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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Fruits, Nuts, And Moochers

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Cringeworthy.  Dressing granny up as a fruit to demand more free stuff.

Chanting "Save our food," seniors rallied Thursday to urge congressional action to restore the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides $25 vouchers for the poor and elderly to buy fresh fruit and vegetables locally.

About 200 gathered at the Clinton Rose Senior Center, 3045 N. King Drive, in a push to revive the U.S. Department of Agriculture program that ended Sept. 30.

The program, financed by U.S. taxpayers, is part of the Farm Bill that failed to pass in Congress. Although Congress passed a continuing resolution for parts of the bill, the farmers market voucher program was not part of that, said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force, who organized the rally.

(ICYMI: We already have some pretty pricey food/nutrition programs. )

New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday show that the number of American households on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, increased by about 10 percent in 2011.

In 2011, 14.9 million American households, or 13 percent of all households, reported receiving food stamps in the last 12 months — up from 13.6 million, or 11.9 percent, in 2010, according to the newly released report, “Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households by State: 2010 and 2011.

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