The Disturbing Number of People on Food Stamps This Thanksgiving

November 26th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, a time to enjoy bountiful foods, and spend time with friends and family—no matter their political opinions. But it can be easy to forget just how many Americans will face tough decisions this holiday season when it comes to providing the meal so many of us might take for granted—especially for those relying on public assistance programs.

Given the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal paired with declining food stamp funding and a generally low per-meal allowance average, many Americans using food stamps may have sparse tables this Thursday.

Related: How Hard is Thanksgiving Dinner on Minimum Wage?

A little more than 45 million Americans now rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, to help them afford food for themselves and their families. And while that's slightly down from the previous three years, when the number of SNAP beneficiaries didn't dip below 46 million, it still means a huge swath of Americans—about 1 in 7—use the program in some capacity or another.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost for a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people is about $50.11, with a 16 lbs turkey costing about $23.04. But with the average per-meal allotment for people on SNAP at less than $2.00, it's easy to see how providing a full Thanksgiving meal could pose problems.

Also: Walmart Workers Plan for Fourth Year of Black Friday Demonstrations

While less people using food stamps is generally a good sign of an improving economy, the argument that SNAP supports the lazy and unemployed doesn't hold much water: according to a recent study by the University of California, Berkeley, a majority of federal and state spending on public assistance programs goes towards working families, with those that work often under the employment of some of the most profitable corporations, like McDonald's and Walmart.

Related: Why Your Family Gives You Anxiety Over the Holidays

Check out ATTN:'s video on surviving Thanksgiving on food stamps below.

Surviving Thanksgiving On Food Stamps

Don't forget the 45 million people who are hungry on food stamps this Thanksgiving.

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, November 24, 2015