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Mapping out hunger

May 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM ET

The recession may be officially over, but one of the most worrisome effects of the weak economy remains: Tens of millions of Americans don’t have enough money for food.

More than 44 million Americans were receiving food stamps in February, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And participation in the so-called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has increased by more than 60 percent since the recession began in December of 2007.

The Wall Street Journal has a new graphic that breaks down SNAP usage by state. According to the graphic, Mississsippi, Oregon and Tennessee have the highest percentage of food stamp usage, while Wyoming ranks lowest.

In Alabama, the state so recently devastated by a string of tornadoes, 18 percent of residents are receiving food stamps, according to the Wall Street Journal’s data. The Journal’s graphic is based on data from the USDA and the Census Bureau.

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