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US food stamp use sets 7th straight monthly record

WORLD
By | Oct 2nd 2009 | 1 min read

WASHINGTON, Sept 30

The number of Americans on food stamp assistance jumped in July to a record 35.85 million, the seventh month in a row of record-setting participation, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.

Food stamps help poor people buy food. Enrollment rises during times of economic stress, like the economic downturn that began a year ago.

Enrollment is up by 3.65 million people since the start of this year, according to Agriculture Department figures. USDA runs the food stamp program. It said 35.85 million people received benefits in July, the latest month for which figures are available. June enrollment was 35.13 million.

Average benefit per person was $133.31 during July.

At current levels, nearly one in eight Americans receives food stamps, said the Food Research and Action Council, an antihunger group. "This is the highest share of the U.S. population" to receive benefits, it said.

(Reuters)

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