46,514,238 Used The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in December of 2011
According to the FNS (Food and Nutrition Service) of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), a total of 46,514,238 Americans used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in December of 2011.
The total cost to the US taxpayer in December of 2011 for the SNAP program was approximately $6.2 billion. The average monthly benefit per person who utilized the program was $133.67, while the average monthly benefit per household was $280.54 (a total of 22,162,857 US households utilized the program in December).
In October of 2011, food stamp usage dropped for the first time in many, many months. The rise in food stamp usage since the start of the "Great Recession" has been meteoric to say the least - 30,841,790 people utilized the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in October of 2008. Within just three years, this number had swelled by roughly 50%.
The total cost of the SNAP program for the 2011 Fiscal Year was nearly $72 billion, up roughly $7 billion from the year before.
As mentioned, food stamp usage actually declined in October of 2011. Prior to that month, SNAP participation numbers had put together an unbelievably long string of consecutive monthly increases.
The upwards trend has continued in recent months though, as 46.28 million Americans participated in the food stamp program in November, followed by an even larger number of 46.5 million in December.
Source: Monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Numbers
Filed under: The Economic Meltdown