19 percent of Georgians on food stamps; Mississippi at 21.5 percent

Georgia had 1,851,586 people on food stamps in August, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as noted in The Wall Street Journal.

That’s 19 percent of the population.

Georgia ranks among the highest in the category. Mississippi had the highest percentage of recipients at 21.5 percent.

Wyoming had only 6 percent.

Southeast states generally had the largest percentage of people on food stamps, with Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina all over 18 percent.

Nationwide, nearly 15 percent used food stamps.

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90 comments Add your comment

where my money?

November 3rd, 2011
9:34 am

I want more of this free government money—-where do I go to get more? The money I get now is not enough.

Terri

November 3rd, 2011
10:09 am

Are the majority repub states too?

Tanya

November 3rd, 2011
10:15 am

Looks like an opportunity to tackle obesity and other chronic disease by making sure the food that is bought with this money is healthy, since I imagine this population also suffers disproportionately higher with obesity, diabetes, hypertension…

Mathematician

November 3rd, 2011
10:18 am

I’m no math wiz, but I believe the number of those on foodstamps should have a 1 in front of it for that to be 19%…

m915

November 3rd, 2011
10:24 am

I wish they would give a percentage of “White Folk” on welfare.

hmm

November 3rd, 2011
10:27 am

I think I must get behind them in line every time too.
Wow
what a hassle.

vicki

November 3rd, 2011
10:30 am

I believe it! When I shop I for groceries – half the time, the person in front of me pays for food with the food stamp card and then pays for the rest of the buggie(items I cannot afford) with her bank card. Seems like some people are getting food stamps that do not need it. We have a serious problem in this state.

Jose

November 3rd, 2011
10:36 am

Newt stated that the President will be the Food Stamp President but he didn’t state that due to the actions of the Republicans that the most concentrated areas will be in the Republican red states.

In reality, the more that you try to hold people back or down, the more that you will pay to sustain them in the future. The shackles still exist in America. If you think that you can or should cut them off, you will have collateral damage across this country.

Nobody wants to be in poverty as their DREAM in Life but when you do box people in, some will make do, and some will not accept to make the change, and some will cause problems. We, as a society have to help lift people up. If we don’t, we will forever be standing in the same pile of NOTHING trying to judge somebody that we had a hand in causing the problem.

Why?

November 3rd, 2011
10:37 am

Yes, many Southern states are Republican in general elections but for many, many, many years Democrats controlled the state school systems in these states. Labor unions are also a huge part of this. Poor parents and drugs too. Be honest people.

Food stamps would suggest a lack of skill in the USA workforce. I blame that on the student and the local school system. See Atlanta PS and you will have your answer to the question ……………..why?

Drop outs, teen pregnancy and drugs, crime infested hallways and absentee fathers and on and on ………..all products of the Democrat’s Crown Jewel program ………….LBJ’s GREAT SOCIETY.

Most of you are too young to know the root cause of ignorance and poverty in the USA is due to government. If you give, give, give and receive, receive and receive ………..free housing and free cars and free medical and free food ……………you have no work ethic. THIS is the cause of it all.

I rest my case.

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
10:39 am

Is it true that people who receive Section 8 housing money buy new cars….financed and all? Say it’s not so. So here you get government housing money….wow….should the money for the car not go to the monthly rent?

reality

November 3rd, 2011
10:39 am

Wyoming has the lowest percentage at 6%… I wonder why.

What could possibly be the difference between Wyoming’s population and Georgia’s population? Hmmmmm…. thinking, thinking, thinking….

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
10:40 am

2012, free housing no more…goggle it. This government fraud and waste has to stop!

Why not?

November 3rd, 2011
10:43 am

why would they work when they don’t have to?

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
10:43 am

…problem is, food stamp amounts have decreased. Depending on income, the average family of three is now getting $221.00 per month…..laughable.

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
10:45 am

My son, who attends a Charter Middle School was taught last week that the average family fo 3 spends 380.00 a WEEK on groceries….and there you thought Obama was your friend.

AX

November 3rd, 2011
10:46 am

@reality The differences between Wyoming and Georgia are primarily economic. Wyoming is in a natural gas drilling boom, and since its residents have been leaving for decades, there’s nobody left to support the drillers. Hence, it’s easy to find a job in Wyoming. This is true across most of the natural gas states now.

