First Food Stamps

About the first people to receive food stamps in America.

UNUSUAL FIRSTS

THE FIRST FOOD STAMPS

On May 29, 1961, Chloe and Alderson Muncy, along with 13 of their 15 children, went to Welch, W. Va., to receive the nation's first food stamps from Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman. Accompanied by reporters and television crews, the Muncys proceeded to a grocery store after receiving $95 worth of stamps. They finished their shopping only after the Hale family, the country's second recipient of food stamps and the first family to pay for the stamps, had been to the checkout counter before them. Sponsored by the Kennedy administration, the food stamp program grew out of the shock that JFK experienced when campaigning in poverty-stricken areas of West Virginia in 1960.

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