Now, public numbers have given added weight to these stories. As reported last week by Reuters, 1 in 10 Americans is now using the SNAP program (previously known as Food Stamps) to feed their families. Texas has the highest number of SNAP recipients at 2.8 million - half of whom are children.
In the past three months, policy analysts have watched as Texas SNAP numbers fell, a result of families no longer needing emergency relief from Hurricane Ike. This trend slowed in February, and has now reversed - more than 39,000 Texans entered the program in March (see graph). It now appears that Texas has reached a new plateau of need.