Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Food Stamp Recipients Spend More Time Cooking

For all those grumbling in line at the grocery store about the shopping habits of food stamp recipients, listen up. Life is not a bowl of cherries for those who depend on food stamps. An analysis of their time use by the USDA reveals the harsh reality of living hand to mouth: food stamp recipients spend more time shopping for food on an average day and much more time preparing it, probably because they can't afford to buy the prepared items and restaurant meals so desirable to the rest of us.

  • Among people aged 18 or older who grocery shop on an average day, food stamp recipients spend 54 minutes in the store versus a smaller 43 minutes for those not on food stamps and with incomes greater than 130 percent of poverty level. 
  • Food stamp recipients spend 75 minutes per day preparing and cleaning up meals compared to just 58 minutes for the higher income group. 
  • Because they spend so much time shopping for groceries and preparing meals--on top of their hours at work--food stamp recipients have less time to enjoy their efforts. They spend only 54 minutes a day eating compared to the 70 minutes a day for those with higher incomes.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service

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