On Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture quietly released new statistics related to the food stamps program, officially known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The numbers reveal, in 2012, the food stamps program was the biggest it's ever been, with an average of 46,609,072 people on the program every month of last year. 47,791,996 people were on the program in the month of December 2012.
The federal government also says that in a given month in 2012, the number of households on food stamps was 22,329,713.
The state with the highest average number of participants per month in 2012 was Texas, with an astonishing 4,038,440 folks drawing from the program. The second highest is California, with 3,964,221, and then Florida, at 3,353,064.
Washington, D.C., with an estimated population of 617,996, had an average of 141,147 participants. Meaning, roughly 23 percent of folks living in D.C. are on food stamps, according to the numbers provided by the federal government. The participation rate in Texas, which has an estimated population of 26,059,203, 15.5 percent.
The state with the lowest number of participants in the program was Wyoming, with 34,347 out an estimated population of 576,412.
Over the weekend, Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said that the Obama administration is encouraging growth in the food stamps program as a way to stimulate the economy.