Food stamps: Another half million sign up

In September, over 500,000 more people were added to the food stamps program, bringing the total monthly cost to $5.7 billion.

By , Guest blogger

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    This chart of food stamps participation over the past half-decade shows that the number of people participating in the program, as a percentage of the total U.S. population (red bars) has increased each of the past 24 months, following the rise of unemployment (blue area). The 2005 spike resulted from Hurricane Katrina.
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As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn it appears that participation in the federal food stamp program is continuing to rise.

In fact, household participation has been climbing so steadily that it has far surpassed the last peak set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in September, an additional 521,428 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 15.42% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 18.27%.

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Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 14.45% over the same period.

These results confirm that participation is continuing it's explosive climb, likely as a result of the jump in total unemployment, driving the nominal benefit costs up an lofty 16.30% on a year-over-year basis to $5,741,336,112 for the month.

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