Food stamps hit record high in US

Another proud moment in compassionate conservatism. Bonus money for the failures on Wall Street and food stamp record numbers for the poor. How long before we hear Republicans out there smearing the poor and their luxurious benefits?

Food stamps, the main U.S. antihunger program which helps the needy buy food, set a record in September as more than 31.5 million Americans used the program — up 17 percent from a year ago, according to government data.

The number of people using food stamps in September surpassed the previous peak of 29.85 million seen in November 2005 when victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma received emergency benefits, said Jean Daniel of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.

September’s tally — the latest month available — was also boosted by hurricane and flood aid, Daniel said on Wednesday.

But anti-hunger groups said the economic downturn is the main reason behind the higher figures.

“It’s a disturbing trend,” said Ellen Vollinger, legal director with the Food Research and Action Center. She said she expects more people will turn to food stamps as unemployment figures rise and the economy remains weak.

One in 10 Americans were participating in the food stamp program as of September, said Dottie Rosenbaum, analyst with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank.

That’s approaching the all-time high of 10.5 percent of the population that used the program in 1994, and is similar to levels seen in the early 1980s, she said.

States that have seen a drop in job numbers and increase in home foreclosures such as Florida and Nevada also have seen a marked increase in food stamp use, Rosenbaum said.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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