Food stamp list soars past 35 million: USDA

WASHINGTON Thu Sep 3, 2009 3:17pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 35 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 22 percent from June 2008 and a new record as the country continued to grapple with the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The food stamp program, which helps cover the cost of groceries for one in nine Americans, has grown in step with the U.S. unemployment rate which stood at 9.4 percent in July.

The Labor Department will release August employment figures on Friday.

June was the seventh straight month in which food stamp rolls set a record. The average benefit in June was $133.12 per person.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Chuck Abbott; editing by Jim Marshall)

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