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Food Aid in the United States

November 4, 2013

Number Of People Receiving Government Food Assistance At Historic HighThe Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as food stamps, was cut by about $5 billion on Friday. The cuts were triggered when an expansion authorized at the start of the 2008 recession expired on November 1.

Food aid programming in the United States has grown to about 80 billion per year as a result of increased unemployment and wage stagnation. More than 47 million Americans—about 1 in 7 people—rely on SNAP for access to food in the United States. The cuts mean declines of about $11 per individual (or $36 a month for a family of four). Such cuts will likely foster increased reliance on already overstretched local food banks as we begin to move into the holiday season.



(Image source:


(Image source: The Washington Post)

While such benefits are normally associated with the unemployed, almost 1 million veterans and an estimated 5,000 active duty military personnel rely on food stamps. Further cuts to the program are being debated as part of the Farm Bill negotiations currently underway in the US Congress.

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