(CNSNews.com) -- The number of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, declined from 46,028,930 in January to 45,682,474 in February, but it still outnumbers the population of Kenya.
February 2014, the latest month reported, was the first time the number of beneficiaries dipped below 46,000,000 in 42 months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Food stamp recipients have exceeded 46 million in each month since September 2011. The last time the number of beneficiaries was below 46,000,000 was in August 2011 when there were 45,794,474 beneficiaries.
The 45,682,474 on food stamps in February was down from the 46,028,930 on food stamps in January -- a decline of 346,456. Yet according to data from the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) World Factbook, the number of beneficiaries in February still outnumbers the populations of Kenya, Ukraine, Argentina, Algeria, and Poland. (See food_stamp_feb_2015.pdf )
According to the Factbook, the population of Kenya totals 45,010,056; the population of Ukraine totals 44,291,413; the population of Argentina is 43,024,374; the population of Algeria totals 38,813,722; and the population of Poland is 38,346,279.
Households on food stamps got an average benefit of $257.72 during the month, and total benefits for the month cost taxpayers $5,796,044,378.Along with the number of beneficiaries declining in February, so too did the number of households on food stamps. (See chart food_stamp_feb_2015.pdf )
There were 22,489,513 households on food stamps in February, which was down 126,183 from the 22,615,696 households on food stamps in January.