Despite the Republican-driven trope of Black welfare queens mooching off the system via food stamps, the truth is that recipients look more like the Republican base.
The increase only amounts to about 40 cents per meal, MSNBC host Tiffany Cross explained. Not surprisingly, “the right-wing is freaking out,” she said, despite the fact that research shows that federal anti-poverty programs help working-age whites without a college degree more than non-college-educated people of color.
Cross’ own family has benefitted from SNAP benefits, she said. She noted that even with the increase, they won’t cover essential household items such as detergent and tooth paste. “This is not people living high on the hog having lobster and steak every night,” she added.
Guest Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, pointed out that “feeding our own people” is part of what makes America stronger at home and in the world. “No superpower in the history of the world has remained a superpower if it’s failed to feed its own people,” he said.
The vast majority of SNAP recipients are working adults, children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and veterans, Berg said, and most Americans only receive the benefits briefly. He also provided the startling statistic that half of all Americans will receive SNAP benefits at some point.
“It’s the opposite of a welfare program,” Berg continued. “This helps create jobs at supermarkets and farmers markets and it helps farmers.”
The other guest, Clara Dehart, is a white college graduate working at a food co-op through AmeriCorps. “Trying to make due on the stipend I receive and paying for nutritious food has been a struggle,” she said. She signed up for SNAP in April and has found “It’s really just made a big difference in the amount of food I can afford, the diversity of food I can afford.”
Berg has just completed a cross-country tour assessing hunger in America first hand. “The bottom line is this SNAP boost is a life preserver for hungry Americans. It's the federal nutrition safety net that's been the thing that stood between tens of millions of Americans and Ethiopia-style or North Korea-style starvation," he said.
It’s not surprising that the same people who rail against face masks and vaccines would rather see Americans go hungry.