WASHINGTON — More than 35 million Americans received assistance in June through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program — the highest number of recipients ever — according to the Food and Nutritional Service of the Department of Agriculture.
The number was up by more than 700,000 from the prior month — 35.1 million in June, compared with 34.4 million in May — and up 22% from June 2008, the service said. A USDA spokeswoman told SN retail participation in SNAP is also growing, with 191,476 authorized companies at the end of July.
During fiscal 2008, supermarkets and superstores redeemed 85% of all SNAP benefits, she added — prompting an $80 per recipient monthly increase in SNAP allotments since April for use at local stores. Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates economic activity worth $9.20, she added.
Because of the growing number of SNAP recipients, the government is providing an additional $295 million for the states to administer the program, of which $145 million was released to the states in March, she noted.
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