Poor economic policies have consequences, and this consequence is absolutely heartbreaking.

Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps, has more than doubled from 2003 when those receiving assistance was 21.25 million, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department which administers the program. Participation in June, the latest month that figures were available, was up 3.3 percent from the same month in 2011 when about 45.2 million people received food stamps.

The rolls have soared 18.5 million since 2008 with about one in seven Americans now receiving food stamps, a jump that reflects a stubbornly high unemployment rate that has languished above 8 percent nationally. USDA data showed the average person in June received $132.96 and each household collected about $276.50.

People can’t find jobs to support their families. They are suffering. Thus, it is no surprise that North Carolina food pantries are terribly stretched and need each of us to help.