Neither the August nor October totals include SNAP disaster assistance, meaning that the trend was still upward from August to October, when individual participation increased by 422,564.
“Welfare spending has jumped thirty percent in three years, and the result has been more poverty, not less. It is time to return to the moral principles of the 1996 reform: strengthening family, building community and helping more Americans find good jobs and brighter futures.” (RELATED: Welfare spending tops budget in 2011)
However, a study by the National Poverty Center found that SNAP helped reduce the number of “extremely poor” children and households by 50 percent in 2011, when counting the programs’ benefits as income. The study broadly defined “extremely poor” households as those earning $2 or less in income per person, per day.
In 2011, welfare spending was the single largest budget item, with federal and state government spending more than a trillion dollars on federal means-tested assistance programs, including SNAP.