Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008.
Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring.
The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance.
Participation and spending appear to be going down, though. The Congressional Budget Office said this week that the government spent $76 billion on SNAP last year, down 8 percent from the year before. That was the first time spending went down since the beginning of the recession.
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