Household participation in food stamps continues steady climb

Data from February show an additional 11,517 recipients were added, with household participation rising nearly 14 percent

This chart shows population adjusted food stamp participation and the unemployment rate from the middle of 2004 through February 2011. Household participation increased 14 percent in February.

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 February, an additional 11,517 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 11.65% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 13.97%.

Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 10.78% over the same period.

The latest results show food stamps participation continuing to grow but at a notably slower rate and coming nearly simultaneously with a correlated decline in the total unemployment rate likely indicating that both indicators are defining a peak.

Still, participation continues to increase with nominal benefit costs climbing a lofty 11.37% on a year-over-year basis to $5.889 billion for the month.

Add/view comments on this post.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.