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As a logical consequence of the prolonged economic downturn, participation in the federal food stamp program continues to rise. The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture indicated that in June 125,059 individual recipients were added to the food stamps program, with the current total increasing 2.34% on a year-over-year basis.

Individuals receiving food stamp benefits increased to 47.76 million, which, as a ratio of the overall civilian non-institutional population, now stands at a whopping 19.45% of the population. Households receiving food stamps benefits increased by 45,908 to 23.11 million households, with the current total rising 3.01% above the level seen a year earlier. As participation continues to swell, so too has the total nominal benefit cost, climbing 2.30% on a year-over-year basis to $6.34 billion for the month.

Source: SNAP Food Stamp Participation: June 2013