Exactly when did self-sufficiency and hard work became bad traits?

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.

“Our common goal is to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” the United States Department of Agriculture explains on its “Outreach Toolkits” page. “Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food. By working as a team, we can accomplish these goals.”

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.