The number of Floridians on food stamps increased to more than 3.3 million by November, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports today: “Figures released this month by the Agriculture Department paint a grim picture of widespread dependence nationwide but especially in Florida, where a record 3.1 million people — one in six residents — received food-stamp aid in September.”
The Sun Sentinel adds: “Recipients nationwide rose from 26.3 million in fiscal 2007 to 44.7 million in fiscal 2011, an increase of 59%, according to the Agriculture Department. Fiscal years end on Sept. 30.”
Florida’s Department of Children and Families indicates that the number of Floridians on food stamps rose to 3.3 million in November, at a cost of almost $450 million in that month alone. The data shows that at least 1.8 million households receive food stamps, a 10 percent increase over November 2010.
Children and Families data also shows that food stamp client numbers started a steady climb in early 2007 (1.2 million) to current numbers. This year there has been an 8.8 percent increase in the number of people receiving food stamps compared to November 2010.
The Sun Sentinel adds that “the average monthly food stamp benefit in Florida rose from $94.65 in 2007 to $139.55 this year. Total benefits paid out in the state more than tripled, from $1.4 billion in 2007 to $5.1 billion this year.”
The Department of Children and Families also shows that the number of Floridians receiving other public assistance programs like Medicaid increased through 2011 from 2.5 million in January to more than 2.6 million in November.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that new data (.pdf) from the Department of Agriculture showed that in the U.S. “some 70 percent of households that relied on food stamps” in 2010 “had no earned income.”