Entries Tagged 'Food Stamps' ↓

A Shocking 48% increase in Food Stamp usage in Minnehaha County in one year


For those who think Sioux Falls is sheltered from the recession, check out these numbers (Bread for the World)

SD food stamp enrollment saw an incredible one-year increase from Sept.’08 to Sept.’09: 34% !!

Food stamps traditionally go up and down with the economy. But no one envisioned such a huge one-year increase.

(The Food Stamp program is now called SNAP.)
Find the data for your county here:


Minnehaha County residents will be completely shocked by their 48% increase.

Let your local Social Services workers know you appreciate them. They are working hard.

One more note: Even if you include up to 4,000 households using commodities rather than food stamps (option available on reservations), there are still thousands of eligible low-income households NOT signed up for food stamps, easily 15,000 to 20,000 or more. The state should campaign for them to sign up. (It’s all federal funds.)

• Food tax refunds’ dismal reach:
less than 1% of SD’s low-income population.

Only 630 households in the whole state are receiving the quarterly food tax refunds. Make sure your local media report this.

Why is it important?

• People pay a lot of money for the tax. Every year the money families pay in food tax would cover meals for 3 weeks.

• There is a movement afoot to raise sales tax for new city projects, even tho’ cities have other ways to raise funds. In an attempt to make this palatable, the draft of the state legislation says cities may refund the new tax to their low-income residents. So far, there is no effective way to do refunds. Such refund programs are inherently ineffective. People need to know, so they don’t think this option would solve the problem of a higher sales tax, and the resulting higher the cost of living.


An email from Bread for the world;


The food tax refund system does not meet the need. The Governor’s proposal to drop it does makes sense, in large part because a better alternative is so available.

The refund program returns to taxpayers only about 3.8 percent of the total food tax, and you know there is more need than that.

(You can find more info about the refund program at http://www.endthefoodtax.org/.  Some items on that website have not been updated lately, but some have.)


Grocery prices are rising, and times are tough. The state legislature could help. Rather than a refund system that leaves out most low income families in the state, South Dakota could end this unfair tax, as most other states have done.


Legislators are putting in bills this week. We hope and assume there will be a bill to end the food tax. It is needed now more than ever. 


When you visit with state legislators (via phone, email, letter, or in person), you can advise them that South Dakota should stop taxing groceries altogether.


A good option is available: The whole food tax could be ended once and for all by adding ½% to non-food sales. This tax shift would cost the state nothing, AND the cities and tribes could be fully reimbursed. Thus, NO public money would be lost. 

What about families? This tax shift would help middle- and low-income families. It would move the sales tax burden slightly up the income scale. 


“No other tax so directly takes food off people’s tables.” -Matt Gassen, director of Community Food Banks of SD

If they could save the tax on $100 food, a family could buy 2 gallons of milk. Think of the impact in a family with teenagers!


Food stamp demand is up. Big surprise? Nope. Even before the recession started a year ago, low wages in South Dakota doesn’t help the situation.

As of Nov. 30, there were 67,217 state residents receiving the assistance, up from 62,458 a year ago. Forty percent of that increase was in Minnehaha County alone.

And what is the solution to this problem in Sioux Falls? Raise fees and taxes more!

Stupid, Stupid Stupid.

The daily lines of people coming to his agency seeking rent, food, utility, transportation and medical help have been consistent since August, Grogan said.

I highly suggest they put a revolving door in – it’s gonna get worse.