Food Stamp Use Reaches Record Highs

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The latest government report shows that more Americans are using food stamps, with participation up 0.4 percent from May. That's 3.3 percent higher than last year.

A record 46.7 million people were reported to use the government assistance program in June.

"Too many middle-class families who have fallen on hard times are still struggling," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an email Tuesday.

"Our goal is to get these families the temporary assistance they need so they are able to get through these tough times and back on their feet as soon as possible," he said.

Food stamp spending is the biggest annual expense for the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a record allotment of $75.7 billion as of Sept. 30, 2011.

Earlier this year, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich labeled President Obama as "the best food-stamp president in American history" during his run in the Republican primary.

Bloomberg reports that Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., attributed the climb to an aggressive push by the USDA for higher participation and an eagerness to distribute government money to people who may not need or want it.

Tuesday's report shows the two most populous states, California and Texas, had the most recipients.

Louisiana and North Carolina had the biggest monthly gains in enrollment at 1.3 percent.

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