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Food Stamps Went to Record 41.8 Million in July

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans receiving food stamps rose to a record 41.8 million in July as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government said.

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases jumped 18 percent from a year earlier and increased 1.4 percent from June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a statement on its website. Participation has set records for 20 straight months.

Unemployment in September may have reached 9.7 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts in advance of the release of last month’s rate on Oct. 8. Unemployment was 9.6 percent in July, near levels last seen in 1983.

An average of 43.3 million people, more than an eighth of the population, will get food stamps each month in the year that began Oct. 1, according to White House estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Bjerga in Washington at abjerga@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth in Chicago at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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