The number of people using food stamps hit an all-time high in May 2011. According to the USDA, 45,753,078 Americans and 21,581,234 households use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps.
Zero Hedge notes that much of the 1.1 million increase from April 2011 comes from the state of Alabama, in which food stamp usage shot up from 868,000 to 1,762,000.
The past three fiscal years have show a tremendous growth of SNAP usage. In 2008, about 28.2 million people used food stamps compared to about 33.5 million in 2009 and 40.3 million in 2010. In order to be eligible for SNAP, a person must make less than $1,174, among other requirements.
The population of the United States is around 311,907,122, meaning that almost 15 percent of U.S. residents use food stamps.