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Food stamp usage up 14 percent from last year

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(Read caption) This graph shows food stamp participation (red) and unemployment rate (blue). The Department of Agriculture's latest data shows the continuation of a steady climb in participation in the food stamps program.

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As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn it appears that participation in the federal food stamp program is continuing to rise.

In fact, household participation has been climbing so steadily that it has far surpassed the last peak set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in November, an additional 394,957 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 14.17% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 16.49%.

Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 13.23% over the same period.

These results confirm that participation is continuing it's explosive climb, likely as a result of the jump in total unemployment, driving the nominal benefit costs up an lofty 13.86% on a year-over-year basis to $5,814,900,059 for the month.

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