Food Stamp Numbers Hit an All-Time High

May 28, 2010
Megan Bedard is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.
With more and more people turning to government assistance, food stamp numbers are at an all-time high. Photo: Wonderlane/CC

It's never good news when food stamp recipient numbers increase, no matter which side of the aisle you fall on. Unfortunately, that number just surpassed 40 million—a record in U.S. history. 

Liberals chalk it up to a downturn in the economy and a surge in unemployment; conservatives grumble about welfare dependents. But the numbers don't lie, and the price tag doesn't either: the cost of food stamps is $73 billion a year. 

Perhaps the more unsettling news is that we hit the 30 million recipients mark less than two years ago.

And according to Eric Bost, who oversaw the food stamps program under the Bush administration, the people using food stamps really need them.Bost told Fox News, "49 percent of the people that are participating in this program are children. Ten percent are elderly and a vast majority of the other persons that are participating in the program do work. They just don't earn enough money to meet all of their nutritional needs."

Whether numbers will diminish as employment increases,  or continue to go up, only time will tell. Either way, millions of Americans will still need help if they hope to survive.

Photo: Wonderlane/Creative Commons via Flickr

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