United States of America may sound an affluent country to live in. But, like most countries across the America also face issues of poverty. There are many people in America, who don’t have the income to support their families. To deal with this, the food stamp program assisted by the federal and governed by agriculture and states department was introduced to support people with nutritious food through food stamps.
The congress passed it in year 2008 with an official name- supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). It is commonly known as the food stamp program among the citizens of America. Earlier, those who qualified for this program were distributed a card, which were often complained to be stolen, lost or sold. To overcome this, hard plastic was substituted instead of paper for making these cards, quite akin to debit cards, helping food purchase.
This congressional act has done away with most disadvantages related to the program. The usage is also simplified to a swipe system a lot similar to the debit cards. This has thrown in a new lifeline to the under privileged. One in four children and one in eight Americans use these food stamps according to a survey in 2008.
The program has quite an interesting history dated way back from the year 1939 when it was introduced and was continued till the year 1943. People had to buy these cards in this program with an option to buy additional credits for a dollar. The program was discontinued as employment increased and it was felt that it was no more needed. During the period of 1961-1964 another program was initialized to help support the under privileged. In this program, people still bought them including those using stamps. The inclusion of the agricultural department was due to the program’s concept to use up surplus food stock.
The following years saw many changes in this law and many different versions as well. In 1974, Supplemental security income (SSI) was initiated. People did not have to pay for these cards anymore. All these laws brought smiles as well as creased brows. People with more affluence than the under privileged are frustrated with the need to pay up for these under privileged lot in the form of taxes. It also discourages people from climbing out of the poverty line. People lose their right to these food stamps if they are out of poverty level and financial aid when their income gains an upper slope on the graph sheet and their life improves through colleges. Not to lose grip on these entitlements, people refuse a pay raise and overtime offers. There is a need for financial aid out there. Some are too physically challenged to work for a living and yet others do not have the required skill or capital to run a business. Cutting down all entitlements will only add to the problem, instead choosing the right people to be supported is important. Moreover, the cost of not cutting down these benefits is even higher. Charity is one simple solution, which might work. However, the government has to reconsider the people they want to support for results that are more effective.