Food Stamps


According to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, food stamp spending will drop in 2013 on U.S. jobs outlook. The spending on food-stamp benefits will actually fall a small percentage to $69.9 billion beginning in 2013 as employment continues to improve, according to projections that were in the budget proposed by President Barack Obama submitted to Congress.

Spending for the food stamp program under SNAP would the second highest on record and actually 17 percent above what it was in 2011. However, 2012 has been projected as the highest funding year for the food stamp program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the regulating program for SNAP.

”SNAP is the cornerstone of our nation’s food-assistance safety net and touches the lives of more than 46 million,” according to the budget document that contains the new provisions and projections for the coming years.

Food stamps have come under fire in the recent presidential campaign, with Republicans favoring budget cuts in the food stamp program, while Barack Obama defends these food assistance programs and continues to help Americans survive on a shoe string budget. Enrollment has increased for food stamps since December 28 by 47 percent. This was only a month before President Barack Obama took office. The program’s continuing rising costs has been called unsustainable by Republicans including Newt Gingrich, who labeled Obama “The best food stamp president in American history.” The name-calling landed him in hot water.

About 46 million Americans received aid last November, the last month which data was available. This was an increase according to USDA from other years. Participation was 6.2 percent higher than a year earlier. The government spends $6.21 billion on the program for November, which was up 6.9 percent from November 2010.

The numbers of Americans who are receiving assistance under the program seem to be setting records every month. As the program’s costs continue to rise, it’s undoubtedly connected to the joblessness that Americans are facing around the country as the unemployment rate is around 8.3 percent in January. Although declining in numbers, there is conjecture over who is on unemployment now as to who just recently ran out of unemployment, as those numbers are unaccounted for in the polls and percentages.

Food stamp enrollment will follow unemployment gains and declines. Participation in the program is expected to decrease as more Americans find jobs, according to Kevin Concannon, who is the head of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.