Traditional food stamps like the ones pictured here are no longer distributed. All 50 states now provide debit-style EBT cards. (PHOTO CREDIT: TIM BOYLE/GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
A record 34 million Americans are getting food stamps...
This translates to 1 in 9 people and is yet another sign that we're going through the worst recession since the Great Depression.
A government report shows May was the sixth month in a row that food stamp enrollment increased - it was up in every state - with Florida showing the largest jump.
The economic stimulus package has temporarily increased food stamp benefits - with the average now about $134 per person per month.
Although Americans everywhere are clearly hurting - the city of Detroit, Michigan, has been hit especially hard. CNNMoney.com has a sad story about the lack of food in a city where unemployment has topped 16-percent.
Food stamp applications and pantry visits are way up; in some neighborhoods, there are people guarding food supplies. Those looking to help have even resorted to urban farming.
What's especially troubling about this recession in a place like Detroit is the kind of people looking for assistance. It's no longer just the homeless and poor, but now also the middle class... those who maybe lost jobs in the auto industry or home owners who saw the value of their homes evaporate.
Although we're seeing some positive news on the job front nationally today... it's clear millions of Americans will continue to feel the pain of this recession for a long time.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when 1 in 9 Americans is receiving food stamps?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Amy from Elkridge, Maryland writes:
Jack, My sister has a PHD in English and has been a college professor for the last 25 years… She was told recently by the University of Pennsylvania that they would not be renewing her full-time contract, and offered her instead one class to teach for practically no money. She went on food stamps this summer to be able to feed her and her daughter. This is so wrong on so many levels.
Sherri from Illinois writes:
Another example of Main Street USA getting its butt kicked to no end and Wall Street laughing and joking because the Dow is over 9,300 so all is well with the world!
Paul from Westminster, Maryland writes:
It means the Republicans controlled the White House and the Congress for six years and now we're paying the bill. Next up for the "just say no" crowd, a watered-down health care bill that will benefit the health insurance companies that give them the money they need to be good Republicans.
Samantha from Portland, Oregon writes:
In a country where obesity is still a huge problem and 1 in 9 people are using food stamps, we clearly have a disconnect between our needs and our greed. I just recently obtained my Masters of Architecture and 2 months later, I am about to join the 1 out of 9 Americans using food stamps. It's sad when one invests so much in an education only to have to appeal to the government for something so basic as food.
Margarita from Colorado writes:
Jack, It means the fat cats at AIG and Goldman Sachs need to be taxed to support those on food stamps - people who have been screwed by the financial industry. They eat caviar, and the middle class goes to food banks.
Jerry from St. Louis writes:
It means that we have serious domestic issues and rising costs for basic necessities. I got to go, Jack. My congressman's private jet just landed and we're throwing him a welcome home party.