In December, 2008 the number of Food Stamp participants in the US numbered 31,784,453, the largest number on record. It's also the latest figure available, it that count of nearly 32 million was an increase of over 700,000 from the previous month. That's an enormous number of people.
Food stamps don't come close to feeding someone with anything resembling a balanced diet and food stamp recipients have to make some odd food choices. Check out this video from CNN. A reporter, Sean Callebs, lived on a food stamp budget for a month and in this video he talks about his experience.
Embedded video from CNN Video
Food stamp recipients, and needy people who can't get food stamps, depend on the nation's food banks in ways no one could have imagined a year ago. But the good news is that a dollar in the hands of Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest) can turn into 10 pounds of food for the needy. The need's not unique to the US either. My Canadian readers can participate in April Food Day with a donation to Food Banks Canada. If you'd like to participate in April Food Day, all we're asking is that you donate a buck. That's it. A dollar in the hands of a food bank can turn into seven meals. If you're motivated to give more, know this: $25 will make 75 meals for your needy countrymen. It's not magic but it feels good to make a tangible difference.
You'll see this logo scattered around the Internet as a bunch of us are posting on the same topic today. Whether it's here or somewhere else or on your own in your own time, think about making a donation to the nation's hungry.
Many thanks to Meg Fairfax Fielding from Pigtown Design and Chris Cox from Easy and Elegant Life for putting all this together.