I heard some very distressing news yesterday on public radio.  Applications for food stamps in Idaho are up fifty five percent over last year.   Fifty five percent!!  Now, a lot of you live in other states, but I suspect that the numbers are quite consistent outside of Idaho as well.  How many hungry children, infants, moms, dads, and elderly does that translate to?   I've been one of the lucky ones.  I get to complain about "leftovers".  I even make fun of them.  I've never even seen a food stamp and I mean that not to brag, but because, for one reason or another, I've had good fortune when it means putting food on my table.  So I did a google image search to see what they look like.

And being a visual person, it really struck me how curious it is, particularly the sepia colored one in the image, that there are engravings  of rich white men on food stamps.   Who made that decision?

And then I heard another story on public radio not long after the distressing food stamp numbers. Goldman Sachs announced that last year 38,000 Goldman Sachs employees each received an average one half million dollar bonus.    Am I missing something here?


  1. Hi Amy,

    Yes, food stamp applications have soared with the economy all over the US. Unfortunately, only half of Idahoans that qualify for food stamps even apply. Over half of the individuals benefiting from food stamps are children.

    Also, Food stamps are no longer stamps. This is why you have probably never seen a food stamp. Now it is technically called SNAP (Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program) and it is a plastic card with a PIN code - similar to a debit card. The card can only be used for food prepared at home (fruits, veggies, bread, milk, eggs, canned goods). This transition is meant to lessen the negative connotations of using welfare and "food stamps" - and the card is much less embarassing in the checkout line at the grocery store.

    Tomorrow is Idaho Hunger Awareness Day, and I hope that all of us take a moment to really be thankful for the food that we have, and to be aware that even in a country as prosperous as the US and in a state as abundant as Idaho... hunger exists.

    My boyfriend is an AmeriCorps VISTA (VISTA is like a domestic Peace Corps) for the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force and we are committed to this issue.

    Cassandra Schiffler

    p.s. On another note, I have finished my mezzotint plate for the exchange and will be editioning it this week. Should I come to Wingtip Press and drop it off?

  2. Wow! Thanks for all the great information! You are welcome to come by and drop your prints off or I can meet you on campus sometime, too. Can't wait to see your mezzotint!