In spite of the prevailing stereotypes and assumptions about who uses SNAP Food Stamp benefits the most in the United States, the highest usage is not in Compton, Queens, nor the South Side of Chicago. Instead, a city that is 99.22% white and 95% Republican comes in the lead. Owsley County, Kentucky is a community of about 5,000, residents earning the lowest median household income in the country outside of Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Census.
The decline in the profits from coal, tobacco and lumber industries led to a harsh toll being taken on the community.
Cale Turner, county executive of Owsley County told ABC back in 2010 that economic hardships have led to a high incidence of drug addiction.
“Those with drug addictions end up in prison without effective treatment. And it happens over and over in this community. The drug problem continues to get worse every year.”
Strangely enough, the residents of Owsley County are almost entirely Republican, in spite of the traditional opposition to the Food Stamp program by the GOP. In fact, just last November, residents of Owsley saw their SNAP benefits reduced drastically as a result of Republican opposition to funding the program.
This might rank among the greatest of ironies in history: the Food Stamp Capital of the U.S. is almost entirely white and Republican.
About the author: M.B. David is the author of several scholarly works on Middle Eastern politics, history and religion, such as People of the Book: What the Religions Named in the Qur’an Can Tell Us About the Earliest Understanding of “Islam” as well as the recently published Sci-Fi novel Sleeper Cell 2240: Memoires of the 21st Century Interplanetary Revolution. He is currently working on his doctorate, writing a dissertation focused on the non-profit Hashlamah Project Foundation and associated global study circles.