Bloomberg: Food stamps biggest in red counties

Of the 254 counties in which food-stamp recipients doubled between 2007 and 2011, 213 were carried by Republican nominee Mitt Romney in last year’s presidential election, Bloomberg reported this week.

Graphic by Washington Post

(Graphic by Washington Post)

So it seems the heightened need for federal aid to combat hunger is primarily a red-state (or at least red-county) phenomenon. Yet House Republicans recently passed a Farm Bill reauthorization which didn’t include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. They’ve said they intend to move a separate bill that would cut $4 billion per year from food stamps and similar programs.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, joined with three other lawmakers this week to release a letter signed by more than 200 House Democrats urging Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to restore SNAP funding to the final Farm Bill.

“We voted against this bill in large part because of this intentional omission,” they wrote. “We strongly believe in the critical importance of SNAP. Given the essential nature of this program to millions of American families, the final language of the Farm Bill or any other legislation related to SNAP must be crafted to ensure that we do not increase hunger in America.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • GV Haste

    I think the food stamp program SNAP is just about right where it is. Sure there is some abuse.

    I do have a problem when I keep hearing you can’t live on the amount given.
    It really depends on what you buy and where you shop.

    The chart that is shown with this article can be misleading.
    It shows the allowance to be $133 per person per month.

    California gets more at $149 per person.
    That works out to $4.90 per day.

    If you shop carefully and don’t eat out, you can easily live on that amount and have excellent nutrition.

    However, individuals with minimal nutrition knowledge as well as those who don’t have transportation to good stores may find it difficult to acquire adequate nutrition on that budget.
    Stores in those areas where many are without automobiles are often more expensive and have fewer healthy choices.

    Often, the small stores near some poorer folks are the most expensive. Difficult to bring home 4 bags of groceries on the bus.

    I do wish we would subsidize more vegetable farmers instead of corn farmers.
    One side question.
    When we legalize 98% of current undocumented farm workers, do you think they’re gonna stay on the farm without increases in compensation?
    If not, who will quickly replace them?

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    Some people grow their own food. Some people have an abundance of food. Some people trade their food stamps for drugs and alcohol. Today, I was told about a person who only goes to Trader Joe’s to eat, Breakfast, lunch & dinner, She never buys a thing. This sounds like someone who could live without any government money.

  • GV Haste

    Yes, and some people who live in Lafayette are fully in tune with the lives of those on the other side of the tunnel. The know all about it because they see it on the news at 5:00 pm , 6:00 pm, 11:00 pm, and get summaries of it from the EIB Network daily.

    No doubt about it, tens of thousands are eating their 3 meals a day from those Trader Joe’s sample cups.

    Clearly they get all the nutrition they could use and there is absolutely NO need for food stamps.

    Let them eat cake…

    Now off to the swim club for some much needed relaxation.

  • Alcoahead

    @2 —

    Don’t let THOSE people find out about Costco and all that free sample food — they’ll get obese and then we’ll have that much more expense added to our Medicare bills!

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    There used to be obese, aggressive, annoying, beggars outside of Trader Joe’s. They wanted money, not food. They lied about the money going to charity. I watched some people happily hand them money.
    There are some people in Lafayette who feed squirrels & rats too. What do we get? Overpopulation of squirrels & rats.

  • GV Haste

    Mr. Peterson, you seem to insist on painting a clearer and clearer picture of your position and yourself.

    Those on food stamps, now akin to rats and squirrels.

    I suppose the next thing you’ll call for is that Lafayette hire a exterminator to rid the shopping areas of such creatures.

    You seem to know so much more than everyone around you.
    Those folks at the Lafayette Trader Joe’s “happily” handing money to the lying beggars.
    Seems Traders Joes, the Lafayette police, the donators, and the beggars, were all OK with the arrangement.

    Only you seem to sit in your car, in the parking lot, watching all this go on for hours, getting more and more angry.

    Why don’t you go plant flowers in your garden or pick up some litter along some of Lafayette’s roads.
    Make something useful of your final 20 years on the planet rather than becoming ever more bitter.

  • Alcoahead

    @6 —

    I think Mr. Peterson should just pour himself a tall, strong, refreshing glass of Soylent Green over ice — garnished with just a hint of mint. After all, as Jimmy Buffett says, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…”

  • RR senile columnist

    Maybe the morbidly obese beggar needs funds to enroll in Jenny Craig

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @#6. Please state your name & town so I can send beggars to you. Your comments are all ridiculous assumptions. Why don’t you visit Trader Joe’s in Lafayette, talk to the people who work there & ask if anyone misses the beggars. While you are there, ask the workers about this bitter, angry guy who sat in the parking lot, watching morons hand money to the beggars.

  • GV Haste

    I’m sure if the beggars had been breaking the law, that Trader Joe’s would have called the police and they would have been removed right away.

    So, they must of had the right to be there.
    I take it the patriot you are, that you are all for everyone having their rights?
    You know, like free speech and the right to bear arms.

    So they had the right to be there and the right to ask for money. I’m also sure they would not have remained there if no one gave them money.

    So obviously the “moron” portion of the Lafayette community seemed to think their appeal had merit.
    Of course a superior thinker life yourself would know better about all these issues.

    You probably didn’t like the petition gatherers either when they were trying to get measures on the ballot.
    They always go to Trader Joe’s parking lots.
    Also a free speech issue that the courts decided.

    Then again, you probably selectively like the various ballot measures, most of which wouldn’t be on the ballot if not for paid signature gatherers.

    So if you also dislike those folks, who being paid, and are mostly there to make money, I guess you’d also call them disruptive beggars?

    Of course that house you’ve owned for decades gets about a $10,000 a year break due to Prop 13, but I’m sure you’d give up that tax break if it would keep beggar types out of your Lafayette parking lot.

    BTW, just how much time do you spend patrolling Lafayette parking lots to keep things in order?

    I’m sure everyone in town knows about Bruce Peterson and his correct thinking crusade.
    Keeping the town safe for Lamorindans.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @10. You get a few things right. Pretty good for a troll. Free speech, was the City Manager’s excuse for keeping the aggressive beggars in town. The City Manager & his politician friends are also aggressive beggars. They are just polite enough to keep out of my face.
    I agree with you about giving vegetables priority. Even if you don’t know that corn is a vegetable.
    Obviously you don’t know much about boring Lame-or-in-duh. Police patrol the parking lots. Not me.
    A beggar is in front of the Lafayette Post Office, with a sign. The aggressive, insulting, organized, in my face, beggars with cell phones, working on commission, are gone. Now I can exit Lafayette Trader Joe’s without carry out assistance protecting the beggars from my free speech.
    For fun, I parked a block from the store. The employees loved the walk & break. They did not mind a bitter old troll to talk to.
    As for your ridiculous comment about giving up Prop. 13. The end of prop. 13, that the Democrats want, would put me in a mobile home in Willets. Or worse.
    . .