Food Stamps

Food Chain Radio Michael Olson

Listen to this Food Chain Radio Show hosted by Michael Olson

Urban Farming Agriculturalist

Feeding the 60 Million

Who will feed the 60 millions should government go belly up?

This Poll is closed

Who will feed the 60 million should government go belly up?

 None of the Above  All of the Above  Next Door Neighbors  Community Churches  Local Food Banks


  40%    26%    13%    13%      

Guest:  Rachel Sheffield, Policy Analyst, DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation 

According to Jack Kerouac, the Naked Lunch title he suggested for a William Burrough’s novel, “means exactly what the words say: a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of the fork.”

Here’s some naked lunch…

SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

According to the USDA, one in five now receive food stamps from the federal government.   What we can all see on the end of this fork is 60 million people who now rely on a government $150 trillion (give or take) in debt for their food.

Here’s more naked lunch… 

The number of people on food stamps, and the size of the federal government’s debt, are both rapidly escalating.  In fact, the number of people on food stamps (SNAP) has nearly doubled in the last 5 years, while the size of the government’s current account deficit, which does not include its unfunded liabilities, has increased by over 70%.   What we can all see at the end of this fork is the simple fact that the numbers cannot continue to grow as they are growing without something giving way.

Who will feed the 60 million should government go belly up?

Tune in here, for the syndicated Food Chain Radio Show #954 Live on February 1, 2014 Saturday 9AM Pacific 

One Comment

  1. Leslie says:

    Dear Mr. Olsen,

    I love your radio show and have your book, but this particular episode (#954, Feeding the 60 Million) really confused and disappointed me. It seemed as if both you and your guest were speaking out against “food stamps” with nobody speaking for the program or even for the hungry. It seemed as if your guest (and to some extent, you, too) do not believe poor, dependent, and struggling people “deserve” food.

    During this particular program I don’t recall any mention being made of how many of the individuals receiving food stamps are dependent (children, elderly, disabled) persons (except to chastise “broken” households). Nor was it mentioned that it is still the case that many seemingly “able bodied” individuals on food stamps are veterans. No mention at all was made of the fact that individuals on food stamps must be at or below 130% percent of the poverty line. It was mentioned that poverty looks a little different now, but no consideration was given to how poverty and technology interface in today’s world, and instead things like mobile phones and computers (the only “home” many struggling people have, and both essential items for staying connected to employment or education opportunities) were declared luxuries and proof of fraud.

    The main complaint of your guest seemed to be that too many people receiving food stamps don’t want to work. A quick look at a breakdown of employment for food stamp “households” by state seems to indicate that about 3/4 of all of them have at least one member who is employed full time, with a few more percentage points gained if part-time workers are considered.

    Not covered was the idea that food stamps might “save” money, not “waste” it. Food stamp benefit moneys goes directly into the industrial food chain, and also allow people to spend money on other necessities … like child care, cell phones, shelter, clothing or transportation … or even the occasional luxury like a video game. Note: the words “TV” and “Flat Screen TV” are now synonymous, so using “flat screen tv” for shock value just sounds silly. Having an old fashioned “fat” TV is the sign of the kind of stability that many struggling people can only dream about.

    Also not covered were any of the many causes for the federal deficit … so it sounded to me as if food stamps are to blame.

    I completely agree, we cannot continue to throw money at problems if we run out of money. It really does seem we are losing the war on poverty, and that the traditional bonds of society are dyeing on the vine. But I believe that as long as there is food, and as long as we wish to consider ourselves civilized, we feed our young, our elderly, our disabled, and our veterans without complaint. We feed our poor.

    I’ve listened to many episodes of Food Chain Radio (hundreds?) and have heard this topic covered more sensitively previously. I hope Food Chain Radio has not lost the generous and compassionate community spirit I’ve grown to love.

    The need to eat is absolute for every and not at all based on merit.


    Leslie Joyce
    Sherwood, OR

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