But that doesn’t fit the racial mold people want to fit these data into. But feel free to click the link in the article to the actual map. I’d love to hear how Maine (18.9%) or West Virginia (18.8%) fit into your narrative.

Hypocrites

November 3rd, 2011
10:49 am

I am sure there are people out there abusing food stamps, however, most of the people on this thread who taking shots at food stamps(a tiny percentage of the federal budget) probably don’t care that 1 of every 5 dollars spent at the federal level goes to support a blouted military. You people should be a little more consistant in your outrage. Oil companies and corporate farms cheat the system for billions of dollars. All the food stamps given out since the program started would add up to the amount spent on that needless war in Iraq that you people you vote for started.

Brosephus

November 3rd, 2011
10:49 am

Yes, many Southern states are Republican in general elections but for many, many, many years Democrats controlled the state school systems in these states. Labor unions are also a huge part of this. Poor parents and drugs too. Be honest people.

Many of those same Democrats who controlled things in the South have switched sides and put (R)’s behind their names. In essence, the same people who were in control are pretty much still in control. Based on current voting patterns, they’re more likely to die in office instead of being replaced.

Likewise, most Southern states are right-to-work states, so the effect that unions have are minimal. There’s gonna be a need to replace the labor union boogeyman with a new one pretty soon, especially in the South.

Fletcher

November 3rd, 2011
10:50 am

I see quite a bit of this “freebies” going on at my local grocery store, and believe me, if these folks were really looked at, approx. half of them could be disqualified for these stamps. In fact, I have a friend who lives amongst some of these “freebie” receipitents, and he says they sell the food stamps to buy cigerettes, alcohol, etc. What a shame, at the taxpayer’s expense.

The Truth

November 3rd, 2011
10:51 am

And I think all of these southern states are controled by Republicans.

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
10:52 am

Did you know that the food stamp program was originally given to white people during The Great Depression? After a while, or even years, minority\ies and immigrants received them, too and that’s when fraud took over. I rememeber being chased through the grocery store in the early 90’s by some crazed individual who wanted to sell stamps at all cost.

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
10:55 am

The reason these stamps are so easy to get is because the amount spend by the government for this program is counted as monies cirulating in the economy…….promoting an upswing in ’spending’ by the public.

AJC, will you please allow people to comment on Occupy Atlanta stories?

November 3rd, 2011
10:59 am

AJC, will you please allow people to comment on Occupy Atlanta stories? …It will be so much fun for all of us to talk about the Occupy Jealousy movement.

Scared

November 3rd, 2011
11:04 am

I just lost my job an hour ago, I already have my resume going out and will not be picky about what ‘level’ they bring me in at as long as it can feed my family. But if it unfortunately comes to the point that I don’t have any money to feed my son, I’ll do what it takes even if it means food stamps. Do I want that? No. Do I want a job? Yes! So I’m off of here to get back on the job boards – but I’ll sacrifice my pride if that’s what it takes to feed my son.

dc

November 3rd, 2011
11:05 am

and 99% of the 19% don’t need them. yes, they want them but so do I. How about we pass a law no beer or no smokes allowed or you get no food stamps. BTW – there is no stigma anymore with getting these .. it is expected now vs a true need in years past. So sad .. God help us. Those who vote for a living have out numbered those that work for a living. Widows an orphans no problem but really it is so abused … will it ever be able to be stopped ?.

Already Done

November 3rd, 2011
11:08 am

I’m a 1%er. I pay cash. Crisp 20’s.

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
11:10 am

It’s not a pride ‘thing’ anymore, it’s the norm. If you are unemployed, these benefits go hand in hand with your unemployment compensation (so to speak), because of inflation…look at the prices in the stores…coffee $12.99 and so on…..there is no shame in getting these benefits right now. The shame comes in when someone lies to get them, or tries to sell them, or uses them for years and years and years. I was surpised to see people paying with this benefit card in the more afluent neighborhoods. Everything is sky high……no jobs…this is the right time to take this benefits and run with it. And by the way, boycott Walmart!

