The House of Representatives approved a stripped down farm bill this week via a 216-208 vote. The main portion of the bill that was stripped away was the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.
President Obama promised to veto any version of the bill that took away funding for SNAP, so the bill is sure to be revised again soon. In light of the on-going discussion of the bill, the Washington Post published a story containing this map of food stamp use in the U.S. by state (below).
Oregon, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee rank highest in food stamp usage, with all five of the states sending food stamps to 25% or more of their populations.
A few interesting things to note: in 2000, 17.2 million Americans were on food stamps. In 2012 that number nearly tripled to 46.6 million. In 2010, with a 9.6% unemployment rate, 40 million Americans were on food stamps. In 2012, with an unemployment rate almost two percentage points lower at 7.8%, the number of Americans on food stamps rose to 46.6 million. Even with more people working, six million more Americans had to apply for food stamps, suggesting that work wages weren’t enough to make ends meet.
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Here is the map: