3 States Where More Than 1 in 5 People Receive Food Stamps
Earlier in September, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance a measure that would cut $4 billion, or 5 percent, from the food stamps programs each year for 10 years. The cost-cutting measure comes as the U.S. faces yet another round of debates over the fiscal budget and debt ceiling. The cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has more than doubled since 2008 to $78 billion, raising red flags for many members of the GOP who have been looking for ways to cut federal spending in the wake of the recession. SNAP, managed by the United States Department of Agriculture, provided assistance to 44.7 million people in fiscal 2011 — nearly one in seven Americans — each receiving an average of $134 per month. The percentage of Americans receiving food stamps is roughly the same as the number of Americans in poverty, but the USDA suggests that if food stamp benefits were included in stated income, as many as 3.9 million people would be lifted above the poverty threshold. Here’s a look at three states with particularly high rates of participation in the SNAP program.