Food-stamp use in the US rose by over 1 million during the past year to a record 47.6 million, or nearly one in six Americans.
According to a report released by the US Department of Agriculture on Friday, food-stamp use rose 2.4 percent in May, with more than 15 percent of the US population now receiving benefits.
There were about 32 million Americans on Food Stamps when President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
The food stamp program is formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. In 2008, the federal government dropped the term food stamps, partly to fight the stigma associated with that term, although the term is it still widely used.
Illinois and Wyoming registered double-digit year-over-year jumps in use, while Mississippi was the state with the largest share of its population relying on food stamps at 22 percent.
In Washington, DC, which is not a state, 23 percent of its residents purchase food with food stamps.
The number of people on food stamps in Florida grew to 3,556,098 in May 2013, a 5.1% increase when compared to May 2012. Florida food stamp enrollment increased at nearly twice the national rate for the same time period.
One of the federal government’s biggest social welfare programs, the food stamp program, isn’t shrinking even though the financial crisis is over and the recession officially ended in 2009.
A recent survey by the Associated Press shows unemployment, near-poverty, or reliance on welfare is a problem for 80 percent of American adults for at least parts of their lives.
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