John F. Kennedy photo

Statement by the President on the food Stamp Program.

August 02, 1962

DURING the past year, the Department of Agriculture has been conducting a food stamp program in eight pilot areas. There have been encouraging results from this program. Low income families are receiving better diets--they have been able to obtain meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Retail food store sales in these areas increased 8 percent in dollar volume. There have been savings in distribution costs and benefits to the economy of the food stamp communities.

I have therefore asked the Department of Agriculture to continue the program in these areas for another year and to offer the program to an additional 25 areas in 18 states. Addition of the new communities will permit us to obtain a better evaluation of the program under a wider range of operating conditions than was possible initially.

An additional 223,000 persons will be aided by the new program. The states which will benefit are: Arkansas, Oregon, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin, California, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

I am grateful to the state and local officials who helped administer the program, to the wholesalers and retailers who distributed the food, to the banks who redeemed the coupons and to the press, radio and television outlets who have been so helpful in explaining it. All of these groups have been most cooperative.

John F. Kennedy, Statement by the President on the food Stamp Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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