moldybluecheesecurds 2

Monday, June 04, 2007

$5 a day won't keep the doctor away, either

As commenter rick noted on my original food stamp post, $3 a day (actually $2.86) is the average benefit for a food stamp recipient. The benefits are on a sliding scale based on income and assets, so recipients probably contribute some of their own income toward food.

The maximum benefit allowed would potentially represent the total food budget for a recipient who is eligible, and provides a decent picture of real poverty. That benefit is $155 monthly, or approximately $5.17 per day ($36/week) for one person or $285 monthly ($9.50/day, $66.50/week) for two.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that 30 percent of food stamp recipients (8 of 26 million) "enjoy" this benefit, and their report also notes that due to 1996 changes in the law, the food stamp benefit is slowly decreasing in value. Nice work, Congress!

1 comment:

rick said...

In the early 90s, my mother's budget for food for our family of four was $80-$100 weekly (about $80-$100/person/mo or $3-$3.50/person/day). We ate beans, small meat portions, in-season produce only, and few processed foods. She made our bread and breakfast cereal herself.

Assuming 3% inflation, $5 today is about $3.20 fifteen years ago, or just below what we were managing.