New Jersey was one of three states that saw both a jump in the number of people living in poverty and the poverty rate in 2013, according to new Census numbers.
New Jersey’s inadequate support of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is resulting in the delay or the denial of critical food benefits to hundreds of thousands of struggling New Jerseyans and the potential loss of up to $500 million in federal funds annually.
In ten months, New Jersey has awarded a total of $1.6 billion in tax incentives, bringing the total since January 2010 to $4.6 billion so far – nearly four times as much as in the entire previous decade, when the state awarded a total of $1.2 billion in subsidies.
The bill will almost certainly increase the amount of subsidy dollars being awarded over the next five years at a time when these awards are already at a record high. This is bad enough on its own, since subsidies are known to be an ineffective method of growing a state’s economy. But it gets worse.
New federal data showing widespread hunger in New Jersey makes clear that the state’s poor performance on food stamp outreach and implementation, and the Christie administration’s rejection of Heat and Eat benefits, is unnecessarily putting hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans at risk.