No matter what politicians may say, official government statistics say that the American economy continues to stall. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 20% of American households were on food stamps during 2013.
The only ray of sunshine in that frightening statistic is that those economically-disadvantaged Americans are eligible for free government cell phones that can help them climb out of the financial hole in which they now find themselves.
Here are the rough numbers: Approximately 18 million financially-struggling Americans participate in the free government cell phone program or receive a Lifeline discount on their traditional plan. Approximately 23 million needy households currently qualify for food stamps. Since the free government cell phones are limited to one per household, roughly 5 million households that qualify for those phones have not yet applied.
Let’s get into those stats a little deeper: A record number of Americans qualified for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also know as “food stamps”, in the last calendar year. According to CNSnews.com, “The USDA says that there were 23,052,388 households on food stamps in the average month of fiscal 2013, an increase of 722,675 from fiscal year 2012, when there were 22,329,713 households on food stamps in the average month.”
CNS crunched those numbers and then compared them to the Census Bureau’s estimates for the total number of U.S. households in the last month of each fiscal year. That gave them a baseline that helped them establish the percentage of all U.S. households on food stamps in the fiscal year.
The Census Bureau said there were 115,013,000 households in the United States in 2013. Since the USDA reports that 23,052,388 households are on food stamps, simple division tell us that number equals 20.0% of all households.
Unfortunately, the number of households on food stamps has grown rapidly since the onset of the global financial crisis five years ago. In fiscal year 2009 the number of households on food stamps was 15,232,115, a number that only looks good in the rear view mirror. In fiscal year 2013, the number of households had leapt to 23,052,388, a 51.3% increase in just five years. As you might expect, the number of individuals reliant on food stamps has increased almost as fast as the number of households.
CSN reports, “In 2013, the monthly average for individuals on food stamps hit an all-time-high of 47,636,084, according to the USDA, an increase of 1,027,012 over the 46,609,072 individuals who were participating in the program in 2012.”
That number has dramatically increased from five years ago. In fiscal year 2009, the number of individuals participating in the food stamp program was 33,489,975. In 2013, the number was 47,636,084, a shocking increase of 42.2%.
That’s enough depressing news. Let’s move onto something more uplifting and positive: If you qualify for food stamps, you also qualify for Lifeline Assistance, the free government cell phone program. And that’s very good news.
We don’t believe there’s any other aid program out there today that offers as much bang for the buck for America’s poor than the free government cell phone program. When you receive the free phone, you’ll be able to contact and stay in touch with potential employers, medical care professionals, and, of course, your friends and family.
In other words, a free government cell phone can help you get a job and break the cycle of poverty; it can improve your health care; It can increase your family safety and security by helping you stay in touch with everyone who’s dependent on you.
If you currently qualify for food stamps (or a number of other state and federal government assistance programs), you may just qualify for a free government cell phone.
Don’t just sit there. Apply for one now.