One in 10 Sacramento residents on food stamps; number rising fast

Published: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 - 3:12 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 - 8:36 am

The number of Sacramento households on food stamps doubled between 2007 and 2012, with about 75 more people added to the program every day, new federal statistics show.

The U.S. Congress recently passed $8 billion in cuts to the food stamp program over the next 10 years. Those cuts, part of a larger farm bill, will be felt in Sacramento, where local residents receive more than $425 million in food stamp benefits each year.

More than 80,000 households in the region took food stamps in 2012, up from 40,000 in 2007, the latest census figures show. The primary reason for the sharp rise -- which is happening here and nationwide -- is the recession. Some also point to a move by Congress in 2008 allowing states to relax guidelines for who could receive food stamps.

More than 240,000 people live in local households taking food stamps. About a third of them are children. About one quarter are working age adults with jobs.

Average monthly benefits are about $150 per person.

This interactive graphic shows the growth in food stamp recipients across the region, and the ZIP codes with the highest concentration of residents taking food stamps.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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