19.9 million children, or people under 18, received food stamp benefits
(Caroline May) One in four children in America participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, in fiscal year 2011, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture and U.S. Census Bureau.
The USDA’s “Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2011” shows that in 2011, 19.9 million children, or people under 18, received food stamp benefits.
The Census estimates there were 73.9 million children living in the United States in 2011, meaning that 26.9 percent of children, or approximately one in four, were on food stamps in 2011.
The USDA notes that children constituted 45 percent of SNAP participants in 2011. Some philanthropists and policy experts believe efforts to reform SNAP because of high youth enrollment are misguided, arguing that the program ultimately helps the economy and improve kids’ health.
But Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions — one of the most vocal critics of the recent skyrocketing SNAP enrollment numbers and USDA’s promotion of the benefit — contends that something must be done about government policies and a USDA that he says is more interested in enrolling Americans in the program than finding real solutions.
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