Speaking at a Democrat National Committee fundraiser in California on Thursday, President Obama said low income communities statistically do worse in school near the end of each month because kids “start getting hungry” as their food stamps “start running out.”
Obama made the comments despite a record number of individuals receiving assistance for food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, according to CNS News. The cost of the food stamp program is at an all-time high, with roughly one in five American households participating.
“Too many of our kids still go hungry in this country,” Obama told the crowd in Santa Monica.
“The performance of children in lower-income communities in school dips at the end of the month in a statistically significant way,” he said, “in part because they start getting hungry as their food stamps for their family start running out which then affects how they perform in school.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of Americans taking advantage of food stamps has grown dramatically since Obama was elected. In 2009, the number of individuals participating in the program was just over 33 million.
By January 2015, more than 46 million were enrolled, with the average household receiving more than $260 per month in assistance.
Obama’s comments were made as part of a broader speech on poverty that cast blame on Republicans for not “investing” enough in welfare related spending and infrastructure programs.
Of course, if “investing” in food stamps was what it really took to help poor kids graduate, the record spending on SNAP over the last six years probably should have had some sort of an impact by now.
Judging by the president’s comments, it has not.