Just a mile marker to note. When I started Fund My Mutual Fund (2007), 1 in 11 Americans were on food stamps… we've come a long way, baby? In early 2009 it was 1 in 9 citizens, and by late 2009, we had already reached 1 in every 4 kids in this country on food stamps (and 1 in 8 adults). Even as the economic recovery proceeds, more go onto the assistance doles. Anti poverty programs surpassed the cost of Medicare as of late 2010 – and only seem to continue as narrower parts of the population take in the aggregate gains. (and yes some people are wrongly abusing the system but the direction of these things is not positive) One has to assume that many of the people that have completely exited the employment system (as represented by the shocking fall in the participation rate the past few years) are new entrants to the food stamp rolls.
- Food-stamp use jumped in the U.S. in December with more than 1 in 7 people receiving benefits, even as a program for disaster assistance related to Hurricane Irene came to an end. Food stamp rolls increased 5.5% in 2011, the Department of Agriculture reported, though the pace of growth has slowed from the depths of the recession.
- The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as theSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), rose to 46.5 million, or 15% of the population in December. The numbers receiving benefits were boosted by disaster assistance in the late summer and autumn due to Hurricane Irene, but the those programs were largely ended by December in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania the last states still in need.
- Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii, Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware and Iowa all saw year-over-year jumps in use by over 10%. Just Wyoming, Michigan, North Dakota, Utah and West Virginia posted annual drops in the number of people receiving food stamps.
- Mississippi reported the largest share of its population relying on food stamps, more than 21%. One in five residents in New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington DC also were food-stamp recipients.
- Food stamp rolls exploded during the downturn, which began in late 2007. Even after the recession came to its official end in June 2009, families continued to tap into food assistance as unemployment remained high and those lucky enough to find jobs were often met with lower wages.
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