The two sources I will be using are from The Journal of American History and an article from the New York Times. The former is titled Consuming Relief: Food Stamps and the New Welfare of the New Deal while the latter is titled Food Stamps Soars Across U.S., and Stigma Fades. The only common words in the titles are "food stamps, but these two terms form the basis of the topics in this essay. Food Stamps are a "nutritional aid" provided by the United States government to needy families living below the federal poverty line.
That said, the two sources also contain words in their titles that are not similar. From The Journal of American History, the title includes the words "consuming relief and new welfare of the new deal" different from those in the New York Times titled, "use soars across U.S., and stigma fades." Although the two words are not congruent, the topic of discussion is similar to both materials. The former emphasizes on how the program has moved starving people through grocery stores and increased their expenditure while the latter explains the recent increase in the use of food stamps in the U.S. and the decrease in the program's stigma.
The New York Times newspaper article discusses the increasing number of individuals or families surviving on food stamps across the U.S.A. today. The article mentions that the program has grown so rapidly in diverse areas that it has become as common as the groceries it buys. The article also mentions how the bipartisan effort put by the Bush administration helped to erase the program's stigma. An effort whose influence can now be felt in many marginalized areas such as the Alaskan villages along the Bering Sea where the program is now expanding at the rate of about 20,00 persons a day.
The program which was once considered as a failed welfare scheme now helps to feed one in eight adults and one in four children living in America. An analysis of local data collected by the New York Times indicates that there are over 237 counties in the U.S. where at least a quarter of the population receives food stamps. The program also helps in feeding one in three blacks in more than 750 counties. It also contributes in feeding one in three children in more than 800 counties. Also, nearly 40% of children in Peoria, Everytown, U.S.A. receive this aid.
The article from The Journal of American History discusses on how food stamps helped businesses employ more grocery store baggers and clerks amidst the 2009-2010 recession, and emphasized on how the program would end up helping other key economic sectors such as the public transportation. Most importantly, the article stressed on the how this plan assisted in moving the hungry people through grocery stores while at the same time increasing their spending. Food stamp shifted from being a welfare to an economic "stimulus" thus justifying its viability. However, this concept is not new as it first incorporated in the New Deal efforts aimed at transforming relief programs into consumer programs.
The article further emphasizes that, although the first Food Stamp Plan which ran from 1939 to 1943 was the largest welfare state program at the time, it failed to attract the attention of many scholars. They viewed it as a work that drew its concepts from the consumerist aspect of the New Deal welfare, focusing on the middle class and the employed working class. Thus, failing to justify its primary objective. Also, studies by experts from the field of sociology and political science overlook the program as a project of compromise with the agricultural lobbyists.
The article from the historical journal helps the reader to develop tactics of navigating different policies of interest and keeping the needs of the recipients first. It imparts the reader with skills of creating a "true welfare program" rather than a conservative state relief program benefiting only the middle class. The work from the newspaper enlightens the reader on the advantages of a nutritional aid to a starving population. However, if the strategies are not stated clearly, the program may shift from being a nutritional aid to an economic stimulus. Therefore, it is important for the government or other concerned organizations to lay down clear policies before starting a food stamp plan or a "nutritional aid."
DeParle, Jason, and Robert Gebeloff. "Food stamp use soars across US, and stigma fades." New York Times (2009).
Moran, Rachel Louise. "Consuming relief: food stamps and the new welfare of the New Deal." Journal of American History 97.4 (2011): 1001-1022.
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