A record 46.7 million Americans — or roughly one in five adults — used food stamps in June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently reported.
Food stamp use has spiked 51 percent since October 2008, when the economy was in free fall. The number of Americans now using food stamps is roughly the same as the number of Americans living in poverty.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has proposed slashing food stamp spending and turning food stamps into a block grant program, as Republican leaders have blamed President Obama for the record rise in food stamp spending.
Food stamp benefits cost a record $71.81 billion in the 2011 fiscal year, up 43 percent from two years before, according to the USDA. (To put things in perspective, that’s roughly one-tenth of federal defense spending in 2011.)
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