Some startling numbers on the recent explosive growth of the food stamp program (aka SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), from journalist Ali Meyer of CNSNews.com:
- The number of Americans receiving food stamps has topped 46,000,000 for 38 straight months, according to the Department of Agriculture.
- In 1969, the average participation in the SNAP program stood at 2,878,000. In 2014, the average participation grew to 46,536,000 — an increase of 1,516.96 percent.
- About 14.6 percent of the U.S. population — about one in seven Americans — receives food stamps.
- Just under 20 percent of the nation’s households — one in five households — receive food stamps.
- Food stamp recipients have exceeded 46 million every month since September 2011.
- Rapid increase: in October 46,674,364 Americans were on food stamps — an increase of nearly a quarter-million people (214,434) in just one month. According to the conservative Heritage Foundation, the number of food stamp recipients grew by about 26.39 million people from 2003 to 2013.
- The 46,674,364 people on food stamps in the United States in October 2014 exceeded the total populations of Columbia (46,245,297), Kenya (46,245,297), Ukraine (44,291,413) and Argentina (43,024,374), and is just less than the population of Spain (47,737,941).
- Households on food stamps got an average benefit of $261.44 in October.
- In October alone the program cost taxpayers $5,978,320,593 — just under $6 billion.
While food stamp (SNAP) enrollment and spending have both grown dramatically under President Obama, the Cato Institute notes that the explosion in food stamp use and SNAP eligibility actually began with conservative Republicans under the leadership of George Bush, via the 2002 and 2008 farm bills.