Report: 15 percent of Americans now on food stamps


Kethia Dorelus a social worker with the Cooperative Feeding Program shows off a Federal food stamps card that is used to purchase food on February 10, 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Joe Raedle

A new government released report shows that 15 percent of Americans are currently receiving benefits including food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

In June the number of participants in the food stamps program rose to just over 46 million people. 

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York, told NBC that these numbers are a much better indication of how unemployment is really affecting the country.

"The unemployment data is not really telling us the true story of how many people are underemployed," adding that Food stamps are "a good indication of how the income of the work force has stagnated and more and more people are applying for food stamps." 

According to Bloomberg, the total cost for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 2011 fiscal year was $75.7 billion, more than double the amount four years before, but the average monthly benefit per person has declined to $132.96.

Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, told the Washington Post that he believes that children will be the most affected by hunger. “These numbers confirm that a humanitarian crisis looms within our own borders that can no longer be ignored. The crisis of childhood hunger in particular is putting at risk a generation of our youngest Americans, our national education goals and our economic competitiveness."