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Food stamp use on the rise

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(Read caption) This chart shows the rate of participation in the federal food stamp program (in red). Rates tend to move in direct correlation with unemployment rates, which have remained high since peaking in 2009.

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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.

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The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in July, 161,019 recipients were added to the food stamps program (latest several months effected by disaster assistance), while participation continued to increased 8.39% on a year-over-year basis and household participation increased 10.41%.

Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 7.58% over the same period.

Participation continues to increase with nominal benefit costs climbing a lofty 8.68% on a year-over-year basis to $6.08 billion for the month.