Federal outlays for food assistance up 8 percent in 2011

A chart showing USDA expenditures on food assistance programs.

Expenditures for USDA's 15 food and nutrition assistance programs account for over two-thirds of USDA's annual budget. Tough economic times found more Americans applying for and receiving food assistance. Federal expenditures for these programs totaled $103.3 billion in fiscal year 2011-an 8-percent increase from 2010. Among the major food assistance programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which grew by 10 percent, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which posted an 8-percent increase, expanded the most during fiscal year 2011. This chart appears in the Food and Nutrition Assistance topic on the ERS website, updated February 2012.

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