45.8 million Americans rely on food stamps
Fri, 05 Aug 2011 14:51:04 GMT — A CNN Money report says nearly 15% of Americans are on food stamps. That's nearly 46-million people, a new record.
The faces behind food stamps tell quite a story. Many are unemployed, under-empolyed, and battling the rising prices of food.Laylonta Ratliff of Flint says, "It does help to have some extra change to get some food." Ratliff works part-time at King's Catering & Banquet Center in Mt. Morris Township . She also works full-time at AutoZone . Her combined salary still qualifies her for food assistance .
"Not everybody that gets food stamps are abusing it," says Ratliff.
Across the country, more people are applying for food stamps. CNN Money says the top states are California, Florida, New York, and Texas, where more than three million people per state receive food stamps.
The average family receiving food assistance gets $133 per person, per month, with an average of $283 per family, per month.
In Mt. Morris Township, leaders and business owners are working to turn the trend.
The owners of King's Catering recently hired 22-people.
Co-owner Richie King says, "Two weeks ago that was 22 people that were unemployed finding employment."
"It was our dream, and it finally came true, and we're just going to move forward and hope we can get more employed," says co-owner Machelle King.
"Businesses that want to come to Mt. Morris Township, we'll do anything we can humanly possible to walk them through the process making it as easy as possible," says Mt. Morris Township Supervisor Larry Green.
"Food stamps do help me out quite a bit. I don't plan to be on welfare for the rest of my life," says Ratliff.
In addition to those on food stamps, Mt. Morris Township is also dealing with a declining population.
The supervisor says a lack of jobs has forced 2,000 people to leave in the last ten years, which is one in nearly ten people.
We want to know what you think is causing so many people to need welfare assistance. Leave us your comments below, and join the conversation on the NBC25 Facebook page.