Data shows working-age people make up majority relying on food stamps

Unemployment, slow economic recovery playing role

WASHINGTON - In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in households that rely on food stamps.

That's a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.

Some of the change is due to demographics, like the trend toward people having fewer children. But the slow economic recovery is also playing a role, with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs.

Government data shows that food stamp participation has grown fastest among workers with some college training. It's a sign the safety net has stretched to cover what used to be the middle class.

The program now covers 1 in 7 Americans.

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