By The Numbers - Trending

 

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Food stamps turns 50 this year.  Since the program was written in to law, it's become one of those government programs that gets a lot of attention from politicians on both the left and the right -- especially recently.  The program has been growing furiously in the last 15 years -- one in seven Americans is on food stamps today. That's more than twice what the rate was in 2000.  Some of that can be explained by changing eligibility requirements and job-losses during the recession. But the fastest growing group of food stamp participants in the last few decades are people who have jobs and work full year-round.  And that suggests a deeper new reality. Even once the recession is fully behind us, could increased use of food stamps driven by low-wage jobs be a permanent fixture of the American economy?