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Fox News Investigates 'The Great Food Stamp Binge'

Friday at 10p ET and Sunday at 9p ET, Bret Baier hosts Fox News Reporting: The Great Food Stamp Binge.

With one in seven Americans now receiving food stamps, a Fox News investigative team traveled the country to expose the government’s startling attempts to get even more people to sign up for the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” This documentary profiles a blissfully jobless California surfer who expects taxpayers to underwrite his life of beaches and bar-hopping, visits a Florida pastor angry over Spanish ads designed to convince reluctant immigrants to get on food stamps, and reveals how North Carolina social workers won a government award for breaking down the “Mountain Pride” that makes some Tar Heels unwilling to accept government handouts.

Reports by John Roberts and Peter Boyer also explore whether the food stamp program can ultimately make the poor dependent on government, and ask how many taxpayer dollars meant for the truly needy end up in the pockets of those able to fend for themselves.

The special uncovers startling statistics, including:

  • Food stamps cost taxpayers 78.4 billion in fiscal year 2012. In 2008, the figure was $37.6 billion.

(Source: USDA: SNAP Program Data)

  • Simply administering the food stamp program alone costs close to $4 billion annually.

(Source: SNAP, 2012 Annual Summary)

  • Almost 48 million people are now on food stamps -- one out of every seven people living in America.

(Source: 2013 SNAP Program data)

That ranges from six percent in Wyoming to 22 percent Mississippi.

(Source: USDA, SNAP Participation statistics)

  • Still, not everyone who can sign up, does. A 2012 report said that 75 percent of eligible people in the United States received SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2010.

(Source: USDA State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates)

  • In North Carolina, seventeen percent of the population receive food stamps -- more than double the number a decade ago.

(Source: USDA SNAP State Program Data and Census for NC population, 2012 and 2004)

According to a Fox News poll, the majority believe that Americans are too dependent on government.


Tune in to Fox News Reporting: The Great Food Stamp Binge Friday at 10p ET and Sunday at 9p ET on Fox News Channel.

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