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Food Stamp Recipients Near Record High

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Food Stamp Recipients Near Record High

Economy

Food Stamp Recipients Near Record High

Food Stamp Recipients Near Record High

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For the first time, the number of Americans using food stamps could surpass 30 million. The Agriculture Department is set to release new numbers in the coming days. The Washington Post reports Wednesday that the figure could surpass the previous record, set after Hurricane Katrina. Rising unemployment and higher food prices are key reasons for the expected increase.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with more Americans on food stamps.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: In fact, the number of Americans using food stamps could surpass 30 million for the first time ever. The Agriculture Department is set to release new numbers in the coming days. Today, The Washington Post reports the figure could surpass the previous record set after Hurricane Katrina.

Rising unemployment and higher food prices are key reasons for the expected increase. Thirty million, that's almost 10 percent of the population. And despite the name, most food stamp recipients use ATM-style cards these days, not paper stamps. To qualify, you do have to make less than $27,564 for a family of four.

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