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46 Million People are on Food Stamps in the United States

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The number of people on food stamps in the United States exploded in May 2011.

There were 312,240,000 people in the United States, mid May. 45,753,078 of them were on food stamps. That’s 14.7% of all Americans on food stamps. The average monthly amount? $133.80.

This is the new economic metric, how many people are so poor, so broke, they qualify and use food stamps. The data is hard to find, not explained and located on the USDA site.

That’s 2.5% increase from just last month and a 12.1% increase from May of last year!

Even more telling the amount of people on food stamps has increased 69.4% since October 2007. Since the so-called end of the Great Recession, people on food stamps has increased 28.5%.

Alabama food stamp usage increased 102.9% in one month or by 893,668 people. That’s right, after tornadoes swept through the region and the press leaves the area, devastation rolls on.

Without Alabama the food stamp monthly increase would have been 0.5% from last month.

Regardless of the emergency assistance for Alabama pushing up the numbers, the statistics are still bleak and damning across the board. Below is the yearly percentage increase in food stamps for each State. 22 States had > 10% increases in food stamps usage and only North Dakota showed a decline of -0.1%. Every other State’s food stamp participation increased from a year ago.

Last May, Congress, yes our lovely non-responsive Congress was literally considering cutting food stamps:

Nutrition assistance now accounts for more than half — or about 67 percent — of the USDA’s budget, compared with 26 percent in 1980. That shift in focus, critics say, is ineffective because it hasn’t put a dent in poverty or hunger in the United States while taking away money from other programs, specifically agricultural programs that should be the main focus of the agency.

Even “at a time of prosperity, we have increased the amount of money we are spending for people to buy food,” said Harold Brown, an agriculture scientist and adjunct scholar at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. “The appropriation of money by Congress has never solved poverty or the resulting problems of poverty. When President Johnson declared war on poverty a half century ago nearly, we thought we saw the end of it as far as food and nutrition goes. For the Department of Agriculture, we only saw the beginning.”

The Republicans’ 2012 budget plan proposes changing SNAP from an entitlement to a block-grant program that would be tailored for each individual state, much like their proposal for Medicaid. States would no longer receive open-ended subsidies and the aid would be contingent on work or job training. It would also limit funding for the program.

Oh, food stamps never solved poverty, therefore people should starve. Love the logic!


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7 Responses to " 46 Million People are on Food Stamps in the United States "

  1. bowlan says:

    i am in the united states and your numbers are wrong.
    there are over 48.9 million people on food stamps.
    its a lot worse them you have posted.
    over 18 million people lost their jobs since 08
    and it is going to get a lot worse by the end of 2011 into 2012.

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  2. Jean-Francois Morf says:

    Never asked yourself where the 15 trillions $ that all banks loosed in 2008, worldwide (except Israel), had gone?
    The end of capitalism will be when 1 super-bankster will have all world wealth for himself, and 7 other billions peoples will have nothing more!

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  3. welders says:

    you would really think that people would in fact stop fighting the afgahns and concentrate on feeding their own

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  4. Down South says:

    Well you never hear the farmers complaining there money comes off the top of this program. They are the largest single man Food Stamp recipients in the United States almost every one of them have a new fleet of John Deer Tractors the most expensive on the market. I say give it to the people of the USA. Never hear congress pitching a bitch while they are sending billions every year to other country’s.

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  5. Good Ol' Rebel says:

    Ketchup too.

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  6. The Good Ol' Boys says:

    Kosher Pork Brains in Milk Gravy presumably.

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  7. JanB says:

    Surely the expenditure for food stamps will be dealt with by US govt economists in the usual creative way, so that it adds to GDP, with a multiplier laugh

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