Food stamps don’t cover the cost of healthy eating

Food stamps don’t cover the cost of healthy eating. Here’s how far they fall short.


OCTOBER 20, 2017

Food stamps aren’t enough for families to afford the healthy diet the federal government recommends. A researcher at N.C. State University has helped define the financial distance between food stamps and healthy eating.

It would cost a family of four, with two adults and two children, as much as $627 more per month than they receive in food stamps to eat the recommended healthy diet, concluded a study co-authored by Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, an assistant professor and extension specialist at N.C. State.

People who use food stamps must have a maximum income before taxes that’s 130 percent of poverty. For a family of four, that’s $2,628 a month. Research shows that most food stamp recipients work. North Carolina recipients must prove they’re working, volunteering or taking classes at least 20 hours a week.

People using food stamps often use food pantries to supplement their purchases.

Late Tuesday, Maya McDowell, 32, waited in the lobby of the Catholic Charities food pantry in Raleigh for a donation that will help feed her and her two sons, ages 3 and 8.