The number of Americans receiving food stamps rose to a record high of 41.8 million in July after a 20-month climb, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month.
By 2010, over a quarter of the total population in 239 counties was receiving food stamps. Most of these are small rural counties, but they also include major urban areas like Philadelphia and New York.
County by county, food stamp use does not always correlate to poverty. While food stamps reach about two-thirds of those eligible nationwide, this ranges widely between states, from California enrolling just 50% of those eligible to Missouri enrolling 98% of those eligible.
#6 Memphis, Tenn.
Population of Shelby County: 904,594
People on food stamps: 25%
Children on food stamps: 44%
Change '07 - '09: +23%
Source: state agencies, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Census Bureau, via
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