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 in December, an additional 486,503 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 13.09% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 15.55%.
Individual participation as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population has increased 12.16% over the same period.
These results confirm that participation is continuing it's explosive climb, likely as a result of the jump in total unemployment, driving the nominal benefit costs up an lofty 12.31% on a year-over-year basis to $5.890 billion for the month.