At the beginning of 2010, 1 in 8 Americans were on food stamps — that's about 40 million people. Part of this was due to the economy; at that time, the unemployment rate was around 10%. The USDA has reported record months each month since December 2008, when the number of people on food stamps hit just over 31 million.
More food stamp facts:
- 51% of the 1 in 8 Americans receiving food stamps are children younger than 17.
- In February 2010, the state with the highest number of people on food stamps was Texas, with almost 3.5 million. That state was closely followed by California, with over 3.1 million and New York, with 2.7 million people.
- The 2011 forecast for the number of people expected to receive food stamps is 43.3 million people, or almost 14% of the estimated population of the U.S. of 313 million people.