The number of Food Stamp recipients hit 45.8 million in August, and may continue to rise in coming months as families continue to struggle with high unemployment.
Mississippi reported the largest share of its population relying on food stamps, more than 21%. One in five residents in New Mexico, Tennessee, Oregon and Louisiana also were food stamp recipients.
Food stamp rolls exploded during the downturn, which began in late 2007. Even after the recession came to its official end in June 2009, families continued to tap into food assistance as unemployment remained high and those lucky enough to find jobs were often met with lower wages.
States also made changes to make it easier for residents to tap into the program, such as waiving requirements that limited the value of assets food stamp recipients could own.