Monday, November 30, 2009

Food Stamp Usage at All Time High

50% of American kids will use food stamps at some point during their childhoods, according to a Cornell researcher.  Lots of newspapers and TV stations picked up the report, which was released a few weeks ago.

But what's happening right here, right now?  According to an interactive map published by the New York Times, 7% of Tompkins County residents use food stamps, a 26% increase since 2007 (the US average is 11%). Breaking down the data for our county, 16% of kids use food stamps and 22% of blacks. 

For neighboring counties, the numbers are slightly different: 
In Schuyler County, 11% of residents and 20% of kids use food stamps.
In Tioga County, 11% of residents and 19% of kids use food stamps.
In Chemung County, 14% of residents and 26% of kids use food stamps.

The Ithaca Journal has compiled a list of local food pantries and free meals.

In related news, the Ithaca Times published a Q&A with Jemila Sequiera, the director of Whole Community Project at CCE-TC.  The program aims to improve kids' health throughout the county, by improving access to healthy food and recreation opportunities.

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