Food Stamps Helping One In Eight Americans

Last Updated Nov 30, 2009 11:38 AM EST

Back in August I wrote about the USDA's SNAP program, known to most people as food stamps, and how the recession had forced one in nine Americans to seek help from the program in living day-to-day. The number has risen to one in eight -- probably higher since there is a long delay in the statistics. I'm not going to report it again, because the basic story is the same, but I do recommend this article and excellent graphics in today's NY Times. A sample:
From the ailing resorts of the Florida Keys to Alaskan villages along the Bering Sea, the program is now expanding at a pace of about 20,000 people a day.

There are 239 counties in the United States where at least a quarter of the population receives food stamps, according to an analysis of local data collected by The New York Times.

The counties are as big as the Bronx and Philadelphia and as small as Owsley County in Kentucky, a patch of Appalachian distress where half of the 4,600 residents receive food stamps.

Also here is an update on the graph I ran in August. Note that reliance on food stamps is well above the peak of the grinding 1981 recession.