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.