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CHART - Food Stamp Use Jumps To Record 46 Million Americans - 15% Of U.S. Population (1970 To 2011)

Most interesting about the longer term chart (1970-2011) is the fact that the program is hard to escape.  Once a family starts on food stamps, the chance of getting off the program is slim.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in May, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The number of Americans using the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- more commonly referred to as food stamps -- shot to an all-time high of 45.8 million in May, the USDA reported. That's up 12% from a year ago, and 34% higher than two years ago.

To qualify for food stamps, an individual's income can't exceed $1,174 a month or $14,088 a year -- an amount that is 130% of the national poverty level.

The average food stamp benefit was $133.80 per person and $283.65 per household in May.

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Related stories:

Time Lapse Video - Food Stamps Are The New Normal


WSJ Interactive Map - Food Stamp Use By State


J.P. Morgan's Food Stamp Monopoly: The More Americans That Fall Into Poverty The More Money Jamie Dimon Makes




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Reader Comments (6)

Aug 9, 2011 at 1:26 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

(Reuters) - The Senate Banking committee has begun looking into last week's decision by Standard and Poor's to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, a committee aide told Reuters on Monday.

What nonsense. Rather than blame themselves, they blame s&p.
Aug 9, 2011 at 1:32 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Kinda like feedin' the wild black bears at the ole' Smoky Mountain rest area, and then stopping.

But seriously, once you create a "dependent" you're in for the long haul.

So much harder to raise up independent, self-reliant and successful children, but so worth the effort.So much easier to give in to the whining, and create dependents for life. They think we are children anyway - but what bad "parents" they turn out to be.
Aug 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterWil Martindale
Let's talk about how many of "those people" were elderly, people with disabilities, and minor children - the bulk of people on food stamps. So now we begrudge helping the most vulnerable people in our country with FOOD?!?! And if you read the rest of the article, the bump in enrollment was created by Alabama citizens who were victims of natural disaster who received one-time Disaster food stamps (not just for the poor folks).
Aug 9, 2011 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngry Jones
I don't think anyone is begrudging helping people via food stamps.
Aug 9, 2011 at 4:46 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I think they are calling this another green shoot of our new economy...
Aug 9, 2011 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers

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