The number of Americans who need help putting food on the table is higher than ever. A staggering 47.6 million people received food stamps last year, equating to 15% of the American population.
What's causing the epidemic? The short answer is that both unemployment and, perhaps even more critically, the duration of joblessness remain elevated in the wake of the financial crisis.
The burden on the federal government reached a climax earlier this year with the passage of the latest farm bill. In an effort to reduce the cost, Congress changed how state program administrators calculate benefits for their residents.
Under the old rules, states were incentivized to provide as little as $1 in energy assistance each month -- known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program -- in order to increase federally subsidized food stamps to their residents. Under the new rules, the threshold is now set at $20.
But regardless of these changes, the fact remains that more Americans than ever rely on help to feed themselves and their families. The following presentation digs into this unfortunate reality by identifying 10 of the most depressing facts about food stamps in America.