One in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the government is pushing to enroll more — in many instances working to overcome Americans’ “pride,” self-reliance or failure to see a need. The USDA has adopted a range of strategies and programs designed to bring more people to SNAP, including taking on “pride.” A 2011 Hunger Champions Award document reveals that local assistance offices have been rewarded for “counteracting” pride and pushing more people to sign up for benefits. The Ashe County Department of Social Services in Jefferson, N.C., for example, received a “Gold” award for confronting “mountain pride” and increasing food stamp participation by 10 percent.
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