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Federal Food Stamp Program spent record $80.4 billion in 2012

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 7th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The U.S. government spent a record $80.4 billion on food stamps during fiscal year 2012, or as it is known, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a $2.7 billion increase from fiscal year 2011. The fiscal year 2012 ran from Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012.)

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Monthly Treasury Statement that summarizes the receipts and outlays of the federal government, $80,401,000,000 went towards SNAP during fiscal year 2012, which was a $2.7 billion increase from $77,637,000,000 in fiscal year 2011.

The SNAP program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA. The department also runs other food assistance programs under the auspices of the Food and Nutrition Service Agency.

Nearly $106 billion was spent on food assistance in 2012, with $18.3 billion that went to "Child Nutrition Programs."

It's an ongoing issue with the national budget: Total federal spending on SNAP has increased each year during President Obama's first term in office. In 2009, when SNAP was still known as the "Food Stamp" program, the government spent approximately $55.6 billion.

By fiscal year 2010, SNAP spending increased to nearly $70.5 billion. Between fiscal year 2009 and 2012, SNAP's budget jumped by approximately $24.8 billion.

According to an April 2012 report from the Congressional Budget Office, SNAP outlays increased by $42 billion between 2007 and 2011, and the number of SNAP participants increased by 70 percent.

During fiscal year 2012, the U.S. government ran a $1.089 trillion dollar deficit, down from nearly $1.3 trillion in fiscal year 2011.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp program, provides financial assistance for purchasing food to low- and no-income people living in the U.S. It is a federal aid program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, though benefits are distributed by individual U.S. states. They can be used to purchase any pre-packaged edible foods, regardless of nutritional value (e.g. soft drinks and confections). Hot foods (such as those found in a supermarket deli) are ineligible, as well as items in fast food restaurants and similar retail settings.

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