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USDA: Food Budgets Fall Short for 13 Percent of Wyomingites

PHOTO: bag of groceries. Photo credit: Deborah Smith
PHOTO: bag of groceries. Photo credit: Deborah Smith
September 6, 2012

CASPER, Wyo. - "Food insecurity" is taking up more table space in Wyoming. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released new statistics on how many families have a tough time providing regular nutritious meals. Close to 13 percent of Wyomingites are in that situation - a percentage that has been creeping up since 2006.

The USDA data comes as a new poll from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows bi-partisan support is strong for food stamps, even while the U.S. House and Senate are considering significant cuts in the program in order to reduce federal spending.

FRAC president Jim Weill warns there are bills in the U.S. House and Senate to cut billions from food stamps.

"American families know what the food stamp program is and what it does. Sometimes, the people who are attacking it, using false images of it, don't realize how many of their constituents are on the program."

Weill says there are gender and age differences among those using food stamps that provide insight into the lingering effects of the recession.

"Women are more likely to be on food stamps than men. They're single parents; often their wages are lower. As seniors, they're more likely to have lower incomes. So, interestingly, women generally support the program even more strongly than men."

Half of all children in America are on food stamps at some point in their young lives, Weill adds.

Poll details are available at FRAC. USDA food insecurity state-by-state numbers are listed at www.ers.usda.gov.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY