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Sat September 3, 2011
Orange Stamps, Blue Stamps
New Orleans, LA – On this Labor Day weekend, I'd like to revisit a federal program designed to provide assistance to those who labor as well as those who cannot find work. Food Stamps turns 72 years old this autumn. It was introduced by President FDR in 1939 as a novel means to match supply with demand. In the Depression, struggling farmers couldn't find markets for their fruits and vegetables, just as struggling homemakers couldn't afford food. Food Stamps came in two colors: orange and blue. For every dollar in orange stamps purchased, one would receive fifty cents worth in blue stamps. Blue stamps were designed to ease surpluses in local farm products. Today, the stamps have been replaced with electronic cards and the program is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. Increasingly, struggling families are returning to FDR's original vision of matching supply with demand by purchasing fresh, healthy foods from local farmers. While I don't want to belabor this point, it is a win/win solution for supply and demand in these troubled times. For WWNO, this is Richard McCarthy.