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Food stamp participation increases in October

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(Read caption) This chart shows the rate of food stamp participation superimposed with the total unemployment rate over the past eight years. Though unemployment has fallen steadily since 2009 food stamp participation remains high.

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

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture indicated that in October, a whopping 110,239 individual recipients were added to the food stamps program with the current total declining 0.29% on a year-over-year basis.

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Individuals receiving food stamp benefits increased to 47.41 million which, as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population now stands at a whopping 19.24% of the population.

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Households receiving food stamps benefits increased by 54,236 to 23.05 million households with the current total rising 0.48% above the level seen a year earlier

Total nominal benefit cost increased 0.23% on a year-over-year basis to $6.35 billion for the month.