Number of Oklahomans on food stamps rising

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Feeding your family may be harder now than ever, but that is just what one state agency says could be happening. If you've been to the grocery store lately you know all too well how much basics like milk and bread cost, and local agencies say that's forcing more and more people to line up for help.

We spent part of the day browsing at grocery stores around town to see how much people are expected to pay just to put breakfast on the table for their kids.

A gallon of milk costs $3.98 at this one grocer. At another, Borden was $4.29, and bread for the morning toast and lunch-time sandwiches was well over $2 a loaf.

What does it all mean?

Figures from the Department Of Human Services indicate more Oklahomans were on food stamps last month than a year ago. Now we need to be fair and mention that is the first increase we have seen in over a year, but local charities say they are concerned with the rising costs at the markets too, and that more middle-class families are coming to them for help making ends meet.

"It’s much greater now. We've noticed an increase in the people coming in needing bags of groceries, an increase in the people that come to our feeding program at lunch time is increasing," Salvation Army Capt. Barbara Wilson says.

Captain Wilson says a lot of people are embarrassed to ask for help for their family and that the Salvation Army is seeing a lot more first-timers walk through their doors. They say it is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you need help, call the Department Of Human Services or go by the Salvation Army.

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  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Mar 27, 2008 at 10:38 PM
    Keep in mind that food stamps is not just a program to help the needy. It has a double purpose. While FS are distributed by "welfare" agencies to the needy, the Food Stamp program is a USDA (Dept of Agriculture) program. In other words, it is a price support program for our nations farmers and agricultural industry. This is a very important part of the FS program. Had the FS program not been created, the gov. would have just incresed welfare grants, and recipients could spend it on anything they want. FS assures the $ is spent on food (maybe junk food, maybe steak), rather than non-food items. As public assistance, it helps assure that a certain % of assistance goes toward feeding families. As a price support, it helps assure X millions of $ are spent on food, and not on something else. States that rely heavily on their ag industry reap a significant benefit from the FS program. As far as welfare is DO you spell Bear Stearns?
  • by Erick Gent Location: Denison on Mar 27, 2008 at 03:13 PM
    Single Mom...assistance was meant for people just like you. People who need the temporary help and they move on. I hope things work out for you and I am proud to see you being so responsible. Unfortunately, our government has let so many people abuse the system we will never recover. And don’t get me started on the illegal’s!
  • by Erick Gent Location: Denison on Mar 27, 2008 at 03:08 PM
    I am personally tired of paying taxes for folks to have more and more children while on assistance. If you want assistance…NO MORE CHILDREN! Find someone else to take care of you, then have all the children you want.
  • by Amy Location: Milburn on Mar 27, 2008 at 12:09 PM
    I was on food stamps for a while after I lost my job and I payed the taxes all the years befor to pay for the help I recieved. I am no longer on them, but my Grandparnts need them to get by and they can't get anything living off of social security after all there long years of working. By the way I now have a good paying job and I buy there groceries for them while being a single parent. So there is nothing wrong with getting help, but more need to be done to help people that have to by gas to get to work that can't aford the food to eat, so the bills get paid. All of us in the country have to drive a good distance to work a decent job. God Bless all of You.
  • by Single Mom Location: Oklahoma on Mar 27, 2008 at 10:02 AM
    I agree with the Mork, make drug testing a requirment b4 any assistance is givin and the number of illeagle hispanic on food stamps is crazy. I am a single mom with 3 children at home, I am not recieving any child support yet and haven't in a long time,I have a good paying job but I still need help from DHS I am in court fighting to get child support, once I start recieving it every month I will no longer be on food stamps thats how the system should work, its there to help TEMPORARLY, I thank God for DHS, but I will be so happy to be able to get off food stamps and make it on my own.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 27, 2008 at 09:40 AM
    I think they ought to have exclusions for food stamps: no candy, no soda, no potato chips or Little Debbie Snack cakes, no specialty/expensive cuts of meat. Give 'em beans, canned foods, bread, milk, flour, frozen foods... you know- the BASICS.
  • by here Location: Durant on Mar 27, 2008 at 08:43 AM
    A lot of people on food stamps do work. Just because they need help does not mean that they don't have a job. The average pay in Durant is about $7 and with rent, water, gas and milk so high here it is hard to make ends meet. But i do agree that those who do not have a job need to help themselves also and find one. Also if more dead beat dads would pay their child support, there might not be quite so many single mothers needing assistance. No I do not receive food stamps but I used to, nor do I receive my child support like I should.
  • by Mork Location: Ork on Mar 27, 2008 at 05:11 AM
    I'm all about helping people out but when it comes to tax payers money - drug testing should be done b/4 any assistance is handed out. For every person that is legit there is another that is not. I don't want some crackhead taking food stamps and getting high.
  • by ? Location: i didn't say the n word on Mar 26, 2008 at 10:19 PM
    get a job!
  • by Mark Location: Durant on Mar 26, 2008 at 09:46 PM
    Okay people... get with it. I have a college degree and maybe very decent money and I still sometimes live check to check. Quit making all of us in Oklahoma look bad!
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