Former critic shares his story of food stamp living

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June 3, 2010 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

More people in this country need government aid to meet their basic nutritional needs than ever before.

For the first time, more than 40 million Americans receive food stamps as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to news reports released today.

From an article in the Boston Globe:

An average of 40.5 million people, more than an eighth of the population, will get food stamps each month in the year that began Oct. 1, according to White House estimates. The figure is projected to rise to 43.3 million in 2011.

Ed Murrieta is one of those people.

Murrieta is a culinary school-educated former restaurant critic, baker, culinary consultant and food writer who is unemployed. Murrieta relies on food stamps while he searches for a job.

Murrieta’s account of his life on food stamps has been popping up all over the Internet, and rightly so. It gives readers a look into the often tough circumstances that more than an eighth of our population face.

Murrieta’s story is jarring because of his descent from an employee with an expense account for meals to a food-insecure unemployed writer. His situation shows that anyone can be a lay-off away from needing government’s help to eat.

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