Tech '10

November 3rd, 2011
11:11 am

We need skilled workers and craftsmen, why not offer that as an alternative to college. Not everyone has to go to college, you can make a good living working a trade, it is pretty hard work, but nothing completely horrible. I actually preferred that to my current cubical situation. All we have to do is convince people that working a trade is a respectable career. There will be a demand for skilled tradesmen/women once the market comes back. The question now is who will fill the void? Americans or illegals?

This is why there are protests in the streets

November 3rd, 2011
11:11 am

To qualify for food stamps a family of four has to make less than $29,064.

When nearly 20% of us are that poor, is it any wonder that there are protests!

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
11:16 am

There are discussions in the White House to decide if the Snap card could be used for all Fast Food Places (Pizza, Burgers…..). That would be a great idea. People that are job hunting could swipe their card during lunch for a warm meal and not have to spend their own cash.

Terri

November 3rd, 2011
11:19 am

@vicki YOU don’t know what that persons circumstance is. So what they paid with food stamps and then with their debit card. You have no idea whether it’s a prepaid debit card, if that card was given to them by a family member to buy the paper products, diapers or misc items, YOU have NO IDEA! Stop judging folks. UNTIL YOU WALK in their shows all you can do is ASSume? I pray you are never down and out and have to make a dollar out of 15 cents like some college educated hard workers that may have been laid off. Grow TFU!!!

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
11:23 am

one more thing to add…..there is a huge difference of a previous employed person rec. food stamps versus someone on welfare that plays the system.

IntheTrenches

November 3rd, 2011
11:24 am

While $29,064 sounds like a lot, that breaks down to $2,422 a monthly ($605.50 a week), remember, you’ve got housing costs, transportation, insurance (perhaps), utilities, etc. And food! SNAP benefits are only designed to apy for 2/3 of your food (Supplemental Assistance). You still have to make up the other third.

wally

November 3rd, 2011
11:24 am

Welcome to the start of Socialism.
Change YOU can believe in and that YOU voted for. ….
Congratulation’s..now sign up everyone you know.

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
11:25 am

that amount is incorrect…it’s a lot less than that..a lot less.

Navigator

November 3rd, 2011
11:26 am

No one wants to ask the question so I will. Give us a chart of recipients by county, why have it at the state level, give us the details.

Lola

November 3rd, 2011
11:27 am

There are alot of idiots on this blog. It’s always about race and poverty.

Terri

November 3rd, 2011
11:28 am

@stunned you are SPOT on! Some of these jokesters commenting are clueless like all people want to use stamps or be in the situation they are in. There are real folks that have been gainfully employed for YEARS having to apply to positions that they never would have looked twice at to survive and keep their family afloat

IntheTrenches

November 3rd, 2011
11:31 am

http://www.fns.usda.gov A family of four can have a gross income level of $2,422 a month. That is the MOST you can make to qualify for benefits and at that income, you wouldn’t get many benefits (food dollars on your EBT card). Your net income can’t be more than $1,863. If you had no income, your family of four would receive $668 SNAP benefits.

Cristina cruz

November 3rd, 2011
11:38 am

I had worked for 12 yrs for the same company in 2 states, my husband worked retail management all his life. We did the right things, got out of debt, saved, and bought our house 6yrs ago. nobody could foretell that my husband would be disabled 3 yrs after we bought our house, or that i would lose my job last yr. we have used our savings and ira to survive and pay our bills for the past yr because i have not been able to find a job. after paying plenty of taxes (ny & ga), it has been difficult to get any help. i do recieve foodstamps and i it does help, especially when you have a child. It is not just for those, baby making mamas, who abuse it.

Samantha

November 3rd, 2011
11:39 am

There are more white people on food stamps and welfare than any other race in America. That’s a fact! :)

Sunny

November 3rd, 2011
11:40 am

Wow, these comments are sickening. Kudos to all of you who have never lost a job, had a monumental medical crisis that wiped out your savings, and have never, ever in your life needed anything from anyone. Yes, I am that well groomed woman with a smartphone and a “nice” car. I have always been well groomed and that car (that needs work, btw) was paid for in full while I worked. Heaven forbid that I have nice things before falling to my knees.

