Food-stamp enrollment climbed to a record 46.7 million people in June, a steadily rising statistic that reflects the trouble millions of Americans have had finding work and paying the bills.
The numbers released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed a slight increase from enrollment in May, which was about 46.5 million. And they reflect a marked increase from the time when President Obama took office, when enrollment was at roughly 32 million.
The updated figures come as Democrats convene in Charlotte, N.C., to hold their national convention and nominate Obama to run for a second term. Michelle Obama and other speakers on the program for Tuesday's opening lineup claimed the economy is improving, and urged the country to give the Obama administration more time.
Republicans point to indicators like food-stamp enrollment to make the case conditions have only worsened.
The food-stamp program is an expensive one, with the cost exceeding $6 billion in June. The average monthly benefit per person was $133.
At least one lawmaker, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, has complained that the government has made an active effort to guide people onto the food stamp rolls regardless of need. The department, though, denies this.