Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Food Stamp race, Mississippi comes in first; Oregon places second

    One in seven Americans in now on Food Stamps. Mississippi ranks first, which is no doubt good news to our state's grocers. Coming in a close second is that bastion of poverty -- Oregon!
    The New York Times has an interactive map showing Food Stamp usage rates. The NYT does a great job with these types of maps. I sent one to my Jinny a few months ago and she forwarded to her boss and everyone she works with. It had some great info in an easy to use format.
    Certainly it's no surprise to find Mississippi atop the food stamp list. We do love our free food. But it was a surprise to see that Oregon was nipping at our heels.
    So what gives? A quick look at the income ceilings explains it all. In Mississippi, to be eligible for food stamps one must have an income below the federal poverty level: $22,350 for a family of our, $10,890 for a single person. In Oregon the cut-off is $40,800 for a family of four and $20,040 for a single person.
    And full-time college students are eligible for Food Stamps if they work 20 hours per week. Student loans and grants don't count as income. Now that is a deal!
    So today's lesson is that if you like to eat, move to Oregon. They're offering a free buffet -- and student specials!

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