Food stamp assistance reaches US$71.8B, makes up 12% of U.S. grocery spending, as nearly one in seven Americans receive benefit

LOS ANGELES , December 12, 2011 () – U.S. food-stamp use has grown to more than 46 million recipients since the end of 2007, making up around 12% of national grocery spending and figuring strongly in grocery revenue last fiscal year, Bloomberg reported Dec. 7.

The top three U.S. grocery chains, Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and Supervalu Inc., are among food retailers affected by the significant growth in use of the government food stamp program. About one in seven Americans now rely on the assistance, the publication stated.

Grocers figure among those vying for continued government funding of the food stamp program, known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Farmers and other activists have helped maintain bipartisan Congressional support for food stamps.

Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said the number of shoppers using food-stamps at Cincinnati-based Kroger stores has increased recently by 100%. President of Pennsylvania-based Fresh Grocer Pat Burns said 34% of his sales come from food stamps.

Participation in SNAP is expected to increase to over 47 million Americans this fiscal year.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, Dec. 8, 2011.

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