Tuesday, August 10, 2010

12% of Montana's Population Recieves Food Stamps

I was reading the news tonight and ran across an article with what I think is very disturbing news. It seems that as of this month there are over 118,000 people in Montana receiving food stamps which is over 12% of our total state population. The total recipients in July of 2009 totaled over 100,000 people.

Food stamps are now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the recipient is given a debit card issued by the state program. The big increase is apparently following the national trend here in Montana and as of this May 40.8 million people nationwide are receiving this benefit which is a 19% increase from a year ago.

The economy has left many people unemployed and part of the increase is from people that have used up all their unemployment benefits and are just getting by.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services website shows that a family of 4 can have no more than $3,401 monthly income to qualify

With the projected decrease in State revenues this year it would appear that our local legislators will have some hard decisions to make this session


  1. Is it true that now the hoot collonies people now qualify for food stamps. They claim to be a non-proffit orginization I know for a fact that they get medicade but find it unreal that they can get food stamps. If this is true than they could be the a huge part of the increase in the number of people using the program.

  2. I thought food stamps were a federal giveaway, why would our local legislators care? Besides, Uncle Sam just swiped 12 billion out of foodstamp program to give to the states to hire teachers. Therefor the hard decisons will be on how to spend that new money that fell from a poor persons mouth into their laps.

  3. Yes fuelburner some colonies receive food stamps, but some still don't. A lot do receive medicaid as well and while they do claim exempt status as a religious organization, the colony itself would not be eligible, but the individuals in the colony are. Because assets are divided evenly among colony residents, they fall below the income levels to qualify for many programs. Once they qualify it is just a matter of whether or not they wish to participate.

    Keep in mind they do contribute significantly to the tax base in many Montana Counties and some do pay income taxes as well on business activites outside the colonies.

  4. I am all for giving someone a helping hand if they are a working family trying to make ends meet. As long as they are making an effort to support themselves, that's what this program was designed for. However, the system is flawed, I spoke with a person who has rentals that are under Section 8 housing. He had one of his renters offer him his food stamp debit card for 50 cents on the dollar. Now if this can go on and nobody is the wiser, we have a serious problem. As long as we have programs available to support people who aren't willing to support themselves, and the people controlling the purse strings don't bother following up on anything, 12% is only the beginning.

  5. He had one of his renters offer him his food stamp debit card for 50 cents on the dollar.

    They need to require that the person using the card have ID that matches the card. IMO

  6. I wonder how this number is distributed by population.

    I did a research project in college about unemployment and I know the reservations are much higher than off reservations.

    So, what is the distribution of food stamps per ethnicity or per location?

  7. always interesting that folks focus on the small change...
    if the 61% of american corps that paid no taxes last year had to pony up...
    every household in the country would have an extra $10k...
    that would be socialism...
    wait a minute...
    if the people are paying for wars that profit the rich...
    isn't that what the soviets had going?