A Five-Decade Defense of Food Aid
- The distribution of food stamps to the poor and near-poor began yesterday in New York City. Food stamps represent an advance over the old commodity distribution program. This program was less a feed-the-hungry effort than a thinly disguised farm-price-support maneuver. While food stamps must be purchased, they can be bought with welfare money and used to stretch welfare checks. It is a victory for urban America and its needy masses over rural America and its entrenched agricultural power. But the program is administratively cumbersome. If its purpose is to end hunger and assure more adequate diets for the poor and near-poor, simply liberalizing cash welfare payments would accomplish the same thing at a considerable savings.