What happens to a free nation and a freedom of spirit when the economy is so bad families are forced to go on food stamps in order to survive? Freedom dies in growling stomachs.
Many in the world view the USA as a bunch of fatsos with bulging bellies on the brink of dementia and Alzheimer’s:
(CBS/AP) Having a big belly in your 40s can boost your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia decades later, a new study suggests.
It’s not just about your weight. While previous research has found evidence that obesity in middle age raises the chances of developing dementia later, the new work found a separate risk from storing a lot of fat in the abdomen. Even people who weren’t overweight were susceptible.
The fact burning in the suburban streets and boiling in the urban core is that many Americans are hungry and poorer now and they need government Food Stamps assistance just to put food on the table:
Driven by a painful mix of layoffs and rising food and fuel prices, the number of Americans receiving food stamps is projected to reach 28 million in the coming year, the highest level since the aid program began in the 1960s.
The number of recipients, who must have near-poverty incomes to qualify for benefits averaging $100 a month per family member, has fluctuated over the years along with economic conditions, eligibility rules, enlistment drives and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, which led to a spike in the South.
Americans aren’t just hurting in the cities, but rural areas are also seeking ways to keep bellies full and pantries stocked. In Lincoln, Nebraska, churches have tried to step into to help feed the new, ordinary, poor:
Lincoln-area residents can combat rising grocery prices through the Angel Food program offered by two local churches.
Lincoln City Church, 5001 S. First St., joined the program in June. Each month, individuals or families may order boxes of food at a cost of $30, plus $1 handling.
The food is valued at an average retail price of $60 per box.
In Oshkosh, Wisconsin the family pizza parlor is getting pinched by high wheat prices:
Jeff “Blackie” Weigandt, owner of West End Pizza in Oshkosh, said he’s paying about four times more for flour than what he paid nearly a year ago. Weigandt said he uses about 700 pounds of flour a week at his business on West 20th Avenue.
“We check all of our suppliers to see who has the best prices, but it’s about quadrupled in price per 50 pound bag,” he said. “Flour is the one that has taken off in price this year. The price doubled in one week and that was just within the past month.”
In Miami, Florida the price of a loaf of bread is quickly becoming unaffordable:
Last week in a Miami Publix, the cheapest 20-ounce loaf of white bread cost $1.85 (on special). Most brands of the same size loaf were priced from $2.49 to $2.79.
In 1998, white bread cost an average of 85 cents a pound and $1.03 in February 2006. The price rose to $1.32 a pound last month, according to federal data. And that’s on top of overall food price increases of 4 percent last year and an additional 3.5 to 4.5 percent expected this year, according to federal data.
In West Virginia, one in six residents receive Food Stamps:
A total of 122,877 of the state’s estimated 743,064 households currently receive food stamps. That’s up from 105,365 households in 2003.
But while the number of people on the program has jumped sharply, the federal government has raised the average per-person monthly benefits over that time by just $12 to $85.
Meanwhile, the cost of food is expected to jump by up to 4 percent this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
Where does this dangerous hungering of American lead us?
Are we — as a nation of growling stomachs — headed for mandatory Plumpy Nut home deliveries?