Food Stamps Used By Record 42.2 Million Americans This Thanksgiving

11/21/2012 12:01 pm ET | Updated Nov 21, 2012
  • Harry Bradford Associate Editor, HuffPost Business and HuffPost Small Business

A record number of Americans will be using food stamps to get by this Thanksgiving.

About 42.2 million Americans are using food stamps this Thanksgiving, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That’s more than in any prior year, the nonprofit government watchdog group The Sunlight Foundation reports. It may be no surprise, given that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- the official name for food stamps -- has increased 70 percent on average since 2007, according to U.S. News and World Report. In June, food stamp use hit a record high.

The boost in food stamp use is just one indicator of how many Americans will be struggling to have a good Thanksgiving meal this year, especially given the fact that the average person on food stamps has a budget of just $1.00 to $1.25 per meal. Food banks are hurting in the face of last summer’s drought which cut into supplies, while raising prices at the same time.

Indeed, many are already seeing the effects of such shortages amid higher demand at the local level. In Framingham, Mass., for example, requests for Thanksgiving help from the local food bank have increased by 400 percent this year, CBS Boston reports. Patrons in need of ingredients for their Thanksgiving meals began lining up by the hundreds outside a food bank in Fort Worth, Texas on Tuesday, according to MyFoxDallas-Fort Worth.

If there is any good news about Thanksgiving supper this year it’s that the price of a classic Turkey dinner plus fixing is only up 28 cents from 2011, the Financial Times reports. And that price is way cheaper than even 100 years ago.

Still, the average price of a Thanksgiving meal is now nearly $50, with a dinner costing up to $80 if purchased at a Whole Foods in Manhattan, New York, the place with the most expensive Thanksgiving meal, according to 24/7 Wall St.

What Thanksgiving Dinner Cost in 1912

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