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Featured Blog Post #4: Social Stigma

By Vincent Mecca, senior communication arts major

In our class, our research has been divided up into three groups, each pertaining to a different aspect of hunger.  My group is the group dealing with social stigmas in regards to hunger recipients.  Specifically, we will be researching factors such as the social connotation that go along with hunger, opinions the public has of food stamps and their use, stereotyping and generalizations of recipients, and misconceptions of obesity and hunger.

According to endhungerinamerica.org, up to 70 percent of Americans are at risk for hunger.  This isn’t because they have been receiving welfare for generations, but that one thing can go wrong in their lives which puts a financial strain on the household, thus, forcing them to seek aid.  About 46.1 million people are now participating in food stamp programs due to joblessness and a feeble economy, but this isn’t to say that these people don’t need this aid.  Only 1% of “fraud” occurs through the system, but who is to say that these people are all committing fraud? Or do they just have circumstances that make them ineligible when in reality, they need the assistance.

It is troubling that through this 1%, 750 million dollars lost. Another concern is “Trafficking,“ which occurs when beneficiaries sell their stamps to retailers and/or individuals over social networking sites or websites such as eBay.  There are many concerns dealing with fraud, but it is always important to remember that someone’s circumstance may not be that simple.  However, it is extremely important to weed out those who absolutely do not need aid, as that money could be spent towards those who do.

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About Lindsey Wotanis

Assistant professor of communication arts. Lover of writing, YouTube, and peanut butter.

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