Monday, March 11, 2013

Food Stamp Use Rises: Same Story, New Month

More than 47.7 million Americans received benefits in December...
As was the case for almost every month during President Obama's first term in office, the number of Americans enrolled in the Food Stamps program has once again had a monthly spike.  In December of 2012, the latest month for which data is available, there were 47,791,996 citizens receiving benefits, according to figures posted by the Department of Agriculture late on Friday afternoon.

That's 109, 924 more Americans than received benefits in November 2012, in what is officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  

The cost to the federal government was $6,390,989,986 for December.  The average benefit per person was $133.73, and the average benefit per household was $277.09.

December's totals include SNAP Disaster Assistance, according to the agency.   

In November, 47,692,896 Americans received benefits at a cost of $6.47 billion, USDA reported last month, though it has now revised the number of beneficiaries to 47,682,072.

October, November, December are part of FY 2013.  Fiscal Year 2012 had the highest SNAP participation and spending in US history, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement that summarizes the receipts and outlays of the federal government.  The government spent $80,401,000,000 between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012.  

That's a $2.7 billion increase from the $77,637,000,000 spent in FY 2011. 

USDA recorded an all-time high SNAP enrollment for the month of September 2012, when 47,710,283 American received benefits at a cost of $6,406,059,469, and 607,559 people were added to the rolls between August and September, for the largest single-month spike in SNAP enrollment during President Obama's first term in office.