States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif. Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank hide caption

itoggle caption Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

During George W. Bush's presidency, Republican leaders won praise for expanding food assistance. Now the House GOP is drawing criticism for cutting it. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Rourke/AP

Garrett Grant works inside a store in the impoverished town of Glendora, Miss. Some 24 percent of Mississippians receive on government food assistance, the highest percentage in the country. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mario Tama/Getty Images