Lucky me, while I have ZERO income, I receive an astounding $200/month in food stamps to feed myself and child (who isn’t mine biologically). Yet, when you see me pull out my debit card to pay for necessities such as medication and toiletries that aren’t covered by the program you envy me? I would GLADLY trade places with any of you working people. Frankly, I am tired of being told that I am overqualified for menial jobs. Who cares?!?! I am trying to feed my family by any means necessary! If any of you well to do’ers are hiring, please post the info here instead of knocking those who “appear” to be abusing the system because for every one person who is abusing food stamps, there are 3 more doing right and feeding their families as thriftily and healthy as possible with what we are given.

Stop throwing everyone into one pile with these sweeping generalizations! You’d be surprised at how many of your working friends and neighbors are receiving government assistance.

Stunned

November 3rd, 2011
11:41 am

I think it is tragic that educated and skilled people cannot find another job. The job market used to be fun, even to contract yourself out for a year was ‘cool’. But now this entire mess is turing to self preservation……and that’s why you have to do what you must do to ’survive’. You keep your pride and head up high and get those benefits, if necessary. You meet and great, show proof of income…treat it as a business get-together. You will not have to see that person who qualifies you ever again, unless your income increases……and when you do find employment, it takes a phone call to take you off…..or you can even do it online.

Down4thaCount

November 3rd, 2011
11:41 am

Sounds great. How can I get in on this!

Going Through It

November 3rd, 2011
11:41 am

The timing of this article is ironic… I just applied for stamps today. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve been searching for a job since May and have had no luck. I have a bachelor’s degree and no reason NOT to be hired other than the fact that I’m competing against a ton of other folks who need jobs too. And believe me, I will make things work with whatever they offer me… I’ve never smoked nor consumed alcohol nor taken any form of drugs and really resent some of the comments being posted. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me, I’m not a criminal or a lazy ass… I’m just a person who, instead of giving to those in need, have found myself on the needy end for a while.

With stores hiring for the holiday season, I hope to find some work even if it’s temporary. But please… don’t be so quick to judge. You might find yourself in my place someday.

Alberta Gresham

November 3rd, 2011
11:48 am

Yes, I paid for some of my food with a Card $16 a month and paid the rest cash from unemployment. Now I don’t receive and food stamp assistance at all. Pay more attention, that person you saw wasn’t always in that state and is hurting and humiliated deep inside where you cannot see. Worked continuously for over 30 plus years. Separated from Co as soon as I turned 50. All of that Hope I’m the first I see. Help me pray not just for me but everyone else still going through this firey trial.

Just Jeff

November 3rd, 2011
11:50 am

Of that 19% I would like to do further breakdowns. Those that have iPhones, Dish network, are leasing (or own) a luxury car, living in a house because of a subprime mortgage, getting healthcare at no cost to themselves, getting free or greatly reduced utitilities, etc…

say what?

November 3rd, 2011
11:51 am

Sad tht posters are making a mockery of a true social ill that surpasses race. If SNAP use was based on race, then midwest states would not have a single welfare office, but only states with large metropolitan areas. The fact is lost on many that more whites receive public entitlements than any other group- that is the way it is and the way it has always been. BUT because metro Atlanta (over 25 counties) has a larger minority population, and news media that focuses on doom and gloom in the hood, you would never know the truth.
What is even sadder is the fact that a large percentage of the elderly who have limited income are only eligble for $10 in monthly SNAP benefits.

I commend those families and individuals who have worked all their lives who have now succumb to the global business model of moving American jobs offshore to make the bottom line profits appear to be better. In GA our government is pro-business, anti-family, so what do you expect when all the valuable benefits and resources go to businesses to expand the job base by 50 people at a time? GA has nearly 1 million unemployed (those receiving UCb and those whose benefits have lapsed) but we are to applaud a business that receives millions in tax credits but hires people from Alabama- when did AL put something in for the deal?

Joesnopy

November 3rd, 2011
11:52 am

The Repubs have been in control of Georgia for 12 years and have been in total control for 8 years so why was it better when the dems were in control?

Joesnopy

November 3rd, 2011
11:55 am

Georgia has a jobs problem and it is related to education. Yes the problem goes back to the 60’s and its roots are based on the Jim Crow laws. Yes, when you keep a people down you keep all the people down.