- The Big Picture - http://www.ritholtz.com/blog -

Food Stamps – The Great Recession’s Soup Lines

Posted By James Bianco On February 9, 2010 @ 10:00 am In Economy | Comments Disabled

US food stamps set ever-higher record-32.8 million [1]

A record 38.2 million Americans were enrolled in the food stamp program at latest count, up 246,000 from the previous month and the latest in record-high monthly tallies that began in December 2008. Food stamps are the primary federal anti-hunger program, helping poor people buy groceries. The Agriculture Department updated enrollment data on Friday with a preliminary figure for November. USDA estimates up to $58 billion will be spent on food stamps this fiscal year, which ends Sept 30, with average enrollment of 40.5 million people. Food stamps were renamed the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in 2008. Participation has surged since the financial-market turmoil of late 2008 and has set records each month since December 2008, when it reached 31.78 million. Enrollment is highest during times of economic distress.

Comment

The two charts below show the same thing.  The first is monthly going back about 5 years and the second is yearly back to the start of the program in 1969.

[2]

<Click on chart for larger image>

[3]

<Click on chart for larger image>


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/02/food-stamps-the-great-recession%e2%80%99s-soup-lines/

URLs in this post:

[1] US food stamps set ever-higher record-32.8 million: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/8933161

[2] Image: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/food0206101.gif

[3] Image: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/foody0206101_big.gif

Copyright © 2008 The Big Picture. All rights reserved.