Thursday, August 4, 2011

Surge in Demand for Food Stamps Across the United States

Surge in Demand for Food Stamps Across the United States - ABC News

Alabama is responsible for much of the 1.1 million increase in food stamp recipients after horrific storms tore through the area and led some residents to seek disaster relief, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Some 45.8 million people collected food stamps in May, up from 44 million in April, according to the USDA. That's an all-time high, up 12 percent from a year ago and an astonishing 34 percent from two years ago. Comparing May 2010 to May 2011, more than 20 states have seen double-digit percent growth in individuals seeking food assistance benefits.

"The rise in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program indicates that the economy is still in tough shape and for a lot of people the recession has not ended," Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist for ConvergEx, told ABC News.

Of Alabama's more than 4.7 million residents, 1.7 million are receiving assistance for food based on figures from the USDA. The figure has more than doubled from May 2010 to May 2011 for the state's residents.

The uptick is steep in parts of the Midwest. In Illinois, food stamps have risen by 46 percent in Cook County, 133 percent in DuPage County, 84 percent in Lake County, 96 percent in Kane County, 168 percent in McHenry County and 74 percent in Will County, according to the Daily Herald.

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