Dahleen Glanton on the myth of the Welfare Queen

The truth is that the typical food stamp recipient isn’t an urban black woman at all. She is a white woman.
And the people who benefit most from food stamps paid for with our hard-earned tax dollars aren’t primarily black kids living in fatherless homes. They are little white kids who would starve to death if the government didn’t step in to help them.
Of the 44 million SNAP recipients, 36 percent are white, 25 percent are African-American, 17 percent are Hispanic, 3 percent are Asian and 1 percent are Native American, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Contrary to what some might think, people living in this country illegally are not eligible.
The bottom line is that the real beneficiaries of SNAP, independent of race, are children. Forty-four percent of participants are younger than 18, an additional 12 percent are age 60 or older and 9 percent are disabled adults, according to federal government statistics.
And the assumption that people who receive food assistance don’t work? It’s a lie.
Nearly one-third of all SNAP households — and nearly half of those with children — report an income. Many families rely on SNAP only when they are between jobs or because they are among millions of American’s working poor. The problem is that most of the jobs they can get are low-paying and often are temporary.

Read the whole column here.


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