise Hayes Supervising Attorney Community Legal Services Philadelphia
Your editorial, “Food stamps have evolved into farm bill Frankenstein,” (July 11) grossly misstates both the number of people receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps) in the U.S., and the ratio of people receiving SNAP to those working in the private sector. The editorial stated that 101 million people receive SNAP, and that this figure is more than the number of workers in the entire private sector of the economy. According to the latest USDA data (from April 2013), 47.5 million people receive SNAP, less than half the number cited in the editorial. And according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June 2013 there were 114 million people working in the private sector, well over twice the number on SNAP. The Eagle should correct its statements. The SNAP program is an essential nutritional support for needy Americans, and it is not breaking the bank.
Editor’s note: The editorial was incorrect. It should have stated there are 101 million recipients of food stamps and other forms of federally subsidized food assistance, including WIC, Head Start and school meal programs.