Credit: © Richard Levine - Alamy Caption: A sign in front of a convenience store accept SNAP cards
Go ahead, take a wild guess as to which state relies on food stamps the most?

Has to be one of those lefty, bleeding-heart, tax-guzzling states, doesn't it? Lots of cities, lots of public spending and entitlements, very little "real America." That's exactly the profile of today's taker society, isn't it?

Well, only if you feel that Mississippi fits any of those descriptions. According to the Department of Agriculture's latest figures, mapped out by The Wall Street Journal, 22% of citizens in The Magnolia State are currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That's more than one in every five people in the state and well above the national average of 15%.

Just to be clear, that's the same Mississippi that still sports the Confederate Stars and Bars in its state flag and elected firmly Republican Phil Bryant as its governor and Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker as its senators. The state now has roughly 663,000 people on food stamps, a population larger than that of Boston, Seattle, Denver or Washington, D.C.

It also has a lot of company. With 47.5 million Americans on food stamps, thanks to a recession that had even doctoral recipients seeking assistance, the program doesn't play politics. While 21% (1.3 million people) of right-leaning Tennessee is on food stamps, the same percentage are on the rolls in blue states like New Mexico (441,550) and Oregon (871,676). New York alone has nearly 3.2 million people on food stamps, which still trails the 4 million getting assistance in Texas.

Overall food stamp use across the map climbed by 2.8% in April compared with the same month last year. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office predicts unemployment will drop to 4.6% by 2017 but that SNAP enrollment will only drop to 43.3 million people.

That's not sitting well with some members of Congress, who see the SNAP program as a big spender begging for cuts. After plans to trim food stamp spending helped sink the farm bill, opponents have taken the unprecedented step of attempting to separate nutrition requirements from the farm bill entirely in an effort to cut both farm subsidies and SNAP spending.

Considering that 30% of Mississippi's population is considered obese -- including 60% of residents below the poverty line -- guess which state those cuts will likely affect most.


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