Monday, April 05, 2010

On The Stamp: Food Stamp Participation January 2010

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.

The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that, on a year-over-year basis, household participation has increased 24.95% while individual participation, as a ratio of the overall population, has increased 21.36% over the same period.

The January results confirm that participation is continuing to climb dramatically, likely as a result of the recent jump in total unemployment, driving the nominal benefit costs up an astounding 44.62% on a year-over-year basis to $5,254,245,639 for the month.


  1. Anonymous3:01 PM

    First, like your insights.

    Question: on the household participation chart the numbers are surprising to me.

    They say approx. 18 million households or approx. 25% of all households on receiving food stamps.

    I was under the impression there are approx. 112 million households so the % would be approx. 16%.

    What am i missing?

  2. Anon,

    You are not missing anything... its really that bad.

    Currently there is just about 39.5 million individuals receiving food stamp benefits.

    So that's about 17% of the civilian non-institutional population and as you correctly estimated also roughly 16% of all households.

    The 25% value on the household participation chart is the year-over-year percent change to the number of households... so its not the ratio of the whole of households just the annual percent change in the number of households.