Nearing retirement - and surviving on food stamps
More than 12 million Americans are still unemployed and a lot of them depend on food stamps. But even with that assistance, CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano tells us many are struggling to get by.
Sixty-four-year-old John Manton can't afford to keep his refrigerator full these days.
"I have my bread and a piece of ham from a canned ham," he said.
He's still looking for work nine months after he was laid off from his job as a courier for a Philadelphia legal service. He's fallen out of the middle class and into poverty, and is barely making ends meet.
At a grocery store, Quijano asked Manton: "How strict are you with your budget?"
"I have to be very frugal, very frugal," he said. "It is the only way that I can survive."
A college graduate, Manton never imagined he would be grateful for the $149 he gets in food stamps every month. He stretches every dollar by using a calculator when he shops and skipping meals.
" You don't eat breakfast?" Quijano asked.
"No, I don't eat breakfast."
"Is that to save money?"
Manton is one of a record 46 million Americans now on food stamps, an increase of 20 million people since the Great Recession in 2007. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 41 percent of food stamp recipients live in households where someone does earn a paycheck -- the so-called "working poor." To be eligible for food stamps for a family of four, the maximum income is $29,064. For a single person, it's $14,160.
John Manton receives $780 a month in unemployment benefits which is due to expire in March. Mantonhas outlived the rest of his family. He's terrified if he doesn't find work soon, he'll lose his home.
"I've lived here since I was 12 years old," he said. "I am 64 now. I had hoped to retire when I'm 65. The government kept pushing up the age and now it's 66. These politicians are scaring the daylights out of me and I am sure other seniors. What's going to happen if they decide that I cannot go on Medicare until I am 68? Where is it all going to stop?
Manton said he'd rather earn a paycheck than receive food stamps, but he said it's the only option he has left.How to help: Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
- Couple's steamy romance e-books save their home
- Colo. senator who pushed for gun control may lose job
- Couple reeling from recession rewrites story, publishes romance novels
- SCOTUS: States can't require voters to prove citizenship; Couple reeling from recession publishes novels
- 6/18: Officials say NSA stopped over 50 potential terror attacks; Hi-tech giant creates next generation of Edisons
- Innovative Ariz. class turns students' dreams into reality
- David Coleman Headley: Terror sleeper agent foiled by NSA
- Iran's new president-elect seen as bridge-builder
- Parents of mentally ill child may have averted mass shooting
- Ghost army: How a group of artists helped win WWII
- Two teens stranded 8,000 feet up on cliff rescued by chopper
- Officials say NSA programs stopped over 50 potential terror attacks
- Colo. Black Forest fire has died down, yet danger remains
- Okla. tornado survivor finds dog buried alive under rubble
- Syria tensions make for chilly meeting between Obama, Putin
- SCOTUS: States can't require voters to prove citizenship