Arecord 38.2 million Americans were enrolled in the food stamp program at latest count.
Food stamps are the primary federal anti-hunger program, helping poor people buy groceries. The Agriculture Department updated enrolment data Feb. 5 with a preliminary figure for November.
USDA estimates up to $58 billion will be spent on food stamps this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, with average enrolment of 40.5 million people.
Participation has surged since the financial market turmoil of late 2008 and has set records each month since December 2008, when it reached 31.78 million.