The US government paid out a record high on food stamps for FY 2012. (File photo)
The US government has spent a record USD 80.4 billion on food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that helps Americans who cannot afford to buy food.
According to the US Department of the Treasury, the federal government has paid out USD 80,401,000,000 for food stamps during fiscal year (FY) of 2012 (from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012), increasing the amount by USD 2.7 billion from previous year.
Since President Barack Obama took office, the amount paid out by the SNAP has increased yearly. In FY 2009, it was reported to be at USD 55.6 billion, meaning the amount has increased by USD 24.8 billion during the past three years until 2012.
Food stamps are government vouchers, restricting eligible consumers to buy only food at grocery stores and no hot meals.
The number of Americans using food stamps hit a record high in September of 2012 when 47.7 million received help from the SNAP.
Most often, the Americans living on food stamps live on about USD 4 a day to eat. That is a dollar and forty cents for each meal.
Official figures from September 2012 showed that more than 46 million Americans, 15 percent of the US population, are living in poverty, making it the highest rate during the past 40 years.