A piece in today's USA Today looks a lady who has a master's in psychology and then left the field to try her hand at real estate. Now she's on food stamps.

In the midst of a sinking real estate market and stagnant economy, food and gas prices have soared. That combination has led to a surge in the number of Americans relying on the government to put food on the table. And it's not the people you'd expect. According to the article, "They are real estate agents and homebuilders hit by the housing slump, seniors on Social Security, parents of students whose free breakfast and lunch programs don't solve the problem of dinner. Increasingly in recent months, they have signed up for food stamps and shown up at food pantries, trying to make ends meet."

Demand at food banks is up more than 15%, with an increasing number of clients working full-time jobs.

But it's about to get worse: as schools around the country let out for the summer, many kids who were relying on school-provided breakfasts and lunches will find themselves in a precarious position.

Many charities exist that purportedly raise money to feed hungry children. But the best way -- that involves the smallest amount of money going to advertising and bureaucracy -- is to donate to your local food pantry.


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