A large quantity of Amazon employees in at least five states have been reported to be on food stamps or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The data comes from the nonprofit New Food Economy where New Food was able to get data from State Governments from Arizona, Kansas, Ohio, Washington and Pennsylvania.
From that gathered data New Food reported that approximately one in three people who work for Amazon in Arizona are currently on food stamps. This works out to be 1,800 different households from during the 2017 period. Pennsylvania shared a similar statistic with more than 1,000 households being on food stamp assistance which is approximately 1 in 10 people.
Policy Matters Ohio also conducted a separate study which found that 700 Amazon employees in Ohio are receiving food stamp benefits. In total, 10 percent of Amazon employees in the state are part of the program. While companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are commonly known for being big industries that work with SNAP, Amazon is fast approaching the same point of involvement.
A spokesperson for Amazon stated that the statistics are misleading as they include individuals who worked with Amazon for only a short period of time potentially skewing the results. The spokesperson also stated that they have hundreds of full time positions available however most individuals prefer to work part time for personal reasons and flexibility.
Regardless if the results are skewed or not, the evidence is that people are suffering from the wages and work load at Amazon. Additionally CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, recently became the richest man in the world adding more fuel to the minimum wage fire.
However Amazon constantly defends their pay rates especially for warehouse employees after news that employees were peeing in bottles and camping in tents to be there in time for working hours. A recent statement invited anyone to compare Amazon’s pay and benefits to other retailers and that they have created over 100,000 new jobs this year to foster better working periods. They are good jobs with competitive pay rates and offer full benefits.