As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn it appears that participation in the federal food stamp program is on the rise.
In fact, household participation has been climbing so steadily that it has just surpassed the last peak set as a result of the immediate fallout following hurricane Katrina.
The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that, on a year-over-year basis, household participation has increased 9.79% while individual participation, as a ratio of the overall population, has increased 8.26%.
Notice that although participation jumped significantly in the wake of hurricane Katrina and then declined, household participation has been increasing notably since early 2007.
Individual participation, person participation as a percentage of the overall non-institutional population, shows program participation increasing now covering 12.42% of the civilian population.