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Food stamp participation continues to rise

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(Read caption) This chart shows the rate of food stamp participation, coupled with the unemployment rate since 2004. The two tend to move in tandem, and the 2009 spike in unemployment corresponded with a spike in food stamp participation, which has continued to rise in 2011.

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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 (which looks like a minor blip by comparison) set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in September, an additional 430,434 recipients were added to the food stamps program increasing 7.82% on a year-over-year basis while household participation increased 9.81%.

Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 7.04% over the same period.
Participation continues to increase with nominal benefit costs climbing a lofty 9.08% on a year-over-year basis to $6.26 billion for the month.

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