Food Stamps Use: Not As Common As You Think [Study]

Food stamps use: for many, it’s as low as you can get. The Inquisitr recently took a look at the popular food stamp shaming activity underway on social media sites like Facebook.

To start, we clearly want it noted that we don’t think every food stamp recipient abuses the system. That is an over-generalization.

Nevertheless, many non-participants of the program — officially called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) — have seen their share of program members abusing the system.

They get agitated when they witness SNAP recipients talking on smartphone devices while dragging three or four unkempt, ill-behaved children through a supermarket, and that leads to blanket judgments about everyone in the program.

It also leads to false assumptions about just how many are in the system, according to a new survey from Business Insider and Survey Monkey.

The poll revealed that Americans know shockingly little about the budget, federal deficits, and major top line economic indicators.

BI asked more than 500 respondents to write in their estimate of several different statistics, including the number of Americans participating in food stamps use.

Close to 14.3 percent of the nation is actually active in SNAP -— that’s around one in seven Americans —- but many believed use to be much higher, averaging out around 22.5 percent.

Likely, witnessing instances of abuse of the program, while living by one’s means without assistance, combine to amplify perception.

That’s also (probably) the reason the GOP continues to get political mileage out of slashing the program.

(Their most recent efforts could result in a $4 billion cut, to be exact.)

Are you surprised by the number of people using food stamps, and what percentage do you believe are abusing the program? Also, should we cut funding for the program? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]