Thanks to the official recession, more Americans have fallen into the federal safety net using food stamps in record numbers. In September, 31.5 million Americans participated in the antihunger program, bringing the total to one in 10 Americans, and up 17 percent from the previous year.
Food stamps users received $100 a month to purchase food. To qualify for food stamps a household cannot have more than $2,000 in resources, including cash, bank accounts, or other property (usually not including land or vehicles). The government also imposes income limits. But the program isn't designed to just fill hungry stomachs — the USDA estimates that every $5 in benefits creates $9 in economic activity.
Earlier this year Congress approved spending $5.4 billion over the next 10 years on food stamps, the equivalent of just over one week in Iraq. Considering more and more Americans are relying on food stamps, this seems like a wise investment.