1 in 7 in U.S. Receive Food Stamps
By Sara Murray
GROWTH IN THE food stamp program appeared to reach a plateau in
February ó with 14.3% of the population relying on the safety net
The number of food stamp recipients was essentially flat in February,
the most recent month available, with 44.2 million Americans receiving
benefits, according a new report from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. (See a sortable breakdown of the data here.)
The food stamp program ballooned during the recession as workers lost
their jobs or saw their hours and income reduced. The rise in
recipients has begun to flatten in recent months, which may mean that
as the economy is improving fewer Americans are seeking to join the
program. Enrollment in the program is still high though, with 11.6%
more people tapping benefits in February than the same month a year
Food stamp numbers arenít seasonally adjusted though, meaning a
variety of factors could influence the monthly tallies and the program
could grow again in coming months.
Mississippi and Oregon were among the states with the largest share of
the population utilizing food stamps in February: At least one in five
residents in each state were receiving benefits.
Wyoming had the lowest rate of recipients with just 6.6% of the
stateís residents using food stamps.