STATEMENT: Billy Shore on the new Census study about food stamps

Contact: Christy Felling Phone: 202.320.4483 Email:

Washington, D.C. — This afternoon, the United States Census Bureau released its annual “Families and Living Arrangements” study. This year’s study found that there are more children receiving food stamps (SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) today than there were before the recession began. Share Our Strength’s founder and CEO Billy Shore weighed in on what this number means.

New data from the Census Bureau shows that 16 million kids received assistance from the SNAP program in 2014, compared with 9 million in 2007.

There are a few factors at play here. First, a major reason more kids are participating in the food stamp program is that the program has done a better job at reaching the kids who need it.

Second, this underscores the grim reality that, while many Americans have participated in America’s economic recovery in the past few years, many more have not. For many families, there has been no path out of poverty.

For example, compare hunger statistics with the stock market. According to the most recent numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity is essentially unchanged from last year, with 14.5 percent of Americans struggling to put food on the table. This remains much worse than the 11.1 percent rate before the Great Recession. Hungry Americans have not recovered from the recession, even as the stock market has. In post-recession 2009 NASDAQ fell to 1958 points and the Dow to 9344. Today, NASDAQ opened at 4,740.69 and the Dow 17,385.64.

The real question that we should be asking ourselves is not why so many children are on food stamps. It is why our economic recovery isn’t reaching our children and how we can break the cycle of poverty. Ending childhood hunger is a critical component.

Making sure children in need are getting enough healthy food is a strong investment in the future of our nation. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to make sure kids get the healthy food that helps them succeed in school? Shouldn’t we do everything we can to make sure kids get the healthy food they need so they are better able to stave off expensive future diseases like diabetes, heart problems and poor brain development?

The strength of our nation depends upon it.


Billy Shore has been a leader in the fight against hunger since 1984, when he founded the national anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength. In 2010, Share Our Strength created the No Kid Hungry campaign, which is focused on ending childhood hunger in America. This year, Shore was also appointed by Congress to the National Commission on Hunger, a group tasked with finding innovative ways to end hunger in America.

To speak to Mr. Shore about issues associated with poverty and childhood hunger, please contact Christy Felling at

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast, are able to get the nutrition they need during the summertime, and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength.