Food Stamp Use: Up 70% Since 2007, and Growing

Improving economy will limit recipients after that, says CBO report

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 20, 2012 7:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – We earlier reported that 45 million Americans are currently on food stamps, and a new report out of the Congressional Budget Office puts that number in perspective: The number of food stamp users has jumped 70% since 2007, and shows no signs of stopping. The CBO expects it to rise for two more years. In 2007, the program cost $30 billion; the figure has risen to $72 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports, with the bulk of that spending increase due to the increased rolls.

The good news is that a rosier economy should prompt a decrease in food stamp recipients after 2014, the CBO says. The bad news? Beneficiary numbers "will remain high by historical standards." It expects about 34 million to be on the program in 2022 at a cost of $73 billion, making it "among the highest of all non-health-related federal support programs for low-income households."

A sign announcing the acceptance of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards is seen at a farmers market in Roseville, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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