In January, 2005, Obama was elected to the Senate, and during that year 25.7 million people participated in the program called “The Food Stamp Program.” In February, 2011, around 44.1million people participated in the Food Stamp Program (an increase of over 171%).

As of October, 1, 2008, “The Food Stamp Program” became officially titled the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The new name reflects changes made to the program, including a focus on nutrition and an increase in benefit amounts

During the last quarter of 2005, home prices started to fall, which led to a 40% decline in the U.S. Home Construction Index during 2006. Not only were new homes being affected, but many subprime borrowers now could not withstand the higher interest rates and they started defaulting on their loans.

In 2006, the year BEFORE the financial crisis, the Republicans had narrow majorities in the House and Senate, and 26.0 million people participated in the “Food Stamp Program”, and the participation rate fell by 1% that year (2006).

In 2007, the Democrats took control of the House and Senate, we got Pelosi and Reid, and by the end of the year 26.5 million people participated in the SNAP program (an increase of half a million people).

During February and March of 2007, more than 25 subprime lenders filed for bankruptcy, which was enough to start the tidal wave.

In August, 2007, (9 months AFTER the Democrats took control of both Houses of Congress) the big financial landslides started in earnest, and the problems spread beyond the United State’s borders. The interbank market froze completely, and central banks and governments around the world started coming together to prevent further financial catastrophe.

In 2008, the Democrats were now in filibuster-proof control of both Houses, Obama (who had been a Senator since 2005) was elected President in November, and 28.4 million people participated in the SNAP program.

In 2009, the Democrats were still in filibuster-proof control of both Houses, Obama was still President, and as of late November (a year after the Democrats assumed the Presidency), one in eight Americans and one in four children were using food stamps, and the program was growing at 20,000 people a day. The year-end statistics show over 35.8 million people participated in SNAP that year with a cost of $64 billion (an increase of 20% from 2009 to 2010).

In 2010, the Democrats were still in filibuster-poof control of both Houses, Obama was still President, and the SNAP program grew by 29%, giving money to 43 million people.

In February 2011, the Democrats had been out of power in the House for two months (but still had filibuster-proof control of the Senate and Obama was still president), and around 44.1 million people participated in the program, receiving an average benefit of $133.24.

How is that “Hope” and “Change” workin’ for you so far?


Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to receive SNAP benefits?

Certain non-citizens, such as those admitted for humanitarian reasons, those admitted for permanent residence, many children, elderly immigrants and individuals who have been working in the United States for certain periods of time, are eligible for SNAP. Eligible household members can get SNAP benefits even if there are other members of the household who are not eligible.

What is the average benefit from SNAP?

The average monthly benefit was about $101 per person and about $227 per household in FY 2008.