In the month of August, there were an additional 420,863 recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps. In each month since October 2008, there has been an increase of participation.
The Department of Agriculture released the latest SNAP data last week and it does not provide any positive indication that the number of Americans on food stamps has decreased or will any time soon. Instead, it has reached an all-time high.
The total number of individuals receiving food stamps is now at 47.1 million, up from 46.6 million a month prior, which is close to 20 percent of the population. The total number of households collecting food stamps is 22.6 million, up from 22.5 million in Jul. 2012.
With the increase in recipients, costs of the food stamps initiative are also rising. Last month, taxpayers were on the hook for more than $6.2 billion for SNAP. From the fiscal years 2009 to 2011, the total costs have been close to $200 billion.
Initially, the food stamps report was due to be released on Nov. 1 before the presidential election, but there was a delay due to Hurricane Sandy.
However, there has been a lot of speculation running around that the Obama administration purposely hid the figures because they did not want to disclose such negative numbers with only days until voters headed to the polls.
On top of this report, the national debt rose an additional $1.8 billion on Tuesday to $16,256,905,760,111 (at the time of this writing).